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May you live in interesting times: a reflection on academic integrity and accounting assessment during COVID19 and online learning

Amanda White (University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia)

Accounting Research Journal

ISSN: 1030-9616

Article publication date: 7 December 2020

Issue publication date: 23 August 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the shift of assessments online and the potential impact on academic integrity and misconduct. The rapid pivot to online teaching as a result of COVID19 and our experiences in the accounting academy is the embodiment of the phrase “may you live in interesting times”. As teaching and learning activities shifted online, so did assessment of student learning. A topic of great discussion amongst faculty is whether accounting exams should be invigilated online and whether exams should be used at all to assess student learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses personal reflections and experiences to analyse the tensions between the risk of academic misconduct, maintaining assessment security and accreditation requirements of professional accounting bodies during the shift of assessment tasks online in 2020. These tensions are analysed using the fraud triangle framework (Cressey, 1973).

Findings

Students face incentives and pressures to engage in misconduct, opportunities that arise from online learning and assessment, and hold complex perceptions around their attitudes towards academic integrity and rationalisations of misconduct behaviour.

Originality/value

Suggestions are made as to how the accounting academy can move forward, taking advantages of online assessment, while still ensuring that our graduates are meeting the competencies required to join the accounting profession.

Keywords

Citation

White, A. (2021), "May you live in interesting times: a reflection on academic integrity and accounting assessment during COVID19 and online learning", Accounting Research Journal, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 304-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/ARJ-09-2020-0317

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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