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Academic Integrity: The blueprint of the thing we call character

Perhaps this sounds familiar. It is late, you are tired, but you cannot go to bed until you submit your term paper, or you will fail the course. You could work through the night to get it done right, or you could quickly skim a buddy’s paper from the previous year, and write something acceptable for the professor. Then you could get much needed sleep – you would feel rested the next day, you would pay closer attention in class, you would be altogether a better student. This really would not be cheating. After all, everyone else in the class did this too. You would be a fool not to join in. How are you going to get ahead in business if you fail in your studies? Wearily you look at the clock and decide what to do…

Researchers at the University of Arkansas’ Sam M. Walton College of Business have spent over two years investigating factors that would lead to academic integrity violations, with a particular focus on freshman business students. Routinely, business students are perceived as more likely to cheat than fellow students in other disciples, and readily admit to doing so.

Understanding the causes that lead to cheating could result in colleges and universities enacting effective policies and procedures that lessen academic integrity violations. This goes beyond directly improving student behavior and the college climate, as the students of today become the leaders of tomorrow. Unethical student behavior can go on to infect all aspects of society, particularly in business, law, medicine, and politics. Now, this is not a recent concern – the researchers themselves cite concerns about cheating going as far back in time as Aristotle, but there are indications that through correctly targeted actions cheating can be reduced. This benefits both society at large and academia.

The Factors

So what are these factors that would lead freshman business students to cheat? The researchers looked at five variables that would impact the decision to share homework or to plagiarize. These variables occurring frequently in associated research:

  1. Attitude to cheating: Does the student think cheating is acceptable? Does the student think consequences of cheating are not severe?
  2. Subjective norm: Does the student think peers and caregivers think cheating is unacceptable?
  3. Perceived behavioral control: Does the student think that she or he can get away with cheating?
  4. Moral obligation: Does the student feel guilty about cheating?
  5. Past academic integrity behavior: Has the student cheated before?

Over thirteen hundred students were sampled during the two-year period to predict intention to violate academic integrity in two ways, the sharing of homework (when prohibited) and plagiarizing. For the sharing of homework, all five variables were significant predictors. For plagiarism, all but subjective norm were significant predictors:

Sharing Homework


Attitude to cheating



Subjective norm



Perceived behavioral control



Moral obligation



Past academic integrity behavior



But these variables did not all have equal weight. Of the five, attitude to cheating, past academic integrity behavior, and moral obligation were the strongest predictors of intent to cheat. The past academic integrity behavior took place prior to students being admitted to university, so this suggests that the problem of cheating is not being addressed early enough. Patterns of cheating are established well before a student attends college or university, so the focus on educating high school students about the importance of academic integrity and defining appropriate conduct is key.

Key Predictors:

  • Attitude to cheating
  • Past academic integrity behavior
  • Moral obligation

However, for students already at college or university the two variables on which to focus attention are attitude to cheating and moral obligation. These are areas requiring future research, but inculcating moral obligation could be increased by enrolling students in professional associations and communities of practice which champion academic integrity as their core tenets.

The problem of academic integrity is not yet fully resolved, but there is a light shining out to follow.

Cronan, T. P., Mullins, J. K., & Douglas, D. E. (2018). Further Understanding Factors that Explain Freshman Business Students Academic Integrity Intention and Behavior: Plagiarism and Sharing Homework. J. Bus. Ethics Journal of Business Ethics, 147(1), 197-220.


D2L Quiz Settings

I answered two quick questions on D2L quiz settings today. Posing them here for anyone else who may need….

1: Importing quiz questions to library

  1. In D2L, go to your library.
  2. Click the Import button and choose Browse Existing Questions.
  3. Change the Source Collection to the quiz you would like to import the questions from.
  4. Check the box next to the questions you want to import.
  5. Click Add.
  6. You can repeat this process for other quizzes.
  7. Then click the Done Editing Questions button.

2: Changing Quiz Submission Views

  1. In your quiz, click on Submission Views.
  2. The default view will be what a student will see when the quiz is submitted.
  3. Click on Add Additional View.
  4. Here you can specify a different submission view that will start at a specific date and time.
  5. Type in a Name for the additional submission view.
  6. Change the Date and Time for the view to start.
  7. Under View Details, specify the settings that you want.
  8. When done, click on Save.

How To Record With The Zoom H2


I am loaning out a Zoom H2 to a colleague, and reading the "how to record" instructions here incase I need them in the future:

  • Switch Power to “On.” The LCD screen will switch on, and you will see a red light indicating “Mic Active.”
  • Press the right button twice, until you see that “Surround, 4CH” is activated.
  • Press the record button once, the red light will flash.
  • Press the record button a second time, the Zoom H2 will record.
  • Press the record button when done.
  • Switch the Power to “Off.”

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