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Academic Misconduct in Higher Education Today David Cordes Department of Computer Science University of Alabama.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Misconduct in Higher Education Today David Cordes Department of Computer Science University of Alabama."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Misconduct in Higher Education Today David Cordes Department of Computer Science University of Alabama

2 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Workshop Overview Goal: Better understanding of the current situation Information on relevant resources Format: Interactive Working groups, not a lecture

3 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Workshop Outline Problem awareness [10 min] Introductions [10 min] Establish some basic guidelines What is cheating? [15 min] Group Task #1: Best Practices Factors that motivate/reduce cheating [30 min] Group Task #2: Academic Honor Codes and cheating [30 min] Tools to address misconduct Plagiarism tools [15 min]

4 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Awareness and Appreciation Interactive Quiz

5 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Awareness and Appreciation Answers 1. One study showed 75% of students today admitted to serious cheating on exams, compared to 39% in Cheating percentages: Business 87%, Engineering 74%, Sciences 67%, Humanities 63% 3. Students tend to cheat more as they progress through the curriculum from first-year to senior 4. Males used to cheat more, females catching up 5. Numerous researchers have confirmed the Greek link to cheating 6. One study found that 56% of a graduating engineering class admitted to cheating 7. 80% of students have witnessed an incident of cheating and not reported it 8. Students indicate they cheated on approximately 8.6% of the homework assignments in a given semester/term 9. Students felt their friends cheated twice as much as they did. 95% of the students felt their friends were more likely to cheat % of students believe that cheaters are either not caught or not appropriately disciplined

6 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Introductions Please give: Name Institution Discipline One result that surprised you from the quiz Attendees Jim Morgan, Civil, TAMU, jim- Joseph Shaeiwitz, Chemical, West Virginia, Richard Frueler, FEH Coordinator & Aerospace, Ohio State,

7 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Working definition: What is cheating? The standard faculty answer to this question is: I’ll know it when I see it Process: Think (by yourself) for 30 seconds Share your results with a partner Develop a concise definition of cheating

8 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona What is cheating? (definitions) Overtly disobeying the rules set forth in an assignment Representing someone else’s work as you own Giving or receiving unauthorized help on an assignment

9 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Institutional definitions of cheating U.Washington: You are guilty of cheating whenever you present as your own work something that you did not do. You are also guilty of cheating if you help someone else to cheat. Ohio State: any activity that tends to compromise the academic integrity of the University, or subvert the educational process. West Point Honor Code: A Cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do.

10 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Group Task #1 Best Practices for dealing with misconduct Goal: Identify best instructor practices for reducing or eliminating cheating from an engineering classroom Process: Background information Break into groups of three to five people Identify best practices Identify “worst” practices Report out (by each group)

11 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Group Task #1 Best Practices for dealing with misconduct Background Information Top five scenarios students felt constituted cheating Someone taking an exam for you Changing an answer on an already graded exam Bringing an illegal cheat sheet to an exam Looking at another person’s exam Passing an answer to another student during an exam Students would be less likely to cheat if their instructor wrote fair exams Process, in your group: Identify best practices for dealing with misconduct Identify worst practices for dealing with misconduct

12 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Group Reports: Best/worst practices to eliminate cheating Best: different versions of exams, different ordering of questions Best: Individual assignments when possible Best: Discussing issues that arise (w.r.t. cheating) as you go through the course Best: Very strict consequences Best: Have the needed institutional support Best: Won’t cheat if perceived as valuable information (if students believe they don’t need to know the material, they approach learning it differently) Hard to make sure students always handle the transition between group assignments and individual assignments properly Worst: permanent seating charts Worst: offending the students integrity (such as staying in the room at an institution with a strict, student-enforced academic honesty policy) Worst: inconsistent grading policies

13 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Interesting Observations Student Opinion #1 On an exam, is it cheating if a student Copies from another student (97% Yes) Copies from a cheat sheet (92% Yes) Uses formulas or notes on a calculator or PDA (72% Yes) Asks questions of another student who has already taken the exam (24% Yes) Student Opinion #2 Is it cheating if a student Copies another student’s homework when it is not permitted (72% Yes) Submits a copy of an old assignment from a previous term (49% Yes) Submits a copy of an old lab report from a previous term (59% Yes) Copies a passage out of the text for a homework assignment (18% Yes)

14 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Group Task #2 Academic Honor Codes and Misconduct Goal: Develop the essential components of an academic misconduct policies that can be utilized within your institution Process: Background information Break into groups of three to five people Construct your own “academic misconduct code” Report out (by each group)

15 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Group Task #2 Academic Honor Codes and Misconduct Background Information Most critical factor in honor code success is student understanding Honor codes exclusively managed by students are more effective 35% of students feel that honor codes are well understood at their institution 50% of students believe the faculty at their institution enforce academic honor code policies Process Break into groups Round-robin: does your institution have an honor code? Can you easily explain it to the group? Construct your own “honor code”

16 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Group Reports: Academic Honor Codes Things to consider: Does not place an unreasonable burden on the faculty members Cheating is not a Boolean (yes or no) issue. There are shades of gray, and “one penalty fits all” does not work Instructor must have the flexibility to handle unique situations Instructor must have access to relevant information regarding a student’s past academic record

17 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona Tools to assist in detection Over 50% of students admit to plagiarizing material from the Internet Tools that help detect mis-conduct Textual document plagiarism (plagiarism.org) Costs real money ($500 to $1000 per year) MOSS (Measures Of Software Similarity) Programming languages (C, C++, Java, …) Free (Alan Aiken, CS, Berkeley)

18 March 16th-18th, 2003 Share the Future IV Tempe, Arizona References Carpenter, Harding, Montgomery, Steneck, “PACES – A study on academic integrity among engineering undergraduates (preliminary conclusion),” 2002 ASEE Annual Conference Harding, Carpenter, Montgomery, Steneck, “A comparison of the role of academic dishonesty policies of several colleges on the cheating behavior of engineering and pre-engineering students,” 32 nd ASEE/IEEE FIE Conference Harding, “Cheating: student attitudes and practical approaches to dealing with it,” 30 th ASEE/IEEE FIE Conference Clough, “Plagiarism in natural and programming languages: an overview of current tools and technologies” Morgan, Foster, “Student Cheating: an ethical dilemma,” 1992 FIE Conference Harding, Carpenter, Montgomery, Steneck, “The current state of research on academic dishonesty among engineering students,” 31 st ASEE/IEEE FIE Conference Hinman, “Academic Integrity and the World Wide Web,” Computers and Society, March 2002 Sheard, Dick, Markham, Macdonald, Walsh, “Cheating and Plagiarism: perceptions and practices of first year IT students”


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