STUDENT ATTITUDES TOWARD ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AT AN AMERICAN-STYLE LIBERAL-ARTS UNIVERSITY IN BULGARIA
Published: 29 Sep 2018
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine student attitudes toward various types of academic dishonesty at a university in Bulgaria that employs the American liberal-arts educational model. The research questions addressed by this study are: 1) How do students’ attitudes toward academic dishonesty vary according to the perceived severity of academic misconduct, for example major or minor offenses? and 2) What is students’ overall attitude toward academic dishonesty? Student attitudes are analyzed using the Fishbein expectancy-value model (Ajzen and Fishbein 1980). Questionnaire data were obtained from a sample of 260 students. Women, respondents with a lower Grade Point Average (GPA), and underclassmen were found to hold attitudes more conducive to academically honest behavior than men, respondents with a higher GPA, and upperclassmen. Although 70.2 percent of the respondents held overall attitudes that favored academic honesty, room for improvement remains. Between 21 and 46 percent of the respondents had attitudes consistent with academically dishonest behavior toward the following three attributes: submitting a graded project containing material copied from another student’s project, submitting the same term paper in two or more classes without permission, and submitting a graded project containing material from a published source that is rewritten in the student’s own words without a proper citation. These are considered in the literature as minor academic offenses. In addition, unauthorized collaboration, one of the four categories of dishonest academic behavior examined, was sanctioned by 63 to 73 percent of respondents. Unauthorized collaboration is considered to be another minor academic offense. Strengthening efforts to instill in students the personal and societal benefits of behaving with academic integrity remains important to the objective of developing well-rounded, ethical, and liberally-educated future leaders in the region.
Keywords: academic dishonesty, academic integrity, attitudes, bulgaria, ethical behavior, fishbein attitude model
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