HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

Integrity at a Distance: A Study of Academic Misconduct among University Students on and off Campus

Document Type

Article

Date

2008

Publication Title

Accounting Education

ISSN or ISBN

0963-9284

Volume

17

Issue

1

First Page

3

Last Page

16

Description

Academic integrity and misconduct have been the subject of increased interest in universities and for the public at large. Many studies have examined cheating behaviours to determine which forms of misconduct are most prevalent, which students perceive to be most serious, which academic disciplines have higher cheating rates, and what factors influence a student's propensity to cheat. Such research has taken place in traditional colleges and universities where students study on campus and have regular contact with other students and educators. However, the increasing popularity of distance education has raised new concerns over academic integrity among students not on campus. This paper reports on a study that explored academic misconduct amongst the student cohort at an Australian university with an extensive distance education program. Using a survey instrument previously developed in the USA, students were asked about a number of types of academic misconduct, their prevalence, and their seriousness. The study found that distance students are far less likely to engage in academic misconduct. Reasons for this finding are explored within the paper.

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