Higher Education

, Volume 69, Issue 3, pp 435–448 | Cite as

Who teaches academic integrity and how do they teach it?

  • Erika Löfström
  • Tiffany Trotman
  • Mary Furnari
  • Kerry Shephard
Article

Abstract

Whose role is it to teach academic integrity to university students? We explored academics’ conceptions about their role in promoting academic integrity in two countries, namely New Zealand and Finland. We used Q methodology to find common configurations of perspectives that can help us understand the premises based on which academics approach the tasks and roles associated with teaching academic integrity. The 56 academics in our sample were asked to sort 42 statements highlighting a broad spectrum of perspectives on academic integrity and the teaching of it, and answer some related interview questions. A centroid factor analysis using PQMethod software resulted in five configurations of views with distinctive characteristics. We used three frameworks to interrogate these differences: (1) possible narrative from a students’ perspective, (2) Biggs’s levels of thinking about teaching, and (3) an ethical interpretation. Academics at our institutions appear united in respecting the importance of academic integrity, but not of one mind about what it is, how it should be taught, whether or not it can be taught, whose responsibility it is to teach it, and how to handle cases of misconduct. The results suggest that teachers are confused about integrity policies extant in higher education and about their roles within these.

Keywords

Academic integrity Higher education Research supervision Values education Q methodology 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erika Löfström
    • 1
  • Tiffany Trotman
    • 2
  • Mary Furnari
    • 3
  • Kerry Shephard
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Research and Development of Higher EducationUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Division of HumanitiesUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  3. 3.Higher Education Development CentreUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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