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Investigating Students’ Understanding of the Relationship between Academic Integrity and Professional Integrity in Construction

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Construction Contracts, Law and Ethics

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.822.1 - 24.822.10



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Paper Authors

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Nicholas Tymvios UNC Charlotte

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John Hildreth University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Investigating students’ understanding of the relationship between academic integrity and professional integrity in constructionIt is assumed that construction management and civil engineering technology students are awareof what constitutes a violation of academic integrity (AI). Academic integrity is addressed at thebeginning of every course they have taken though the various syllabi and discussions withinstructors and other academic personnel. Violations of professional integrity (PI) are usuallyaddressed through various courses and students are expected to have some understanding as towhat constitutes acceptable behavior regarding maters of PI. It is believed though, that studentscannot grasp the relationships between violations of AI to their equivalent violations of PI.To investigate the level of students’ understanding of that relationship, the authors conducted aseries of three separate and anonymous surveys from representative construction managementand civil engineering technology undergraduate classes at a four year institution. The first surveyinvestigated the level of understanding of what constitutes a violation of AI. This was performedto validate the assumption that students understand AI and they recognize a violation when theysee one. The survey included a series of actions such as “Taking an exam for another student”and the students were asked to identify if these actions can be described as “cheating”, “unethicalbut not cheating”, and “neither unethical not cheating”. In addition the students were asked tostate the number of times they performed or witnessed these actions within the past year.The second survey looked at the students’ understanding of what constitutes a violation of PI inthe construction industry, by answering whether several scenarios represent a violation of PI ornot. The third survey in the series attempted to investigate whether the students could link theviolations of AI to their equivalent violations of PI. The time between the surveys was between 1to 2 weeks and students from all undergraduate levels were surveyed.The results of the research study and the surveys were used to assist in the development of acourse that relates to professionalism and ethics in the construction and engineering technologyindustries. The course materials developed aimed to relate the appreciation of PI based onunderstanding of AI.

Tymvios, N., & Hildreth, J. (2014, June), Investigating Students’ Understanding of the Relationship between Academic Integrity and Professional Integrity in Construction Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20714

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