Academic integrity and community ties at a small, religious-affiliated liberal arts college

Michael Bath, Peter Hovde, Erik George, Kacie Schulz, Elise Larson, Eirik Brunvatne

Abstract


While the increased incidence of academic integrity violations in university classrooms has been well documented over the past several decades, inconsistent attention has been given to small liberal arts colleges in terms of both cheating practices and attitudes towards cheating. This study aims to address this disparity by focusing on academic integrity at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota; a small undergraduate institution with a strong church affiliation. We hypothesise that institutional practices and the small-college culture that are unique to smaller colleges like Concordia act to limit the incidence of academic integrity violations. Our case study makes use of data collected from two student surveys - one conducted in 2008, and a follow-up survey conducted in 2010. Variables representing a range of internal and external factors that contribute to cheating were incorporated into a regression model designed to measure the impact of contextual influences that are potentially unique to students at a small, church-affiliated liberal arts college. Given our findings, we conclude that the college would be wise to consider adopting a traditional honour code system.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/IJEI.v10i2.1005