Using Vignettes to Study Nigerian Undergraduates Cyber-ethical Behaviors

Janet O. Adekannbi, Opeyemi S. Adesokan

Abstract


Students’ unethical academic practice on the internet is a global concern. The disquiet raises how well students understand cyber-ethical issues beyond what a few quantitative studies have revealed. This study investigates the undergraduate students’ perception and comprehension of these issues in Nigeria using the qualitative approach, focusing on plagiarism and copyright infringement. Fifty students of the University of Ibadan and Lead City University responded to the questions. The data were analyzed using the Nvivo software tool. The vignettes generated helped significantly to expose the upshots. Although most participants reported their familiarity with the two cyber-ethical issues, many could not correctly explain them. Some respondents mixed up their perceptions of plagiarism and copyright infringement. The majority exhibited a relatively high level of comprehension of the issues. Half of the respondents would engage in plagiarism when faced with no other choice, even though overreaching copyrights seemed unattractive to them. These findings suggest that both students and their instructors need some enlightenment on cyber-ethics. The study created the enlightenment trajectory during the investigation by presenting the respondents with scenarios that enabled them to understand cyber-ethics.

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