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, 9 (3), 166-74

Perceptions of Acceptable Conducts by University Students

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Perceptions of Acceptable Conducts by University Students

Dora Nazaré Marques et al. J Optom.

Abstract

Objective: To determine perceptions of acceptable conducts amongst under and postgraduate optometry students and to compare them with students from other disciplines.

Methods: Students (under/postgraduate) of optometry (n=156) and other courses (n=54) from University of Minho participated in a voluntary online questionnaire about perception of conducts, classifying as acceptable or unacceptable 15 academic or professional scenarios.

Results: 210 questionnaires were analyzed. Differences in perceptions were found between optometry under and postgraduates in scenario 5, Chi-square(2,156)=4.3, p=0.038, and scenario 7, Chi-square(2,156)=7.0, p=0.008 (both with cheating more acceptable for postgrads). Differences between under and postgraduates from other courses were found in scenario 9 (taking supplies from classroom more acceptable for undergrads), Chi-square(1,54)=5.0, p=0.025, and scenario 14 (forging a signature more acceptable for postgrads), Chi-square(1,54)=3.9, p=0.046. Differences between optometry and other courses undergraduates were observed in scenario 2 (plagiarism more acceptable for optometry undergrads), Chi-square(1,154)=8.3, p=0.004 and scenario 9 (taking supplies from classroom more acceptable for other undergrads), chi-square(1,54)=7.8, p=0.005. Differences between optometry and other courses postgraduates were observed in scenario 7, Chi-square(1,56)=5.8, p=0.016, scenario 10 (both with cheating more acceptable for optometry postgrads), chi-square(1,54)=8.1, p=0.004 and scenario 14 (forging a signature more acceptable for other postgrads), Chi-square(1,54)=6.1, p=0.026.

Conclusion: Academic misconducts were mainly considered more acceptable than professional misconducts. Our results show that perceptions of acceptable conducts amongst optometry students are not very different from other students, and, against our initial prediction, do not show a general change in misconduct perception when students become more mature. Universities should pay more attention to this problem and take action.

Keywords: Academic misconducts; Estudiantes de optometría; Malas conductas académicas; Malas conductas profesionales; Optometry students; Percepciones; Perceptions; Professional misconducts.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Differences within under and postgraduate optometry and other courses students’ perceptions of acceptable academic and professional conducts by scenario (χ2: Chi-square value; df: degrees of freedom, N: sample size; *p-value <0.05).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Differences within undergraduates and postgraduates’ perceptions of acceptable academic and professional conducts in different courses by scenario (χ2: Chi-square value; df: degrees of freedom, N: sample size; *p-value <0.05).

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