The Big Q
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Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2013
The best student comment on "A Tale of Two Cheaters" wins a $100 Amazon gift certificate. Entries must be received by midnight, Sunday, May 5th, 2013. Subscribe to the blog (by RSS or by e-mail in the right hand column) for updates.
**DISCLAIMER: All characters and scenarios in this post are fictional.**
Rebecca is a freshman this year, and the transition from high school to college has been pretty academically difficult for her. She has always been an excellent student, however, so she takes the challenge in stride.
After turning in a final paper for one of her English classes, Rebecca receives an e-mail from her professor informing her that she has failed the class. Rebecca can’t believe it—perhaps she put less effort into this paper than her others, but she certainly didn’t produce F-quality work! She immediately responds and asks why. Her professor informs Rebecca that she had included a paragraph in her paper that was copied and pasted verbatim from an online source, and that Rebecca had failed to provide a citation. The professor then refers Rebecca to the section on academic integrity in the course syllabus, which clearly states that any student found plagiarizing will fail the course.
At the same university that week, Nick wraps up his first round of sophomore year exams. He’s thrilled to be heading home for break after an extremely tough quarter, and is pretty happy with his grades as they begin showing up online. However, he notices he received a C in a class that he was expecting a solid A in, and e-mails his professor to ask why. His professor responds that she found several instances of plagiarism in his final paper, so he failed his final assignment, and that affected his final grade. She also notes that this is consistent with her policy on academic integrity as stated in her syllabus.
Ultimately, for similar acts of plagiarism at the same school, Rebecca and Nick suffer very different consequences. Rebecca fails a course, while Nick fails a final paper. Is this fair? Should schools force faculty to have the same policy about plagiarism across the board, or should it be up to the faculty’s discretion? What would be a fair punishment?
Monday, Jul. 23, 2012
The best college student comment on "Once A Cheater..." wins a $200 Amazon gift certificate. Entries must be received by midnight, August 5. Finalists are selected by likes, so get your friends to like your comment. Subscribe to the blog (by RSS or by email in the right hand column) for updates.
Devon thought it might be difficult to make friends when he went to college, but three weeks into his freshman year, he had already found two of the best friends he could ask for. They did everything together, from basketball to homework. And, as luck would have it, Devon randomly shared the same class as one of these friends, Cory.
In that class, Devon noticed that his friend cheated profusely. Not only would Cory plagiarize assignments, but he would also use his phone to cheat on tests. Still they were friends; whatever Cory did in class was his own business and shouldn’t matter to the friendship, Devon thought.
One night, however, the three friends were playing poker, and Cory kept getting good hand after good hand. As much as Devon wanted to call it coincidence, he couldn’t help thinking of Cory cheating in class. On a later day, Devon played against his two friends in basketball; Cory claimed he was fouled even though Devon didn’t see it.
Now, Cory has asked to “look over” Devon’s essay for their class--just to give Cory an idea of where to start. Devon wants to help his friend out, but worries about what Cory’s real intentions might be.
Is Devon just being paranoid? Would it make sense for Devon to trust his other friend more than Cory? Does cheating in class reflect anything about your character outside of it?
A Framework for Ethical Decision Making
Cheating in College is Widespread - But Why?
What is Plagiarism, and is it Always Bad?
Photo by theentiregospel available under a Creative Commons license on Google Images.
Tuesday, May. 31, 2011
$50 Amazon gift certificate to the best student response on this case received by midnight, June 5.
Since he was a little boy, Sam has always been able to count on his father. When Sam was in grade school, his dad went to bat for him if a teacher didn't treat him fairly. In high school, Sam appreciated when his father made sure he got plenty of playing time on the basketball team, and he learned more from his father than from the English teacher when his dad helped him with assignments.
Now, at the end of his freshman year of college, Sam has a real problem. His psychology professor has found a couple of lines in the final paper he just turned in that were copied directly from an article in a professional journal. Sam does not dispute that the lines were from the journal, which he included in his bibliography, but he explains to the teacher that he simply forgot to put quotations around them and cite them in this one instance. The teacher is not impressed by his explanation, and has given him a failing grade on this very important assignment.
Sam calls his dad to complain about the situation, and his father is indignant that the professor is being so "rigid." He offers to call the department chair and protest Sam's grade. Should Sam involve his father in this matter?
Here are some resources that may be helpful:
Here are some resources that may help:
Helicopter Parents (The Tufts Daily)
A Framework for Ethical Decision Making