A trans-disciplinary conceptualisation of Chinese international student perspectives of academic integrity

Mccrohon, M 2014, A trans-disciplinary conceptualisation of Chinese international student perspectives of academic integrity, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title A trans-disciplinary conceptualisation of Chinese international student perspectives of academic integrity
Author(s) Mccrohon, M
Year 2014
Abstract Using a trans-disciplinary conceptual framework to interpret qualitative data derived from in-depth interviews, literature and policy documents this research focuses on what influences Chinese International Student (CIS) perspectives of academic integrity. Specifically, this study examines the impact of Confucianism, collectivism, mobility, personal factors and technology, including the commoditisation, digitisation and globalisation of higher education on CIS perspectives.

To gather data this research employed two rounds of semi-structured, in-depth interviews with eight undergraduate CIS studying business related subjects, separated by a minimum of six months. Interspersed amongst these student interviews was a single round of in-depth interviews with six lecturers of CIS from the same college but different schools. To analyse and conceptualise data derived from these interviews a trans-disciplinary framework combining a modified version of Glaser and Strauss's Grounded Theory with an interpretation of Harré and van Langenhove's Positioning Theory was developed. Using an adaptation of grounded theory, this framework overcomes concerns of ambiguity in relation to traditional grounded theory techniques. Similarly, through an interpretation of positioning theory this framework models qualitative data to identify not only what participants think but also how and why they obtained their views.

Literature concerning what causes CIS to violate academic integrity often attributes cause to individual factors like imitation of the educator. However, this research shows that although it is possible for individual influences to cause CIS to violate academic integrity it is more likely that multiple interconnected factors shape student perspectives. In fact, deep analysis provided by the trans-disciplinary framework reveals catalysts are not mutually exclusive and operate in a hierarchical manner. For example, philosophical and religious beliefs are likely to precipitate collectivistic desires to assist peers in the presence of personal mobility. Therefore, if a student relocates overseas away from family to study in a demanding and unfamiliar educational environment they will likely assist culturally similar peers. However, if a student is located in their home country then personal influences, including demand for a short supply of university places surpasses cultural expectations to assist. In this case, hierarchical influences on student perspectives work in reverse as personal factors override cultural and institutional drivers.

This study is important because it has the potential to contribute to administrator, educator and policy maker understandings of CIS perspectives and international student experiences in host institutions today. Specifically, this study demonstrates a need for consistency amongst individuals and institutions in relation to educating students about or dealing with violations of academic integrity. This study identifies how student attitudes towards academic integrity may be evolving due to the ubiquity of copyright violation driven by technological change. This study demonstrates that today more than Confucian principles alone influence CIS during their educational sojourn. Issues of mobility, increased independence and home country peers studying in Australia all influence CIS and warrant consideration by administrators, educators and policy makers when developing inductions and materials aimed at curtailing violations of academic integrity.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Keyword(s) Academic Integrity
Grounded Theory
Positioning Theory
Trans-disciplinary Framework
Chinese International Students
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Created: Wed, 17 Jun 2015, 13:48:51 EST by Denise Paciocco
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