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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Adjunct Instructors' Decisions to Pursue Disciplinary Action for Plagiarism
by Kight, Deborah Wylie, Ed.D., Grand Canyon University, 2018, 253; 10747961
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how and why adjunct instructors address incidences of student plagiarism at a small, private institution in North Carolina. The researcher sought to identify the factors used in determining to address plagiarism, informal sanctions used, and perceived barriers to addressing plagiarism. Rational choice theory was the foundation by which the study was designed, analyzed, and discussed. The study consisted of 56 adjunct instructors: 39 questionnaire participants, 13 semi-structured interview participants, and four focus group participants. Thematic data analysis was used to code narrative data and find common themes throughout the data. Frequency counts were also instrumental in showing similarities among participant responses. Twelve factors for deciding to pursue plagiarism were identified. Results illustrated that addressing plagiarism is highly subjective due to difficulty in determining intent. Participants depended on observable traits such as amount, as well as followed moral and ethical convictions. Results further illustrated that participants always addressed plagiarism and used a combination of six informal sanctions. However, sanctions varied for similar incidents and demonstrated the inconsistent nature of how plagiarism is addressed. The last research question identified seven perceived barriers, including a need for more specific guidelines. Moving forward, the study provided considerations for lessening subjective decisions and inconsistencies in the way adjunct instructors address plagiarism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Krell, Robert A.
Commitee: Jordan, Ellen S., Landry, Victor
School: Grand Canyon University
Department: Doctoral Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Education philosophy
Keywords: Adjunct instructors, Barriers, Informal sanctions, Intentional plagiarism, Plagiarism policy, Student plagiarism
Publication Number: 10747961
ISBN: 978-0-355-77321-7
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