Research Question: What factors have lead to the growth of academic dishonesty in higher education from the 1940s to the present and how have the methods in which academic dishonesty is employed changed? More specifically, how has academic dishonesty changed throughout the years at Trinity College, both quantitatively and qualitatively?
Relevance: To most educators, the essential element to the success of their mission is academic integrity. It can be said that higher education as well as society will benefit from standards of integrity that pave the way for vibrant academic life, promote scientific progress, and prepare students for responsible citizenship. Despite efforts to maintain this academic integrity within such institutions, academic dishonesty is a major concern associated with many levels of education, especially in higher-level institutions such as colleges and universities. Academic dishonesty consists of any deliberate attempt to falsify, fabricate, or tamper with information or any other material that is relevant to the student’s participation in any academic function. Although there are many different ways in which students partake in being academically dishonest, with the invention of new technologies such as the Internet and cell phones it has become increasingly easier for students to obtain information and wrongly declare it as their own.
Research Strategy: After I had read the email sent out on Monday night from the dean of students about the summary of academic and non-academic judicial cases resolved by the Honor Council or administrative panels for the academic year 2011-present date, I decided to change my research topic to be about academic dishonesty. I read through the nine cases and realized the different ways in which academic integrity had been violated, including directly copying another student’s work, plagiarizing from internet sources, and receiving information for an exam via text from a teacher’s assistant. From here I began my research on academic dishonesty in colleges and universities about why it has increased and in what ways has it changed over the years. I first went to Google scholar and typed in phrases such as “Academic dishonesty in higher education,” “Plagiarism in colleges and universities,” “Academic Integrity,” and “Academic dishonesty and the internet/technology.” I also went to the Trinity College Library homepage, went to Trinity Online Resources (TOR) and looked under Educational Studies and searched some of the same phrases. Although I have not done this yet, I want to look for sources within the Trinity College Library that contain cases and records of academic dishonesty that have occurred beginning in the 1940s to present day. I want to do this in order to be able to detect whether there were any significant changes in the number of reported cases throughout the years as well as determine if the ways in which students cheated or plagiarized have changed overtime.
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