An Examination of How Selected Colleges and Universities Promote Student Academic Integrity

Bush, David K. , Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Gibbs, Annette, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Kellams, Samuel, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Ball, Donald W., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Mathewes, Charles, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

The purpose of this study was to examine how member colleges and universities of the Center for Academic Integrity promote student academic integrity. A modified version of Kibler's (1994) academic integrity survey was sent to the primary contact of the 188 institutions located in the 50 states and District of Columbia. The 53-item survey gathered data on institutional characteristics and seven areas of intervention: promotion of academic integrity, communication strategies, honor code, training strategies, faculty assistance, disciplinary policies, and disciplinary sanctions.

Survey results indicated that respondents utilized an array of interventions to promote academic integrity. Publication of academic integrity policies and procedures for handling alleged violators in handbooks, discussions during new student and new faculty orientation, and the engagement of faculty and students in developing and enforcing academic integrity standards were customary interventions. Efforts to assess intervention strategies and the use of an honor code were reported by nearly half of the respondents. Conversely, among the less popular strategies were the incorporation of academic integrity in training programs, the provision of a class on academic integrity for students, the availability of an exam proctoring service, and the acceptance of anonymous reports of dishonesty.

A Chi-square analysis of survey items, by institutional characteristics, revealed that institutional type (public or private) had 14 items and institutional setting (urban, suburban, or rural) had 4 items that were significant at the .05 level. These items represented six of the seven intervention areas specified in the model. This finding revealed that colleges and universities have taken an institution-specific response to academic dishonesty. Each item is examined and presented.

Although the effectiveness of the intervention strategies discussed in this study was not assessed, college and university faculty and administrators can benefit from this update and expansion of Kibler's earlier research. Whereas much of the literature on academic dishonesty has focused on the nature and extent of the problem, institutions and scholars may use these findings to formulate interventions and guide future research. Pivotal to the successful defeat of this problem is gaining an understanding of what combination of interventions promote academic integrity on a particular campus.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
education foundation and policy
Issued Date: