Determining the opinions of health sciences students and faculty regarding academic integrity

Ken Randall, Denise G Bender, Diane M Montgomery


This study used Q method to understand the opinions of students and faculty in health sciences programs in physical therapy and occupational therapy regarding what they consider to be key aspects of academic integrity, viewing it from the perspectives of the individual, the academic program, practitioners, and society. Thirty-eight students and faculty sorted statements on academic integrity to represent their reactions to the condition of instruction, "What are your thoughts about values in your academic program?" Data were analysed by correlating the sorts and using factor analysis and rotation to produce two factors, each with distinct views of academic integrity. 'Collective Integrity' reflects a more society-oriented view and 'Personal Integrity' shows a more internally-driven view. Demographic information revealed that more students, women, and those less than thirty years of age define the Collective Integrity factor, which is substantiated through theoretical interpretation using Gilligan's feminist theory of development. Demographics of academic role, age, and gender were not as strongly linked to the Personal Integrity factor. The implications of this study include the need for academic institutions to develop or continue with established policies that promote academic integrity, and for further research on this subject, as well as that of academic dishonesty.

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