Staff and student perceptions of plagiarism and cheating

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Cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct are a significant issue in higher education. In this study the attitudes of academic staff and students in a 3 year undergraduate nursing program to various forms of academic misconduct were assessed and compared. Forty nine percent of staff and 39% of students thought that cheating on assessment tasks was common with 'copying a few paragraphs and not citing the source' the most common form. Differences existed in beliefs about why cheating occurred with staff endorsing the view that students lacked an understanding of the rules. Students on the other hand felt that wanting a better grade and having too many assessment items were strong motivators for cheating. Students also tended to favored 'lighter sentences' (e.g. warnings, resubmission) as penalties for plagiarism. This study has shown that while staff and students have similar overall perceptions about cheating and plagiarism there are areas where the differences in perception may be contributing to mixed messages about the seriousness of various cheating behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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