Thursday, September 03, 2009

Setting Online Expectations - Academic Honesty

In a previous post I highlighted part A of the information from St. Petersburg College about their expectations of and for online students. Today I'll take a look at their part B. Part C is coming soon.


Expectations. Students may expect to:
  • Pursue academic studies in a positive and ethical context, where academic standards are upheld.
  • Have their academic work assessed fully and equitably in a learning community where competition is fair, integrity is required, and cheating is punished.
  • Understand and agree with recognizable standards on plagiarism.
  • Have access to a stated procedure for filing academic grievances and appeals. (See Board of Trustees rule 6Hx23-4.36.)

Responsibilities. Students are expected to:
  • Be honest and forthright in their academic endeavors.
  • Familiarize themselves with the College's academic honesty policy and standards as specified in the online Academic Honesty Policy, Board of Trustees rule 6Hx23-4.461.
  • Adhere to these standards of academic honesty and integrity as a condition of enrollment at SPC.
  • Understand that failure to comply with these standards may result in academic and/or disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion from the College.
  • Recognize their ethical obligation, as members of the College community, to report any violation of the SPC Academic Honesty Policy.
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OK, I'm not just trying to be picky here, but look at that statement again: "Students may expect to understand and agree with recognizable standards on plagiarism." Does that make sense? Umm, no. That should be filed under the next category, more like "Students are expected to understand and agree with recognizable standards on plagiarism." (Although that also strikes me a little bit like "students are expected to agree with everything that I tell them." What if they don't agree with the "recognizable standards?")

Possibly in the first category there should be something like this:
  • "Students may expect to receive information and/or instruction from their faculty as to what constitutes cheating and plagiarism."
Everyone seems to want to punish students for academic dishonesty, but they seem to assume that students already know the same things that the faculty know about what is and what isn't cheating. That's a very poor assumption. Somewhere we need to spend the time teaching students about this or else the students will always be at a disadvantage. (P.S. I doubt that any Academic Honesty Policy really does a very good job of "teaching" student about these important issues.)

Anyone who has read my postings before is probably waiting for something like the following:
  • Students may expect to have their intellectual property (original writings or other creations) protected from low-life companies that seek to make a profit from them without compensation.
  • Students are expected to never give up their intellectual property to low-life companies that seek to make a profit from them without compensation.
  • The college administration and faculty are expected to honor the intellectual property of all students. Any attempt to force students to submit their intellectual property to low-life companies that seek to make a profit from students' work without compensation to the students is to be avoided, thwarted, or denied with extreme prejudice.
Overall, I think this section from SPC is very good. I just have to take my shots at the abomination that is Turnitin dot bomb every chance I get, and this was a chance to do so.

1 comment:

Andrea L. Frank said...

I am doing a paper on academic honesty in higher learning and I rean accross your blog. I just wanted to say as different as it is that I liked it and plan on citing it in my paper. I am a student at the University of Phoenix - Axia. Thanks,
Andrea L. Frank
frankstich@hotmail.com