The ethical dissonance in digital and non-digital learning environments: Does technology promotes cheating among middle school students?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores the rapidly-expanding phenomenon of technology-based academic dishonesty (AD). One hundred and twenty seven 7th graders received scenarios of AD, based on Pavela's (1997) framework of AD types (i.e. cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, and facilitation), in digital and non-digital settings. Participants reported on the pervasiveness of AD types in their class and on the perception of their legitimacy. The “Ethical Dissonance Index” (EDI) is calculated as the difference between the pervasiveness and the legitimacy of AD types. The ethical dissonance that learners experience when conducting academic dishonesty behaviors is expressed by the consistent findings, that the pervasiveness of all dishonesty types was significantly higher than the perception of their legitimacy. These findings indicate that students conduct AD despite its perception as unethical. In the digital setting, plagiarism is the most common type of AD, perceived as the most legitimate, and characterized by the greatest EDI. In the non-digital setting, cheating and fabrication are the most common types of AD, perceived as the most legitimate, and characterized by the greatest EDI. Educational implications and suggestions for further research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Academic integrity
  • Cheating
  • Data fabrication
  • Digital academic dishonesty
  • Ethical dissonance
  • Facilitation of academic dishonesty
  • Plagiarism
  • School students

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The ethical dissonance in digital and non-digital learning environments: Does technology promotes cheating among middle school students?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this