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ERIC Number: EJ1122526
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2222-1735
Viewpoint of Undergraduate Engineering Students on Plagiarism
Starovoytova, Diana; Namango, Saul Sitati
Journal of Education and Practice, v7 n31 p48-65 2016
Undoubtedly, plagiarism has been a global concern, especially so, in institutions of higher learning. Furthermore, over the past decades, cases of student plagiarism, in higher education, have increased, substantially. This issue cannot be taken, without due consideration, and it is crucial for educators, and universities, at large, to find the best ways, to discourage and reduce the acts of students' plagiarism. The aim of this study, therefore, was to address plagiarism in professional university education from undergraduate engineering students' attitudinal perspective. In particular, to ascertain how plagiarism is defined by the students; which factors, they perceive, exacerbate plagiarism; how they justify plagiarism; and severity and penalty related to the misconduct. This paper illustrates a fraction of a larger research on plagiarism at the School of Engineering. The study design used a descriptive survey approach and a document analysis. A designed confidential self report questionnaire was applied as the main instrument for this study, with the sample-size (N = 25), and a response rate (RR = 84%). The tool was pre-tested to ensure its validity and reliability. The data collection instrument was subjected to the statistical analysis to determine its reliability via Cronbach's alpha coefficient, and found high inter-item consistency (a > 0.9). The major results of this study revealed overall and widespread deficiency in students' understanding of plagiarism; also more than half of the students, in the subject sample, were not adequately informed about plagiarism in academic writing; 76% of the respondents agreed, that those who say, they have never plagiarized, are lying; and also that everyone else around are plagiarizing (e.g., students, researchers, and academic staff); 48% of the respondents agreed, that they keep on plagiarizing, because they have not been caught yet, while 33% stated, that they are tempted to plagiarize because, even if caught, the punishment (if any) will be light (the reward outweighs the risk). Several specific recommendations, on how to fight plagiarism, were provided, alongside with identification of areas for further research. This study would offer awareness to the undergraduates, lecturers, and the faculty administrators, on the gravity of plagiarism acts and how to avoid it, in the university. The study also will make a contribution (in its small way) to the body of knowledge on the subject matter.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kenya
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A