Two Sides of the Coin: Lack of Academic Integrity in Exams During the Corona Pandemic, Students’ and Lecturers’ Perceptions

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The Bottom Line

This study indicates that instructors and students often have different perceptions on academic integrity and why students engage in cheating.

Research Summary

This study considered the perceptions of students and instructors on academic integrity in the context of Israel. The authors surveyed 81 students and 50 instructors. In general, instructors believed that the transition to online teaching had a stronger negative effect on academic integrity compared to those of students. The instructors believed that students cheat because it's easy for them to do so in online exams, whereas the students reported that they cheat because of their learning difficulties in the online setting. In their sample, 59% of the students self-reported that they had engaged in some type of academic dishonesty, which is inconsistent with students' perceptions that academic integrity was not a significant problem.

Interestingly, the study found a lack of mutual trust between students and instructors during the move to online education. This finding should be a major cause for concern in higher education. The difference between instructor and student perceptions on trust should be reconciled in order to facilitate a more supportive learning and teaching environment.  

Key Takeaways

1. Instructors and Students Have Very Different Perceptions on Academic Integrity

This finding is consistent with other research on faculty and student perceptions. Institutions of higher education need to put more emphasis on building greater understanding between students and instructors.

2. Lack of Mutual Trust Between Instructors and Students

Academic institutions need to ensure a supportive learning and teaching environment. This will be difficult if students and instructors don't trust each other.

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