School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Christopher Clark


21st century learning, academic dishonesty, digital age classroom, experiential learning, faculty perspective, rural high school


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe high school general education teachers’ experiences with academic dishonesty in the digital age in rural school districts in southwest Ohio. Academic dishonesty in the digital age is defined as student use of digital technologies to receive credit for academic work beyond their own ability or their willingness to attempt said work. The guiding research questions formulated investigate four areas of the phenomenon that include how teachers experience academic dishonesty, how they define it, how their role has evolved, and the connection of this experience to their pedagogy. The foundational theory that guided this study was Kolb’s (2015) experiential learning theory (ELT), including the newly expanded Educator Role Profile and the Nine Style Learning Cycle (Kolb, Kolb, Passarelli, & Sharma, 2014), as it provided an ideal lens through which to view the experiences of teachers as they learn, grow, and develop, concerning academic dishonesty in the digital age. I elected to use purposeful sampling to select 13 referred participants who shared the common experience of academic dishonesty in the digital age. The study incorporated multiple means of data collection (individual interviews, one survey/questionnaire, document analysis, and focus group discussions). Data collection occurred principally through face-to-face, semi-structured interviews to capture the collective voice of the participants. I incorporated an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) strategy. Five interconnected themes emerged: (a) Purposeful Pedagogy, (b) Culturally Conditioned, (c) Blurred Lines, (d) Knowing Their Voice, and (e) Clarity and Consequences.