Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Rachelle Kisst Hackett

First Committee Member

Justin Low

Second Committee Member

Miki S. Park


The purpose of this study was to investigate pharmacy students’ experiences, perceptions, and beliefs regarding peer-reporting of academic dishonesty by adopting a cross-sectional anonymous survey to pharmacy students in the United States. In addition, this study identified factors that may affect pharmacy students’ likelihood of reporting peers’ academic dishonesty including the relationship between the cheater and their observer, the severity of the punishment on the reported cheating, and the reporting systems. Fifty-six out of 271 respondents (20.7%) reported their engagement of academic dishonesty. One hundred forty-four respondents (53.1%) reported that they directly observed someone else’s cheating behavior. One hundred eighty-nine respondents (69.7%) reported that they indirectly heard about someone else’s cheating behavior from others who directly observed cheating; yet, only 25 respondents (9.2%) peer-reported their classmates’ cheating.The current study shows that although the majority of participants believe that peer-reporting is ethical, they have not reported the cheating they observed due in part to fear of retaliation and no information (or clear direction) on who they should report to or how to report. Additionally, the current study shows that if an innovative system to anonymously report cheating (e.g., a specific peer-reporting website or hotline to protect confidentiality) is adopted, the likelihood to report in the innovative system is higher than in the current system across all types of student-student relationships and all levels of punishment. The current study also demonstrated a statistically significant inverse relationship between likelihood to report and punishment severity. Peer-reporting can be an effective method when well-established polices protect peer-reporters from retaliation and when transparent and reasonable punishments are assigned to those who engage in academic dishonesty. It is imperative that pharmacy schools consider these findings, review their policies regarding academic integrity and its peer-reporting, and modify practices so that professionalism is encouraged and expected.





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