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ERIC Number: ED534436
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 176
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2670-3753-4
Understanding Cheating in Distance Education: Administrative, Faculty, and Student Roles within the Community College Setting
Thibodeau, Margaret
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Punitive measures have failed to stem the rising tide of academic dishonesty. Institutions often have little understanding of the underlying reasons for student cheating. The issue goes beyond the academic world as cheating behavior is often carried into post-academic pursuits. Researchers have devoted little time to assessing the problem from the standpoint of distance education within the community college setting. The purpose of this qualitative single case study was to examine academic dishonesty within the distance education program of a community college in Arkansas. The design was a qualitative single case study using a purposeful stratified intensity sample of eight faculty members, three administrators, and eight students from the distance education program of a rural Arkansas community college. Data for the study was collected from focus groups, personal interviews, and relevant documents. Data was triangulated to ensure validity, and processed through triangulated reflexive inquiry to address possible researcher preconceptions. Results indicated some weakness in the distance education program of the studied institution. The academic integrity policy might lead to legal ramifications as no consistent guidelines for flexibility existed. Although academic integrity policies existed, only the plagiarism policy had been well publicized. Students and faculty were unfamiliar with the general academic integrity policy. Faculty did not consistently convey the importance of academic integrity to students. The quality of instruction, course design, and assessment strategies within the distance education courses was inconsistent. The results also revealed positive factors. Definitions of academic misconduct contained little variation between faculty and students. Administrators recognized cheating as a problem. Faculty recognized strong administrative support when instances of academic misconduct occurred. Program quality would be strengthened by setting flexibility guidelines and promoting the academic integrity policy. Faculty training is warranted to improve instructional methods, course design, assessment strategies, and alignment with accepted distance learning techniques. The study laid groundwork for future research to quantify the global perspective of academic misconduct and the effects of course design, instructor style and assessment strategies on academic misconduct. Definitions of cheating and administrative support of faculty differed from existing literature and the differing results may warrant further study. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of Pro Quest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas