, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1-23
Date: 15 Jul 2011

What behaviours do students consider academically dishonest? Findings from a survey of Canadian undergraduate students

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This paper identifies those behaviours that students perceive to be academically dishonest and sheds light on several demographic, academic and situational factors that predict students’ perceptions of academic dishonesty. Data for this investigation were obtained through self-administered questionnaires from a sample of 321 undergraduate students attending university in a western Canadian city during the academic year 2007–2008. There was a high extent of leniency in students’ definitions of what behaviours constitute academic dishonesty, particularly for situations involving plagiarism and helping somebody else cheat. Sex, importance of academic ethic, strength of academic ability, deep learning strategy, and frequency of witnessing peers cheat made unique contributions to the prediction of students’ perceptions of dishonesty. Implications of these findings for institutional interventions are discussed.