Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Research in Education, Teaching and Learning
Exploring Teacher’s Perceptions of Academic Integrity in Online Classes During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Phenomenological Study
Khadija Alblooshi, Aisha Abdulkader Cheikhmous
Online education is exponentially growing, leading to an ever-widening need for understanding ethical practices in this context. During the COVID-19 era, the education sector, like other sectors, went through pressing challenges to ensure the flow of the learning process at schools. There were no explicit guidelines or policies to support the unforeseen transformation in the education process from face-to-face to virtual learning. As a result, new dilemmas surfaced, urging educators to deal with them the way they perceived suitable. The challenge was the limitation or absence of sources and guidelines on the theoretical methods of managing the unethical acts of students during the virtual classes.
This semi-structured phenomenological qualitative study explores the academic ethical-related views and experiences of 11 teachers who delivered online classes during the academic years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 due to the global close-down within the context of a public school in the United Arab Emirates. The findings of the focus-group interview conducted with the participating teachers showed that plagiarism and sharing exam questions and answers were the most common unacceptable acts displayed by many students. Other acts included students’ distraction from the virtual meetings, not participating although their names show up as present, unmuting the microphones causing inappropriate noise, and being discourteous to teachers or classmates. All teachers asserted that they had received training on cyber security but not on how to deal with unethical behaviors displayed by students. It is suggested that more deep and relevant training should be offered to teachers specifically on how to manage students’ misbehaviors during online classes.
keywords: Online Education, Policy, Ethics in Education, Academic Integrity, Unethical Behaviors