Academic integrity on college campuses

Steve Williams, Margaret Tanner, Jim Beard, Georgia Hale


A survey of 46 faculty members and 562 undergraduates at a medium-sized Midwestern regional university in May 2011 found that 74% of faculty members believed academic misconduct had recently occurred in their classes; 18% of faculty members have ignored suspected incidents of cheating; and of those faculty members suspecting cheating within their classes, only 18% have reported it to others on campus. Undergraduate students believed all forms of academic misconduct were significantly less serious than faculty members. For undergraduates, 67% admit to academic misconduct in the past year, a percentage that parallels McCabe's (2005) finding that an average of 70% of US undergraduate students admitted to recent academic misconduct. Over 28% of undergraduates admit to having engaged in more serious forms of clearly intentional academic misconduct such as cheating during the past year, and students who have engaged in any academic misconduct are more likely to have engaged in several types of academic misconduct. Those students who admit to having cheated view cheating as being significantly less serious than those who have not cheated. Recommendations for addressing academic integrity issues on campus are offered.

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