Academic Dishonesty Among Pharmacy Students
Keywords:Academic dishonesty, Students, Pharmacy education, Royal pharmaceutical society
In previous studies, academic dishonesty was found to be common among pharmacy students. The aim of this investigation was to find the reasons for dishonest behaviour among pharmacy students. Twelve semi- structured interviews were carried out with first and fourth year pharmacy students, chosen to represent a broad spectrum of views about academic dishonesty. Five principle themes were identified as the motivations for student academic dishonesty: institutional environment, study skills, assessment employed, personal qualities and course specific factors.
The results show that the motivational themes for dishonesty varied between the first year students and the fourth year students. The first year students interviewed, when compared to the fourth year students, were generally more uncertain about the definition of academic dishonestly, and consequently the behaviours associated with it. The first year students also appeared to possess poorer study skills and complained that the university failed to provide enough academic support.
In contrast, the fourth year students interviewed were more sophisticated in their approach to academic dishonesty. They frequently mentioned pressure and stress as motivational factors leading some students to resort to dishonest behaviours. They were also more aware of the opportunities to engage in dishonest academic behaviour than first year students and generally believed engaging in dishonest behaviour was an institutional culture.
All the students interviewed stated that engaging in dishonest behaviour could be motivated by peer pressure, fulfilling their social and esteem needs. Dishonest behaviour could be a way to increase social acceptance and to fit into a group. Students from both years were found to be goal orientated with poor study skills appearing to motivate dishonest behaviour.
Aggarwal, R., Bates, I., Davies, J.G. and Khan, I. (2002) “A study of academic dishonesty among student at two pharmacy schools”, The Pharmaceutical Journal 269, 529–533.
Anderman, E.M., Griesinger, T. and Westerfield, G. (1998) “Motivation and cheating during early adolescence”, Journal of Educational Psychology 90(1), 84–93.
Ashworth, P., Bannister, P. and Thorne, P. with student on the Qualitative Research Methods Course Unit (1997) “Guilty in whose eyes? University students’ perceptions of cheating and plagiarism in academic work and assessment”, Studies in Higher Education 22(2), 187–203.
Bjorklund, M. and Wenestam, C.G. (1999) Academic cheating: frequency, methods and causes. The European Conference onEducational Research, Lahti, Finland 22–25 (From Education-Line).
Brown, B. and Emmett, D. (2001) “Explaining variations in the level of academic dishonesty in studies of college students; some new evidence”, College Student Journal, 529–537.
Caruana, A., Ramaseshan, B. and Ewing, M.E. (2000) “The effect of anomie on academic dishonesty among university students”, The International Journal of Educational Management 14/1, 23 – 30. DeVoss, D. and Rosati, A.C. (2002) “It wasn’t me, was it? Plagiarism and the web”, Computers and Composition 19,
Evans, E.D. and Craig, D. (1990) “Teacher and student perceptions of academic cheating in middle and senior high schools”, Journal of Educational Research 84(1), 44–52.
Franklyn-Stokes, A. and Newstead, S.E. (1995) “Undergraduate cheating: who does what and why”, Studies in Higher Education 20(2), 159–172.
Hetherington, E.M. and Feldman, S.E. (1964) “College cheating as a function of subject and situational variables”, Journal of Educational Psychology 55(4), 212–218.
McCabe, D.L. and Trevino, L.K. (1996) “What we know about cheating in college”, Change 28(1), 28–33.
Morris, C.G. (1982) Psychology: An Introduction, 4th Ed. (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs), p 280.
Murdock, T.B., Hale, N.M. and Weber, M.J. (2001) “Predictors of cheating among early adolescents: academic and social motivations”, Contemporary Educational Psychology 26, 96 – 115. Newstead, S.E., Franklyn-Stokes, A. and Armstead, P. (1996) “Individual differences in student cheating”, Journal of Educational Psychology 88, 229–241.
Nonis, S. and Swift, C.O. (2001) “An examination of the relationship between academic dishonesty and workplace dishonesty: a multicampus investigation”, Journal of Education for business 77.2, 69–77.
Norton, L.S., Tilley, A.J., Newstead, S.E. and Franklyn-Stokes, A. (2001) “The pressures of assessment in undergraduate courses and their effect on student behaviours”, Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 26(3), 269–284.
Roig, M. and DeTommaso, L. (1995) “Are college cheating and plagiarism related to academic procrastination”, Psychological Reports 77, 691–698.
Singhal, A.C. (1982) “Factors in students’ dishonesty”, Psycho- logical Reports 51, 775–780.
Storch, E.A. and Storch, J.B. (2002) “Fraternities, sororities, and academic dishonesty”, College Student Journal 3, 247–251.
Thorpe, M.F., Pittenger, D.J. and Reed, B.D. (1999) “Cheating the researcher: a study of relation between personality measures and self-reported cheating (statistical data included)”, College Student Journal 33(1), 49, see also, 1–10.