Undergraduate Student Perceptions of Academic Misconduct in the Business Classroom

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Andrew Flostrand, Beedie School of Business

Project team: Sarah Lord Ferguson, research assistant

Timeframe: March to September 2018

Funding: $6000

Courses addressed:

  • BUEC 232 – Data and Decisions I
  • BUS 200 – Business Fundamentals
  • BUS 336 – Data and Decisions II

Final report: View Andrew Flostrand's final report (PDF)

Description: The goals of the research project will be to:

1. Identify opinions of the aggregate pool of Beedie Undergraduate program students regarding what activities they believe constitute academic dishonesty.

2.  Determine the students’ prioritization of the above activities in terms of severity.

3. Obtain estimates of the amount of such acts of academic dishonesty that are currently occurring in the Beedie Undergraduate program, (e.g., percentage of students who are doing it, what activities are most common, what type and scale of impact dishonesty is having on ‘honest’ students, if any).

4.  Gain student input as to the activities and measures that they feel the University should exercise to address and/or prevent acts of academic dishonesty.

Questions addressed:

  • What do business professors and instructors view as the most common and most unethical examples of academic dishonesty?
  • What reasoning leads to students engaging in dishonest behaviour?
  • What are some forms of academic dishonesty students are aware of? What do students view as the most common?
  • What are undergraduate business student’s attitudes towards academic dishonesty? Specifically, how do students rate various scenarios illustrating academic dishonesty on a scale from ethical to unethical.
  • What do students view as the most important activities that the University should engage in to address academic dishonesty?
  • Are students aware of SFU’s policy on academic integrity?

Knowledge sharing: Findings were discussed informally with colleagues and PhD students in the department. The results of the study will be written into an academic paper and submitted to a journal. We will target a business education journal. We would also like to present it at a conference if one of the collaborators is able to attend one in the next year.

Keywords: Academic dishonesty; academic integrity; cheating; business students; student ethics; ethics