A SURVEY OF FACTORS PREDISPOSING ACADEMIC DISHONESTY AMONG UNDERGRADUATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Academic dishonesty, or more commonly known as cheating and plagiarism, has been a constant problem for year’s at all educational levels. Academic dishonesty could be defined as a form of misconduct or cheating that usually takes place among students during examination, exercise or presentation (Reyes, 2006). It could also be regarded as a complex-behavior influenced by multiple-situational, contextual, and individual qualities, has gradually eroded higher-education-system.
Academic-dishonesty is defined as the deliberate behavior or action that interferes with or hinders the pursuit of knowledge and results in misrepresentation of academic-materials, taking credit or recognition for academic-work (including papers, lab-reports, quizzes, examination, etc.) that is not one’s own, or fabricating-data, records or tampering with university-documents (UNESCO, 2003).
According to Baillo, Reyes, and Bautista, (2000) stated that a number of studies have shown evidence of the growing prevalence of academic dishonesty in academic institutions. It is disheartening to note that it all emanates from the context of the community and the school. It is a common image of most institutions of higher learning to aim for academic excellence and to develop character. However, owing to the results of these studies, we can see a different picture (Resurreccion, 2012).
In the Nigeria, there were reports of an increasing percentage of students who have committed at least one act of academic dishonesty (Mohr, Ingram, Fell & Mabey, 2011; Kisamore, Stone & Jawahar, 2007). The cheating, is a part and parcel of academic-integrity, also is a complex-phenomenon that is neither confined to a specific-geographical-hemisphere, nor to any cultural-exclusivity (Chalghaf, 2013). It is also ironically assumed, that “Cheating” is universally-understood and that every-school or university-student knows what “cheating” is. However, it has been shown, that students and faculty differ widely on their-beliefs and perceptions of cheating (Roig & DeTommaso, 2005), so the definition of cheating is worthy of additional reflections. Webster’s New World Dictionary (2004), for example, defines cheating as “being dishonest or deceitful.” Cheating is defined by Teixeira and Rocha (2010) as “acts which cover areas identified as illegal, unethical, immoral or that go against the rules, either in the course or in the universities” and they also stated, that countries, where cheating is most-prevalent, are highly-corrupt-countries
Academic dishonesty and misconduct, as a research subject, has gained much attention since the early part of the twentieth century (Hulsart & McCarthy, 2009). These studies have determined the possible long-term effects of academic dishonesty on the students and the school. They speculated that cheating and plagiarism will more likely result to unethical behavior in the place of work (Mohr, Ingram, Fell & Mabey, 2011).
It is also assumed that if a higher education institution (HEI) shall be identified for poor academic integrity, the communityand other stakeholders will tend to lose trust on the degrees conferred on graduates and on the capability and moral character of the graduates themselves (Resurreccion, 2012). Meanwhile, a number of studies on academic dishonesty had focused on business schools. It isto be noted that business students in the Nigeria. were commonly more unethical in their behavior than nonbusiness majors (Smyth & Davis, 2004). The question now is, Are these findings true to Filipino teacher education students as well? For the past decades, Filipino scholars have conducted studies on academic integrity which mostly revolved around cheating on assignments and examinations, more than half of which involved students in the elementary and secondary levels (Mocorro, 2008; Baillo, 2000; Reyes, 1998; Koo, 1990; Binuya, 1988; Abrantes, 1984; Bautista, 1980).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The federal government of Nigeria has put in lots of efforts to shape the educational sector especially the tertiary institution in Nigeria in terms of good lecture delivery and proper conduct between lecturers and students before and during examination or class exercise. One of the major factors affecting most tertiary institutions is the issue of academic dishonesty. The level of academic dishonesty maybe as a result of over expectant from parent or sponsor of most of the undergraduate students in Nigeria; it could be as a result of low self-esteem and peer group. It may also be as a result of fear of having extra- year. Secondly there have been studies on academic dishonesty but not even a single study has been carried out on a survey of factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma; hence a need for the study.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to determine the factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate in AAU Ekpoma. Other specific objectives of the study are:
1. to ascertain the level of academic dishonesty among undergduates in AAU, Ekpoma
2. to determine the causes of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma
3. to examine whether teachers’ quality affects the level academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma
4. to determine the effect of poor reading habits on students’ academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma
5. to examine whether fear of failure predispose academic dishonesty among AAU students
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to answer the above objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:
1. What is the level of academic dishonesty among undergduates in AAU, Ekpoma?
2. What are the causes of academic dishonesty among undergraduates in AAU, Ekpoma?
3. Does teachers’ quality affect the level academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma?
4. What is the effect of poor reading habits on students’ academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma?
5. Does fear of failure predispose academic dishonesty among AAU students?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: the level of academic dishonesty among undergduates in AAU, Ekpoma is low
H1: the level of academic dishonesty among undergduates in AAU, Ekpoma is high
H0: poor reading habits has no significant effect on students’ academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma
H0: poor reading habits has significant effect on students’ academic dishonesty in AAU, Ekpoma
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on a survey of factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate will be of immense benefit to the entire undergraduates in AAU Ekpoma in the sense that the study will discuss on academic dishonesty, the study will educate the students on causes of academic dishonesty and how to prevent it. The study will also serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on a survey of factors predisposing academic dishonesty among undergraduate will focus on 400 level final year students of AAU, Ekpoma. The study will cover on academic dishonesty, the factors responsible for academic dishonesty and the preventive measure to be adopted.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
AAU: Ambrose Alli University
Dishonesty: deceitfulness shown in most undergraduates’ character or behavior in AAU, Ekpoma
Academic dishonesty: Academic dishonesty or academic misconduct is any type of cheating that occurs in relation to a formal academic exercise in AAU, Ekpoma.