Ethics and Faculty Members’ Perceptions in Online Learning Environments



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Ethics and Faculty Members’ Perceptions in


Online Learning Environments:

Definitions and Reviews



Introduction

The focus of this article is to explore the literature about ethical issues in the era of modern technology. In particular, the discussion will focus on faculty members’ personal ethics in curbing academic misconduct (AM) in the context of online learning systems (OLSs). Literature discusses numerous perspectives of ethics such as personal ethics, professional ethics, and computer ethics (copy rights, privacy, property rights in computer software, ethics and the Internet, as well as accountability of information). Traditionally, classical ethical philosophies refer to a number of ethical theories such as relativism, utilitarianism, deontology, rights and social contract as well as virtue (Johnson, 2001). However, classical philosophical ethics and computer ethics appear either too vague or not applicable in the case of faculty members. Thus, the focus of the following discussion is to review literature pertaining to personal ethics, professional ethics, and ethics in higher education.



Background

Throughout this article numerous pertinent definitions about personal and professional ethics will be introduced. Ethics notions affect our decision making and behaviors in everyday life. In the case of faculty members teaching experience and personal ethics are both related to decisions and behaviors that in turn aid in curbing AM (Pincus, 1995; Kibler, 1994). Thus, faculty members’ teaching experience impacts their personal ethics, and the manner in which they utilize OLSs. Therefore, a short discussion about teaching experience will be presented.


Definitions of Ethics in the Technology Age


Ethics is defined in the Webster dictionary as “the philosophical analysis of human morality and conduct that are established by society” (Webster, 2005). Various scholars have updated Webster’s definition of ethics by adding elements that relate to current challenges in the information and technology age (Johnson, 2001). Thus, the use of ISs has given rise to ethical concerns. Johnson (2001), a scholar in the subject of computer ethics maintains that “new technologies seem to pose ethical issues when they create new possibilities for human action, both individual action and institutional action” (Johnson, p. 7). Johnson explained that ethical decisions are based on universal principles of rights and wrong as well as situational factions in which decisions are invoked. Kirman’s (1992) view concur with Johnson’s by stating that indeed modern technology has brought about challenges to personal and social ethics.

Professional Ethics


Bommer, Gratto, Gravander and Tuttle (1987) investigated various determinants of ethical and unethical decision making within organizations. They pointed out the thin availability of relevant empirical research about professional ethics. Instead, there are various case studies that describe specific ethical challenges and their resolution. Thus, Bommer et al. maintain that these case studies cannot be used to generalize or construct a model. In defining professional ethics, Bommer et al., breaks the term into two parts, namely, professional and ethics. Professional is defined as “institutionalized professional” (Bommer et al., p. 270) in the sense of either belonging to a professional association or adhering to a licensing procedure. In contrast, professional in this case does not mean a person who tries to bring “high ethical standards to their decisions….[similarly to] personal values” (Bommer et al., p. 270), as in individual ethics. As such, the licensing requirement not only separates the licensed from the non-licensed, the licensing or rather the potential loss of licensing serves as “a powerful deterrent to unethical behavior” (Bommer et al., p. 270). Aside from the licensing issues, professional associations regulate the profession by requiring that all members to graduate from an accredited programs. Accredited programs require graduates to take “significant course work related to ethical consideration, social and political influences“(Bommer et al., p. 271). Therefore, by ensuring that graduate become exposed to ethics education, professional associations ensure that professionals become aware of crucial ethics issues. For example, AACSB (American Assembly of Collegiate School of Business) mandates that business schools require its business graduates to complete substantial ethics courses. Thus, ethics is deemed so crucial that professional associations ensure that professionals maintain ethics education.

Another aspect of professional associations according to Bommer et al., (1987) is compliance with code of conduct. Professional associations have formal and published standards of professional conduct that members must adhere to. In some cases, where professional associations are not prevailing, still the professionals are upheld to a distinct self image and social standing as members of the professional association. Therefore, code of conduct is an instrument which guides professionals about ethical behavior.

Bommer et al. assert that “professionals exhibit considerable interest in complying with the ethical standards established by their codes” (Bommer et al., p. 270). Ethics issues as well as code of conduct are formally discussed in professional associations meetings and professional journals. In this respect, professionals remain aware of current ethical issues and fortify compliance to ethics codes in their daily decision making.

In some cases, maintain Bommer et al., (1987) professionals can face conflicting directions among personal ethics, professional code of conduct, and corporate policies in the workplace. Analysis of case studies in the literature points out that the ethics direction applied depends on the context of the case. For example, when one is accused on unethical behavior on the job, one “will say such things as I am not that type of a person…I just thought that this was the way one was supposed to act in this business” (Bommer et al., p. 268). Such statements suggest that work related corporate policies were the guiding direction fro the unethical behavior. Regardless of what ethics direction is applied Bommer et al., argue that “all of them…are appropriate to the job context” (Bommer et al., p. 268) and that most of all professional behavior should reflect universal ethics values. A point that was further supported by Casey (1990) by stating that ethical behavior is independent of context and that a person with good ethical values will behave ethically in all situations. On the other hand, critics believe that “traditional wisdom has been challenged” (Bommer et al., p. 268) where certain business situations do not lend themselves to these ethical values. In contrast to corporate organizations, academic institutions are viewed as ethically innate. According to McCabe and Pavela (2004) academic institutions “recognize and affirm [ethics in the form of] academic integrity as a core institutional value…and faculty member play an important role in protecting academic integrity” (McCabe & Pavela, p. 12). Based on McCabe and Pavela’s statement, academic institutions appear to be organizations where ethics reign. Academic institutions use honor codes as a guide for both “students and faculty members in promoting academic integrity and high ethical standards” (McCabe & Pavela, p. 13). Thus, professional ethics appear to have a lesser role in this context, where personal ethics of faculty members play a significant role in their quest to instill ethics (in the form of academic integrity). As academic institutions and their faculty members focus on the “commitment to honesty in the pursuit of truth…values and virtues” (Pavels, 1997), they invoke their personal values in promoting this mission. McCabe and Pavela stated explicitly that faculty members are given the role of “guiding and protecting academic integrity…and transforming the ethical climate of our schools” (McCabe & Pavela, p. 13). Finally, McCabe and Pavela recommend that faculty members deter AM by employing creative means of student assessment, interacting with students, discussing AM policies and expectations, as well as pursue incidents of misconduct according to the academic institutions policies.

The effect of code of conduct on professional behavior in the workplace has received some attention in the literature. Crown and Spiller (1998) provided a meticulous review of the literature about the role of situational factions in affecting AM. Of the factors investigated, code of conduct is described where they reported that code of conduct did not affect ethical behavior. However, code of conduct became effective when it was accompanied by additional factors such as severity of the behavior, existence of severe sanctions and extent of communication of the codes. Crown and Spiller suggested that each of these factors in it of itself provided little effect in curbing unethical behavior, but when combined together, provided a substantial impact on unethical behavior.

Harrington (1996) investigated the effect of ethics code on unethical behaviors and intentions in IS organizations. In her study, Harrington explores general ethics codes as well as IS ethics codes. According to Harrington, codes of ethics are created to “clarify responsibility and deter unethical behavior” (Harrington, p. 257). Furthermore, codes of ethics are “written statement of ethics, laws or policy that defines standards…values and norms (Harrington, p. 257). Codes can impact individuals’ decisions thus far, models of ethical decision making that predict ethical/unethical behavior have not been validated in the literature. Instead, empirical studies focus on ethical attitudes. Harrington noted several contributions of codes of ethics. First, existence of codes motivates awareness about ethical challenges. Second, codes explicitly state acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, thereby codes of ethics yield external motivating factors. Such external factors were demonstrated by Salter et al. (2001) to guide ethical decision making as well as influence the likelihood of engaging in misconduct. Similarly, asserts Harrington, codes of conduct induce individuals to comply with their “judgments, to place the value of doing right above other values, and to establish ethical intentions for behavior” (Harrington, p. 259). In her work, Harrington implies that codes of conduct point to personal ethics and that personal ethics does affect ethical behavior. None the less, Harrington believes that codes of conduct hold a special value in aiding to reinforce one’s personal ethics.

Harrington’s study (1996) demonstrated that generally institutional’ codes of ethics did not affect computer abuse judgment and intention to abuse ISs. However, explicit IS codes did impact individuals’ judgment for computer abuse and intention to behave with the exception of individuals with high responsibility denial. Such individuals were not influenced by any of the codes. Nonetheless, Harrington concluded that institutional “codes of ethics seem to have some effect, albeit a small one” (Harrington, p. 272). Harrington’s study provides further motivation to explore personal codes instead of institutional codes of ethics in the context of ISs.

Of the available studies about professional ethics behaviors, Tabachnick, Spiegel, and Pope (1991) published a comprehensive study about the ethical beliefs and behaviors of psychologist educators. 482 participants were asked to indicate the degree of their engagement in 63 teaching behaviors, as well as judge the behaviors as ethical or unethical. Also, demographic information was collected. Both measurements used a five Likert style scale. Results indicated that more than half of the responded were females, and more than one half of the respondents ranged in the age of 35-50. About two thirds of the respondents held tenured teaching posts. Of the 63 behaviors, 4 behaviors that related to sex, correlated with the gender type where males reported significantly higher than females their engagement in such behaviors. Age correlated with two particular behaviors of using profanity in class and illegal drugs where participants older than 50 were least likely to engage in these two behaviors compared with other age groups.

Other findings about the teaching behaviors, includes participants reporting 11 behaviors in which they have not engaged but were ethical and 53 behaviors (rated either ethical or unethical) in which they did engage. One behavior referring to teaching under the influence of alcohol was reported equally by the number of participants who engaged in the behavior but rated it unethical and the number of participants who engaged in the behavior but rated it as ethical. Thus, Tabachnick et al. (1991) believe that the results show correlation between the belief about a behavior being ethical and the frequency of engaging in the behavior. However, the sample used in Tabachnick et al.’s study involved exclusively APA members. Therefore, further empirical studies are necessary to affirm the conclusions from this study. Although the APA organization does have a code of ethics, the code is general and does not refer to specific behaviors in academic setting. Also, the 63 teaching behaviors included a variety of behaviors, some of which are general such as teaching without adequate preparation and teaching material without mastering it. Tough less than 4% reported engaging in these two behaviors. Tabachnick et al. argues that some of the behaviors reported may results from universal circumstances such as departmental requirements. On a positive note, nearly half reported teaching ethics often, which suggests the need to further assess the topics taught and teaching strategies. Some behaviors were reported as never or rare, including sexual harassment, teaching that some races are inferior, teaching that homosexuality is pathological, providing false information about a student in a recommendation letter and accepting rebates for adopting a text book. As such, these behaviors may play a smaller significance in future studies investigating teaching practices.

Tabachnick et al.’s study (1991) identified few controversial items in which responses about ethical judgment varied across the spectrum. These items relate to sexual thoughts and behavior context. Tabachnick et al.’s study tests a broad range of professional behaviors among psychologist educators. However, thus far, literature has given little attention to investigating faculty members’ personal ethics and its impact on the perceived severity of AM. Instead, prior literature has studied faculty members’ judgment of what behaviors consist of misconduct as well as the frequency of observing such behaviors. Although professional ethics is a valid concern to be assessed, there is little literature available about personal ethics in academic institutions. Thus, future studies should assess the impact of personal ethics on AM in online learning environments.


Personal Ethics:


Unlike professional ethics, personal ethics has received limited attention in the literature. This section will discuss several definitions and taxonomy to measure personal ethics, beginning with the definition provided by Forsyth (1980). Forsyth’s definition has been extended to include two dimensions of relativism and idealism as well as taxonomy of four approaches situationlism, subjectivism, absolutism and exceptionism. In addition, Forsyth developed an instrument that aids in classifying individuals into the four taxonomy categories.

Forsyth and colleagues studied the influence of personal ethics on business decisions in organizations (Schlenker & Forsyth, 1977; Forsyth, 1980; Forsyth, 1992). Forsyth’s approach asserts that personal ethics comprise of ethical beliefs, attitudes and moral ideologies. In addition, Forsyth (1980) defined personal ethics based on two dimensions: relativism and idealism. He noted that “individual variations in approaches to moral [ethical] judgment may be described most parsimoniously by taking into account two basic factors…relativism… and idealism...” (Forsyth, 1980, p. 175).

Relativism refers to “the extent to which the individual rejects universal moral [ethical] rules” (Forsyth, 1980, p. 175). In addition, he suggested that relativism refers to the “nature of the situation [where] circumstances weigh more than the ethical principle” (Forsyth, 1992, p. 462). Idealism refers to the extent that “some individuals idealistically assume that desirable consequences can, with the ‘right’ action, always be obtained” (Forsyth, 1980, p. 176). In addition, he suggested that “highly idealistic individuals feel that harming others is always avoidable, and they [highly idealistic individuals] would rather not choose between the lesser of two evils…[and avoid] negative consequences for other people” (Forsyth, 1992, p. 462). Forsyth dichotomized and crossed these two dimensions with high and low ranges to yield a 2 by 2 taxonomy of personal ethics presented in Figure 5. Based on this classification, Forsyth (1980) proposed four-quadrants of the personal ethics taxonomy, which comprises of: 1) situationist, 2) subjectivists, 3) absolutists, and 4) exceptionists. Forsyth’s taxonomy of personal ethics is presented in Figure 1.









Relativism







High

Low

Idealism

High

Situationists
Reject ethical rules; ask if the action yielded the best possible outcome in the given situation.

Absolutists
Assumes that the best possible outcome can always be achieved by following universal ethical rules.

Low

Subjectivists
Reject ethical rules; base ethical judgments on personal feelings about the action and the setting.

Exceptionists
Feel confirmatory to ethical rules in desirable, but exceptions to these rules are often permissible.

Figure 1: Forsyth (1980; 1992)’s Taxonomy of Personal Ethics

Situationism depicts both high relativism and high idealism combination. In this quadrant, individuals “reject [ethical] rules, and ask if the action yielded the best possible outcome in the given situation” (Forsyth, 1992, p. 462). The situationism quadrant is similar to the utilitarian ideology that “one must act in ways that will generate the greatest good for the greatest number of people” (Forsyth, p. 463). The subjectivism quadrant depicts high relativism, low idealism combination. Subjectivists’ individuals “reject [ethical] rules and base [ethical] judgment on personal feelings about the action and the settings” (Forsyth, p. 462). In this regard, subjectivists are deemed parallel to egoistic ideologies. Therefore, subjectivists individuals “should act to promote their own self interest rather than focus on producing positive outcomes for others in general” (Forsyth, p. 463). Thus for subjectivist ethical approach, consequences are the central motivating factor in ethical decisions (Forsyth). Unlike situationism, subjectivist decisions are centralized around oneself rather than a positive outcome for others. Absolutism is the third quadrant in which relativism is low and idealism is high. Absolutism individuals elect actions that “produce positive consequence, but…adhere to general [ethical] principles... they condemn certain actions, [which] harm people or violate fundental moral absolutes” (Forsyth, p. 463). Forsyth maintained that absolutism individuals are associated with deontology philosophy. Furthermore, Forsyth asserted that according to Immanuel Ken, a deontologist, “one must make certain that all actions adhere to categorical imperative: exceptionless universal moral [ethical] principles that can be derived through reason rather than empirical evaluation” (Forsyth, p. 463). Thus, for absolutists moral absolutes appear to be the motivation in ethical decisions making. The fourth quadrant is exceptionism in which relativism and idealism are both low. Exceptionist individuals believe in ethical absolutes but are not idealist. They do not focus on actions that avoid harming others; rather, their actions follow ethical ideologies. Exceptionist individuals also fit the position of situationists because they believe in “balancing the positive consequence of an action against the negative consequences of an action” (Forsyth, p. 463). Therefore, exceptionist individuals align with those ethical ideologies that provide good consequences for all the stakeholders but do accommodate exceptions. These four personal ethics quadrants appear to provide a solid classification of ethical behaviors based on the individual’s ethical system, however, may vary across different situations (Forsyth).

Several other scholars worth noting have also explored personal ethics. Kirman’s (1992) definition of personal ethics refers to personal principles such as “love, kindness and respect for human dignity…in the exercise of power” (Kirman, p. 5). These personal principles “form the ethics of personal conduct” (Kirman, p. 6). Kirman asserted that the rise of modern technology holds the inherent potential to achieve negative ends (i.e. the use of technology to engage in AM). Appropriately, states Kirman, “technology has given us new choices and provided us with moral dilemma” (Kirman, p. 5). Consequently, personal ethics serves to guide individuals in power (i.e. faculty members) to act responsibly as well as assess the impact of their actions on others. Personal principles support personal ethics by which individuals hold “respect for authority, perseverance, cooperation, loyalty, and obedience” (Kirman, p. 4). Kirman credited his approach to three prominent scholars, Mayerhoff (1971), Gilligan (1982) and Leiss (1990) who have developed the basis for the definition of personal values.

Deducing from Kirman’s approach (1992) about personal ethics, faculty members’ actions can impact the academic integrity disposition in their course as well as their students’ ethical behavior. In further support, faculty members “must be able to confront the social impact of their actions by examining how their decisions can affect others” (Kirman, p. 5). Here, Kirman refers to the impact of ethics on the severity of AM beyond the academic setting, and as far as ethics in the workplace. Extending upon Kirman’s ideology, the manner in which faculty members curb AM is determined by their personal ethics and more specifically, their personal values (1992). Personal ethics, argued Kirman, are not sufficient, unless they are “applied in accord with human principles…rules of conduct, whatever they may be, are not sufficient to produce good results unless the ends sought are good” (Kirman, p.5). Kirman emphasizes that ethics is a combination of personal values, professional ethics and universal principles of doing good. Thus, personal ethics is not enough in it of itself. Rather, given a particular context, personal ethics triggers the adoption or rejection of professional ethics, resulting in an ethical behavior. Inferring from Kirman’s views, faculty members’ ethics (i.e. personal values, professional code of conduct, universal ethics principles) impact their ability to curb AM. Kirman offers a practical perspective by suggesting the faculty members explicitly discuss with learners the “ethical guidelines for scientific research and why these guidelines were developed” (Kirman, p. 13). Kirman concludes by articulating that personal values play the basis for personal ethics that enable individuals to use modern technology to achieve positive ends. Furthermore, ethics is not only relevant to academic integrity in higher learning, ethics is also essential in everyday decisions making in the workplace.

Kreitner and Kinicki (1995) discussed ethics from the perspective of organizational behavior in the workplace. In their work, Kreitner and Kinicki defined ethics as “the study of moral issues and choices…right versus wrong, [and] good versus bad” (Kreitner & Kinicki, p. 99). Thus, in the workplace, individuals are “challenged to have moral imagination and the courage to do the right thing” (Kreitner & Kinicki, p. 99). Kreitner and Kinicki proposed a model of ethical behavior by which the individual makes decisions. Appropriately, each individual has a distinctive blend of personality traits, values, moral principles that enable them to act ethically.



Figure 2: Kreitner and Kinicki (1995)’s Model of ethical behavior in the workplace

Additionally, Kreitner and Kinicki (1995) noted that the individual’s experience with positive and negative reinforcements for their behavior shapes their tendency to behave ethically. Three primary attribute related to cultural, organizational and political influences effect the individual’s ethical behavior. Ethical codes are contained within the organizational influences that act on the individual’s ethical factor. Often times, “perceived pressure for results…set the stage for unethical behavior” (Kreitner & Kinicki, p. 100). Following this model illustrated in figure 2, Kreitner and Kinicki maintained that “ethical and unethical behavior is the results of person- situation interaction...[related] to personal ethics and the organization’s ethical climate”(Kreitner & Kinicki, p. 100). To this end, Kreitner and Kinicki differ from Kirman’s approach (1992) by extending the definition of ethics beyond personal values and code of ethics. The organization’s ethical setting should convey ethical principles based on utilitarian ideology, as well as theories of rights and justice. The utilitarian theory refers to “judging actions by their consequences, and achieving good for the greatest number of people” (Kreitner & Kinicki, p. 101). The theory of rights refers to the respecting basic human rights, and the theory of justice refers to the “administration of rules and rewards…impartially fairly and equitably” (Kreitner & Kinicki, p. 101). Ultimately, Kreitner and Kinicki advocate the role of personal ethics that enable ethical decisions.

Given the various definitions of personal ethics, as well as the important role that faculty personal ethics has in impacting their judgment and behavior, future studies should seek to explore faculty members’ personal ethics in the context of using features of OLSs to curb AM.

Ethics in Higher Education


Ethics has become a top concern in the American marketplace particularly in light of recent well publicized ethical cases (i.e. Enron, Martha Stewart). Ethics concerns have also spilled into the academia realm as scholars find that AM has been on the rise (Bernardi et al., 2004). For example, Kidwell (2001) argues that students “no longer view cheating as morally wrong” (Kidwell, p. 45). What’s more, students’ unethical behavior is passed on to the workplace (Bernardi et al., 2004). In debating how to resolve unethical behavior in academic institutions, Bernardi et al., suggest creating awareness among learners and faculty members by developing ethics curriculum, and adopting honor codes. In fact, honor codes have been found to be an effective instrument in reducing unethical behavior. McCabe and Trevino (1993) reported that honor codes are significantly associated with reduced self reported AM. Also reported, that AM is associated with perception of peers’ behavior, resulting in a normative behavior for misconduct. Thus, McCabe and Trevino’s findings suggest that honor codes are an effective tool to enforcing ethical guidelines and deterring AM. In explaining their results, McCabe and Trevino adopt Kohlberg’s theory of “just communities”. Honor codes, they asserted, help academic institutions become “just communities…where students participate in the development of a social contract that defines [ethics in the form of] norms, values and members’ rights and responsibilities” (McCabe & Trevino, p. 531). Thus, honor codes can help academic institutions instill ethical awareness as well as encourage ethical behavior among its members.

McCabe and Pavela (2004) conquer with other scholars about the importance of ethics. They argued that ethics standards in the form of institutional honor codes can be an effective tool in curbing AM. The same prospect was held by other scholars including Kidwell, Wozniak and Laurel (2003) as well as Jendrek (1989) for curbing AM. McCabe and Pavela appeal to individuals with idealism ethical judgment (faculty members and students) to “take the lead in setting higher ethical standards for themselves and their peers” (p. 13). Furthermore, McCabe and Pavela imply to faculty members to use their “personal respect [ethics], attention and connection…to inspire a commitment of academic integrity” (p. 13). Though, they stop short of explicitly associating Forsyth’s ethical approach (relativism and idealism) with faculty behaviors in promoting academic integrity. The ten principles for academic integrity for faculty members that Pavela first developed in 1997 and later modified with McCabe in 2004 truly delve into the promotion of ethical judgment. Statements such as “commitment to honesty in the pursuit of truth” (Pavela, 1997, p. 101), “colleges define their relationship with students as …grounded in shared rights and responsibilities” (p. 103) and “a greater sense of community obligation “(p. 100) all add up to those statement made by Forsyth about the taxonomy of moral judgment. Essentially, McCabe and Pavela in their principles of honor codes for faculty members relate to relativism ethical judgment. By underlining these statements they hope to encourage faculty members to get involved in curbing AM.



Further discussion about the value of honor codes in promoting ethics is provided by Von Dran et al. (2001). They argue that these policies aim to create learners and faculty members’ awareness of ethical issues as well as encourage a community like involvement ong the stakeholders. To illustrate the idea of ethics in the academic community, Von Dran et al. used the term “just community”. Although, Von Dran et al. argued that an honor code policy is essential to initiate a just community, a whole host of other activities is necessary to evolve an ethical culture in the academic setting. This central theme is carried out throughout multiple literature (McCabe & Trevino, 1994; Pavela & McCabe, 1993) by citing numerous institutions where such an approach was successfully adopted (University of Maryland, Syracuse University), as well as scholars who follow this approach in their investigation of AM. Utilizing the just community approach, future studies should focus on the personal ethics of faculty members and the use of technology to achieve a just community. Thereby, undertaking a positive approach in which faculty members can employ OLSs as a relevant application to pursue ethics, a just community and an ethical climate. Given the need to improve ethical standards and academic integrity in academic institutions, faculty members are viewed as having a multi facet role. Faculty members motivate awareness among learners about ethical challenges in the academic setting and beyond. Faculty members are also trusted with the task of teaching learners about ethical values and academic integrity through various contents. Aside from leading the way on ethics and academic integrity, faculty members are expected to identify violators as well as invoke the appropriate institutional policy. Often times faculty members are asked to apply the penalty to proven violators. All of these responsibilities place faculty members in the position to guard and protect ethics and academic integrity. Faculty members’ multi faceted role highlights the need for additional empirical studies that investigate their impact on curbing AM.

Summary, Implications and Future Trends


This article reviewed literature related to ethics. There is evidence in literature that AM has been on the rise as a result of the increase use of technology in higher education. Still, it appears that little attention has been given in literature to empirical studies of I in the context of online learning environments. Moreover, of these studies, faculty members’ perspective has not been investigated while the majority of the studies focus on learners perspectives. Some scholars suggested that ethics is associated with AM. However, existing studies about ethics tend to focus on students’ behavior or code of conduct as well as the honor code. Ethics studies are divided into multiple streams of research addressing issues related to philosophical ethics (i.e. Greek philosophy-virtues), computer ethics (i.e. intellectual rights, privacy, accountability etc), and professional ethics (i.e. code of conduct, organizational behavior policy). Moreover, some attention has been given to the role of personal ethics in ethics behavior and intention research of learners. However, in the context of higher education, none of these studies have explored faculty members’ personal ethics. Instead these studies have an organizational behavior perspective and focus primarily on faculty members’ professional behavior. Additionally, these studies view faculty members’ professional ethics in academic institutions and their compliance with the institutional code of conduct. Yet, the studies reviewed fail to take a comprehensive view combining faculty members’ personal ethics, their perception of AM severity and use of technology to curb such behaviors. Thus, future studies should attempt to analyze and synthesize the appropriate literature in order to address this gap.

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