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n Koers : Bulletin for Christian Scholarship = Koers : Bulletin vir Christelike Wetenskap - Academic honesty : perceptions of millennial university students and the role of moderating variables : original research

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Abstract

Student academic dishonesty is increasing locally and internationally and universities are devising strategies to address this problem. The first year of academic study lays the foundation for future years of study and, as such, is critical in the establishment of adherence to academic values. As part of a larger project, the perceptions about academic honesty of first-year students belonging to the millennial generation at a large South African public university were obtained with a view to identifying trends in perceptions between the 2011 and 2012 student cohorts as well as the relationship between student sub-groups and perceptions held about academic honesty. The present study also sought to validate the findings of the 2011 study. The population comprised all 22 442 students entering the University for the first time during the 2011 and 2012 academic years. Combined Strategy Sampling, followed by cluster sampling was used to obtain a sample of 5 730 students (3 611 in 2011 and 2 119 in 2012), broadly representative of the institutional population. In this regard, the 2011 sample of Thomas and van Zyl (2012) (3 611 students) was combined with the sample of the present study (2 119). A questionnaire, developed from the literature, comprising 12 ethical statements was used as the survey instrument. The data for the 2012 student sample was compared to that obtained from the Thomas and van Zyl (2011) sample and, by means of Chi-square tests and Standardised Residuals, the statistical association between perceptions held by members of student sub-groups and perceptions about academic honesty was investigated. The sample of both years of first-year students indicated a trend in perceptions and one that pointed to an understanding of the meaning of academic dishonesty yet a regard for it as a relative concept and one that is superseded by, for example, the belief that right and wrong is a matter of personal opinion, that ideas do not belong to anyone and that information is accessible and free. This implies that these students enter academia with perceptions about academic honesty that may differ to those founded on the value authenticity in academia. Differences in opinion were found amongst students of different language groups and the qualification for which they were registered.It is recommended that the values of academia should be reinforced with this student group and that broad pedagogic approaches, whilst reinforcing these values, should be tailored and differentiated according to the specific nature of each faculty and with particular sensitivity to the writing needs of students who belong to different language groups.

Die insidensie van studente akademiese oneerlikheid is 'n toenemende probleem beide op nasionale en internasionale vlak en universiteite is besig om strategieë in plek te sit om hierdie problem aan te spreek. Die eerste studiejaar is 'n kritieke moment vir die vestiging van gepaste akademiese waardes omdat dit die fondament lê vir die daaropvolgende studiejare. Die huidige studie vorm deel van 'n groter projek wat die persepsies van sogenaamde milleniale generasie eerstejaarstudente oor akademiese eerlikheid by 'n groot publieke universiteit in Suid Afrika ondersoek het. Die doel van die ondersoek was om tendense in die persepsies van studente wat tussen 2011 en 2012 die universiteit betree het asook die onderlinge verwantskappe tussen verskeie sub-groepe in verband met akademiese eerlikheid te ondersoek. Die huidige studie het ook gepoog om die bevindinge van die 2011 studie te valideer. Die populasie waaruit die steekproef geneem is het bestaan uit al 2 442 studente wat die Universiteit tydens die 2011 en 2012 akademiese jare vir die eerste keer betree het. Gekombineerde strategie steekproefneming, gevolg deur trossteekproefneming is gebruik om 'n steekproef van 5 730 studente (3 611 in 2011 en 2 119 in 2012) te selekteer. Die steekproef was demografies gesproke verteenwoordigend van die institusionele student profiel. Vir die doel van hierdie studie is die 2011 steekproef van Thomas en van Zyl (2012) (3 611 studente) en die 2012 steekproef (2 119 studente) gekombineer. 'n Vraelys wat vanuit die litteratuur ontwikkel is en wat uit 12 eties gelaaide stellings bestaan het, is as navorsingsinstrument gebruik. Die data van die 2012 steekproef is vergelyk met die data van Thomas en van Zyl (2011) en die chi-kwadraat toets met gestandardiseerde residue is gebruik om die statistiese verband tussen verskillende sub-groepe en hul persepsies oor akademiese eerlikheid te ondersoek. Tendense wat daarop dui dat studente die betekenis van akademiese oneerlikheid verstaan, maar dit as 'n relatiewe konsep beskou, was waarneembaar in beide steekproewe wat hier ondersoek is. Die studente het aangedui dat hul oortuiging dat "reg en verkeerd slegs 'n kwessie van persoonlike oortuiging is" en dat "idees nie aan iemand kan behoort nie maar dat hulle vryelik beskikbaar en bruikbaar moet wees" belangriker is as konsepte wat tradisioneel verband hou met akademiese oneerlikheid. Dit impliseer dat hierdie studente dikwels die akademie betree met persepsies oor akademiese oneerlikheid wat verskil van die tradisionele akademiese verstaan wat op die belangrikheid van egtheid in die akdedemie gegrond is. Die huidige studie het verskille in sienings gevind tussen verskillende taalgroepe asook tussen die verskillende studierigtings. Hierdie studie beveel aan dat die waardes wat eie is aan die akademie duidelik gekommunikeer sal word in die groter studentegroep. Dit moet gedoen word deur algemene pedagogiese benaderings asook op pasgemaakte maniere wat die behoeftes en aard van verskillende fakulteite asook die verskillende skryfbehoeftes van verskillende taalgroepe in ag neem.

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/content/koers/80/1/EJC176083
2015-01-01
2016-12-05
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