Keywords

Graduate students, academic integrity, cheating, academic dishonesty, academic sharing, ethics in education

Abstract

Most prior research and scholarship views cheating as an individual failing rather than a sociological or organizational phenomenon. The purpose of this study was to identify the challenges students face in graduate education and the factors that affect ethical beliefs towards academic dishonesty. This study used a mixed method research approach including an online survey with approximately 1,250 responses from graduate students representing each of UCF's colleges and fifteen interviews with students in fourteen different disciplines. Results of the online survey indicated no significant differences between international and domestic students. Survey and interview data indicate that graduate students' perceptions of the perceived norms and expectations related to academic honesty are impacted by the culture of the academic program. Analyzing these data through three sociological theories of deviance - anomie, labeling, and rational choice - shows that graduate students' understanding of appropriate academic behavior depends on their academic socialization. The data also reveal that graduate students struggle with subtleties of cheating, such as misrepresentation or "fudging" of data. Especially for the doctoral students in the sample, their views were highly influenced by viewing themselves as teachers and independent researchers. This sociological analysis emphasizes the role of culture in graduate programs and students' socialization into those cultures. This doctoral dissertation also provides a deeper understanding of the social and organizational factors affecting graduate students and re-frames students' perspectives on appropriate academic behavior.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2014

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Boote, David

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005394

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005394

Language

English

Release Date

August 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic

Included in

Education Commons

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