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Examining the Ethical Environment in Higher Education

Richardson, M; Healy, M; (2019) Examining the Ethical Environment in Higher Education. British Educational Research Journal 10.1002/berj.3552. (In press).

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Abstract

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the world have found themselves faced with new challenges on issues of ethics. Much of this has been centred on issues of assessment: plagiarism, buying essays, sharing/lending of previously passed work and the stealing of marked/returned work of others. Institutions still treat academic misconduct as largely a behavioural difficulty rather than an issue of ethics (or education), suggesting that academia places a far greater emphasis on combating new forms of dishonesty than it does on encouraging ethical habits and a healthy ethical environment. To date, the majority of research in this area has examined these forms of academic misconduct from the point of view of the student and/or the university, with the perspective of academics receiving very limited attention. Our hypothesis is that academics are perhaps best placed to provide the education needed to create and sustain an ethical environment, and we argue that being ‘ethically aware’ is a critical factor in the development of academic competence for all parties. This study adds to existing research in three ways: firstly, by highlighting the importance of an overall framework for an ethical environment within HEIs; secondly, by suggesting an ecological model of key parties (the university, students and academics) with responsibility for this environment in assessment; and thirdly, by including new evidence (generated by a survey of academics) to extend our understanding of their views on these issues.

Type: Article
Title: Examining the Ethical Environment in Higher Education
DOI: 10.1002/berj.3552
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3552
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: ethical environment, assessment, higher education, formal learning contexts
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10076565
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