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Teaching Academic Integrity: the Missing Link


Student plagiarism and cheating have been at the focus of scholarly investigations for over two decades now, the discussion being conducted on the backdrop of the question of whether traditional didactics is suitable for Google generation students who supposedly think and process information differently. Using data collected via start-of-term questionnaires, a series of follow-up semi-structured interviews and a specially calibrated session on academic integrity, the present study looks into the students’ ideas on cheating, school work, internet use, studying habits and understanding of academic integrity. The study aims to suggest (albeit tentatively) a holistic approach to teaching academic integrity in higher education taking into account the students’ perspective: an in-depth qualitative approach was used in the data analysis, evaluating students’ investment, engagement, motivation, learning habits, attitudes to cheating and plagiarism. The findings suggest a conflicted picture of the Bulgarian student: hardly taking the all-practical approach towards higher education, conflicted about the value of learning, this generation of students has little structure to their knowledge, they critically underuse ICT tools for learning and regard cheating as a commodity, unburdened by moral or ethical implications.

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Correspondence to Mariya Chankova.

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This questionnaire is anonymous; do not write your name or any other identification. The results will be used in a study on academic integrity. Thank you for your cooperation!

Please, circle the appropriate: female male; Age: Languages:

Which internet platforms, social media, blogs etc. do you use on a regular basis?

How many study-related books did you read in your freshman year? Name one.

None One Two Other (specify):

Describe yourself using one word only:

What is your opinion about students who cheat on exams?

What is cheating?

What do you find the most difficult about the English language?

You have a difficult problem to solve for class. What do you do?

Go to the library Browse the internet Ask my Facebook friends Read the course book Other (specify):

What was your favourite subject in school/ high school? Why?

Why did you enrol in higher education?

Language changes under the influence of gadgets and the internet. Do you agree?

Is spelling important in the digital age? Why/ why not?

What is/are the most useful quality/skills to have in your professional life?

Resourcefulness Creativity Problem-solving skills Knowledge Communicative skills Other:

Where do you get your news?

On TV on Facebook on news sites (which?) I do not follow news.

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Chankova, M. Teaching Academic Integrity: the Missing Link. J Acad Ethics 18, 155–173 (2020).

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  • Academic integrity
  • Cheating
  • Plagiarism
  • Google generation
  • Learning