“Is it cheating if you don’t get caught?”; The learning experience through cheating and the moral development of college students

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It has been argued (Callahan, 2004) that institutions of higher education have an inherent responsibility to assist in the moral education of the nation’s youth. One way that institutions implement moral education for enrolled students is through the academic integrity policy and process; thus it is imperative to understand how universities can effectively approach teaching academic integrity. This study will explore academic dishonesty amongst college students from a developmental perspective by analyzing how students understand the experience of academic dishonesty and how they experience growth as an outcome of the incident.
Six undergraduate students’ who had been involved in an academic integrity incident were asked to participate in a two-phase process. Participants were surveyed using the Ethics Position Questionnaire (Forsyth, 1980) to measure the individual differences in moral thought, then interviewed to explore their perceptions on academic integrity.

Academic Integrity, College Students, Moral Development