Ethical Online Environment: Is It Possible?

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					Ethical Online Environment: Is It
Possible?
                     By
 Francene Weatherby PhD, RN, CNE
     Maribeth Moran MSN, RN CPN, CNE


UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA COLLEGE OF
               NURSING
       Presented at the NLN Education Summit 2008
                    September 19, 2008
Case Study – E-mail from Online Student

Good Afternoon,
I was just sent an e-mail from another student with
   the answers to the Thorax and Lungs quiz. I did
   not look at the answers and deleted the e-mail
   since I have not taken the quiz yet and would like to
   learn the material on my own. I felt very
   uncomfortable receiving the e-mail and was not
   sure how to handle it. I chose to inform you, but I
   do not want to get anyone in trouble either. I don't
   know if a reminder needs to be sent out about the
   seriousness of cheating. I would like to remain
   anonymous if anything is sent out.
Online Learning Environment

   An online learning environment involves the
    process of course delivery using a
    combination of resources that include, but
    are not limited to, learning management
    systems, internet websites, course content,
    learning activities, and methods of interaction
    among teachers and students. (the presenters’
    definition)
    Unethical Academic Behavior
                     Cheating

   Cheating is “using unauthorized materials,
    information, or study aids in an academic
    exercise; plagiarism, falsification of records,
    unauthorized possession of examinations,
    intimidation, and any and all other actions
    that may improperly affect the evaluation of a
    student’s academic performance or
    achievement.” OUCN Course Syllabi Statement
    Online Academic Dishonesty
                  Electronic Cheating




   “Cheating on exams or assignments
    including plagiarism” - (Grijalva et al, 2006)
Literature Review
   Nursing research dealing with academic and
    professional misconduct is scanty and often
    contradictory.
   Study of 253 nursing students found that 53% of
    seniors “thought” about cheating but only 25% said
    they would if they could get away with it. Ninety-
    four percent said they had seen others cheat but
    only 25% said they cheated themselves. (Brown, 2002)
    Online resources increase opportunities and make
    cheating easier. (Hinman, 2002; Hinman, 2004; Logue, 2004,
    McCabe & Pavela, 2004; Harper, 2006)
Literature Review (Continued)


 Survey of 796 students in undergraduate
  online courses found only a 3% rate of
  cheating – same as traditional classroom
  courses. (Grijalva et al, 2006)
 “As online education expands, there is no
  reason to suspect that academic dishonesty
  will become more common.” (Grijalva et al, 2006)
Why is ethical behavior important
to nurse educators today?
   Hold students accountable for learning what they
    need to know.
   Ensure graduates can practice safely.
   Help students clarify values needed to be
    professional.
   Offer opportunities to practice ethical behavior.
   Maintain public trust in nurses
   Ensure those with integrity enter the profession
    ready to care for vulnerable patients.
ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses

   4. “The nurse is responsible & accountable
    for individual nursing practice. . . .”

   9. The [nurse] . . . “is responsible for
    articulating nursing values & maintaining the
    integrity of the profession & its practice.”
Difference Between Online &
Traditional Settings
   Less personal eye-to-eye interaction.
   Easier to feel disconnected from teacher and other
    students.
   More independent, self-directed learning.
Difference Between Online &
Traditional Settings

   More information sources readily available. (i.e. electronic
    textbooks; friends)

   Not monitored as easily.

   Technology provides different opportunities and ways to
    cheat.
Faculty Perspective

Maintaining academic integrity is one of
 today’s biggest challenges.
Faculty Perspective

Maintaining academic integrity is one of
  today’s biggest challenges.
 Fulfill role of profession’s gate-keepers.
 Think it is unnecessary to clarify
  expectations. (McCabe & Pavela, 2004)
 Difficulty with confrontation. (McCabe & Pavela, 2004;
    Billings & Halstead, 2009)

   Fear grievance process (Billings & Halstead, 2009).
Faculty Perspective

Maintaining academic integrity is one of
  today’s biggest challenges.
 Concern about “gateway behavior.”
 Fairness to all students.
 Generational values/ Generational
  differences.
 Workload issues –prioritizing faculty
  responsibilities.
Student Perspective

Challenges to maintaining academic
  integrity
 Overworked and overwhelmed.
 “Panic cheating” vs." Planned cheating”
 Unclear about what is ethical/unethical.
 Difficulty and breadth of subject matter.
 Competitive nature of education.
Student Perspective
       Challenges to maintaining academic
                     integrity

 Student’s own expectations of performance
 Value of “success at any price” (Billings & Halstead,
    2009)
 “Cheating culture” (Callahan, 2004; Grijalva et al, 2006)
 Societal emphasis on “getting ahead”&
  making money
 Corporate scandals
Student Perspective

 Degree of respect for faculty member
 Degree of relevance of course material
 Different values/Different generations
 Belief that creating an ethical environment
  and preventing cheating are faculty
  responsibilities
Perspective of Instructional
Technology Professional
   Attempting to keep one step ahead in cheating
   Developing and using software (i.e. turnitin.com; Caveon
    testing services; ability to scramble test items & distractors)
   Balancing expense of security software with needs for other
    types of technology.
Creating An Ethical Online
Environment
   Faculty Strategies - Personal Preparation
     Clarify own values about cheating.
     Commit to creating a culture of integrity
     Act as a good role model
     Be familiar with institutional policies and
      procedures
Creating An Ethical Online
Environment
   Faculty Strategies – Designing the Course
        Integrate   ethical issues into a learning activity in
         course.
        Create assignments that make cheating difficult.
        Consider relaxing rules if possible – group work.
        Use assessments that are relevant, integral to
         learning (McCabe, 2004).
        Build an extensive pool of questions.
        Avoid use of “high-stakes” online testing unless
         proctored
Creating An Ethical Online
Environment
   Faculty Strategies – Implementing the Course
     Set the tone in course introduction by discussing
      standards of behavior.
     Clarify expectations.
     Make the consequences for cheating clear.
        (Billings & Halstead, 2009)
       Remind students periodically about academic
        integrity and ethics
          THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA COLLEGE OF NURSING
               N4034 Human Experience in Acute and Chronic II
                               EXAM #1
                                Fall 2008

      PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BEFORE STARTING THE EXAM:

Please be sure your test booklet is in the proper order, i.e., questions and pages are in
                    numerical order. There are 80 questions on this test.
   1. Use only #2 pencils for all answers marked on the answer sheet.
   2. Make sure your full name is on the answer sheet and test booklet. Also include a
        four digit ID number.
   3. Fill in the bubbles that correspond to the letters of your name and ID number.
   4. Take care to mark the answer sheet with the answer(s) you have chosen.
       Answers indicated on the test booklet will not be considered.
   5. There is only one correct or best answer for each test question.
   6. Be sure to turn in both answer sheet and test booklet. The answer sheet will be
        invalidated if there is not a test booklet to match its number.

  Both faculty and students have a duty to protect the integrity of tests and quizzes.
  Therefore students must do their own work and may not pass on information about
                 the tests or quizzes to other students, present or future.
Creating An Ethical Online
Environment
 Faculty   Strategies – Implementing the Course
   Encourage and support open discussion of
    ethics and ethical behavior.
   Be consistent about requiring that students cite
    sources
   Act as a good role model – cite sources when
    presenting material
Creating An Ethical Online
Environment
   Faculty Strategies – Dealing with Consequences
       How do we detect incidences of possible
        cheating?
          Read what students write
          Pay attention
          Use available technology

       How we deal with people who cheat.
          Processes
          Consequences
Creating An Online
Environment
   INSTITUTION’S ROLE
     Clear expectations – Academic Honor Code
     Policies and procedures – must be consistent
     Institution-wide convocation to discuss honesty
        (Solomon, 2000).
     Student roles on Academic Dishonesty Boards
     Due process
Creating an Ethical Online
Environment
Academic Misconduct includes:

   (a) cheating (using unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in
    any academic exercise or on national board examination), plagiarism,
    falsification of records, unauthorized possession of examinations,
    intimidation, and any and all other actions that may improperly affect the
    evaluation of a student's academic performance or achievement;
   (b) assisting others in any such act; or
   (c) attempts to engage in such acts. The code provides that the
    student's dean shall be notified of the charge and the dean shall notify
    the student. Possible disciplinary actions and provision for a conference
    with the Vice Provost for Educational Services, request for a hearing
    before the Academic Misconduct Board, rules of the hearing, and
    appeals are among the matters outlined in the code.
                    OUCN course syllabi
Conclusions
   Maintaining an ethical environment in the
    classroom, in clinical, and online in nursing is
    critical.
   Faculty have major responsibility to mold personal
    characteristics that are desirable in professionals.
   Online coursework offers different, sometimes more
    complex challenges.
   Dialogue about these issues is essential.
In Summary - Ethical Online
Environment? It Is Possible.
 “The first and most important line of defense
  against academic dishonesty is simply good
  teaching.” (Hinman, 2004).
 “The second line of defense is the
  development of integrity in our students.”
    (Hinman, 2004)
   The last line of defense is to help students
    perceive that the dishonesty of their
    classmates hurts many students. (Hinman, 2004)
References
   Baxter, P.E. & Boblin, S.L. (2007). The moral development of
          baccalaureate nursing students: Understanding unethical behavior
          in classroom and clinical settings. Journal of Nursing Education.
          46(1), 20-27.
   Billings, D.M, & Halstead, J.A. (2009). Teaching in Nursing. St. Louis:
          Saunders Elsevier.
   Brown, D. (2002). Cheating must be okay – everybody does it! Nurse
          Educator. 27 (1), 6-8.
   Callahan, D. (2004) The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans are
          Doing Wrong to Get Ahead. Harcourt. Philadelphia.
   Culwin, F. & Naylor, J. (1995). Pragmatic anti-plagiarism. Proceedings
          3rd All Ireland Conference on the Teaching of Computing. Dublin,
          Ireland.
   Grijalva, T., Norwell, C. Kerkvliet, J. (2006). Academic honesty and
          online courses. College student journal. 40(1), 180-185.
.
References
   Harper, M. (2006). High tech cheating. Nurse Education Today. 26 (8),
        672-679.
   Hinman, L.M. (2004). How to fight college cheating. Washington Post .
        September 3, 2004; A19.
   Hinman, L. M. (2002). Academic integrity and the world wide web.
        Computers and Society. March, 33-42.
   Logue, R. (2004). Plagiarism: the internet makes it easy. Nursing
        Standard. 18(5), 40-43.
   McCabe, D.L., & Pavela, G. (2004). Ten [updated] principles of
        academic integrity: How faculty can foster student honesty.
        Change. May/June, 10-15.
   Solomon, M.R. & DeNatale, M.L. (2000). Academic dishonesty and
        professional practice: A convocation. Nurse Educator. 25(6). 270-
        271.

				
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