AIC FAQ by HC111207052352

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									                                             FREQUENTLY
                                                 ASKED
                                                    QUESTIONS
                                                On my honor, I pledge that this work of
                                             mine does not violate the U.C. Student Code
                                             of Conduct rules on cheating or plagiarism.


                                    September, 2007
        In spring quarter 2007 Student Senate unanimously adopted a resolution of support for
the above U.C. Honor Pledge, and Faculty Senate by voice vote with some opposed endorsed its
use at the discretion of the instructor. The revised Student Code of Conduct
(www.uc.edu/conduct) encourages use of the pledge and simplifies faculty reporting of academic
misconduct. (http://www.uc.edu/provost/faculty/faculty_affairs.html)
        In order to encourage a) improved reporting of misconduct and b) use of the Pledge, this
revised Academic Integrity Campaign FAQ responds to several key objections voiced by critics.

       1. Does U.C. have a problem with cheating and plagiarism?

SCOC Academic Misconduct FAQ
     2. Is anyone hurt when students cheat and plagiarize?
     3. Should students who know cheaters take any action?
     4. Why should faculty do more as academic integrity role models?
     5. What are the revised SCOC academic misconduct procedures and sanctions?

Honor Pledge FAQ
      6. Does any research show that an Honor Code or Pledge is a meaningful deterrent
      to cheating?
      7. Why have an honor pledge that most U.C. faculty will not use or enforce,
      resulting in even greater cynicism about additional paper work that makes no
      difference?
      8. What are the consequences for a student who objects to the pledge and does not
      sign but has not cheated?


       9. Where can I find more information and/or challenge these answers?
1. Does U.C. have a problem with cheating and plagiarism?
        In an unscientific student government poll of U.C. students ending March 7, 2007, 29%
of the 6,034 responding indicated they had observed or heard of cheating on campus. Since 2004,
cases of academic misconduct by U.C. students reported to the Office of University Judicial
Affairs (OUJA) increased from under 10 per year to more than 50 per year. Examples include
term paper plagiarism, copied lab reports, and cheating on tests, including at least one PhD
comprehensive exam.

       Evidence of widespread cheating elsewhere might be extrapolated to U.C. Of the more
than 64,000 undergraduate respondents on a national survey, 11% admitted to copying from
another student without their knowledge, 9% with their knowledge, and 10% admitted to helping
another student cheat.i The 2003 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) found that
―87% of college students surveyed reported that their peers sometimes copy and paste
information from the Web for reports and papers—without citing sources.‖ii Term paper mills
sell work for hire. In a widely publicized recent case, Ohio University has considered revoking
MAs awarded to engineering students who were found to have plagiarized their theses.

         Faculty as well as students, both at U.C. and other major universities, have violated
academic integrity, as illustrated by the Pulitzer prize winning authors found guilty of
plagiarism. A recent financial aid loan scandal has also revealed misconduct by administrative
staff at the most prestigious institutions. Fabricated degrees on false cv’s are all too common.
At a time of pervasive public skepticism about institutional corruption, an honor pledge and
improved reporting are only first steps as U.C. forcefully affirms its commitment to integrity by
all members of our community.

                  SCOC Academic Misconduct Reports FAQ

2. Is anyone hurt when students cheat and plagiarize?
        Many students and their professors behave as though no one is hurt when a student copies
only a few sentences without a footnote or fabricates lab data. In a survey of 63,700
undergraduates, over one third reported paraphrasing/copying a few sentences for a written
assignment without footnoting the source. Over 40% indicated that such copying was not
cheating or was “trivial”. Only 68% of the undergraduates surveyed indicated that fabricating or
falsifying lab data amounted to moderate or serious cheating, and 19% reported that they had
done so. Over 80% of faculty regarded such copying and 97% considered such data fabrication
as moderate or serious cheating.iii

       In Assessment Project surveys involving almost 10,000 professors however, ―44% of
those who were aware of student cheating in their course in the last three years, have never
reported a student for cheating to the appropriate campus authority. Students suggest that
cheating is higher in courses where it is well known that faculty members are likely to ignore
cheating.‖ iv
         The first victim of plagiarism is the person who paid and worked for learning that can
only be acquired by original writing. Copying one definition from Wikipedia or the dictionary
can still be the wrong choice between two “ correct” meanings for a word such as “sanction”
than can mean either – a) permission or b) a penalty. Even if the student recognized the right
choice of meanings, copying or paraphrasing the definition can be done without understanding
the term or being able to use it correctly in a sentence. Rewriting the definition with different,
original words requires thinking that leads to understanding.

       Fellow students are victims when cheaters earn undeserved high grades that provide an
advantage in competing for academic honors, jobs, and admission to selective graduate or
professional schools.

       Students are victimized when faculty fed up with widespread plagiarism no longer assign
research papers that are essential to the undergraduate learning experience because of
misconduct by a minority.

       When widespread cheating results in public scandal, as in the case of plagiarized
Master‟s Theses at Ohio University, the academy appears as corrupt as Enron or Worldcom.

        Other victims include patients injured by doctors who earned licenses after cheating in
medical school, taxpayers penalized by incorrect returns prepared by an accountant who
fabricated data in college, those injured when a bridge designed by a dishonest engineer fails
under stress, and home buyers whose lawyers draft flawed deeds after cheating in law school
classes on property.v

        The UC Student Code of Conduct assures that students accused of plagiarism receive due
process in procedures that also protect the rights of student victims and that recognize the
faculty‟s responsibility to sanction academic misconduct.

3. Should students who know cheaters take any action?
        UC honor codes at the colleges of law and medicine obligate students to report cheating
that they observe. At US military academies and universities such as Virginia failure to do so is
regarded as a moral failing. On the street and in many other institutions however, some
whistleblowers who flagged misconduct have been denounced as “snitches” -- disloyal
informers.

        The UC Student Code of Conduct, with the endorsement of Student Government and
Faculty Senate, has encouraged instructors to use an honor pledge “light” that does not include a
promise to report misconduct by others. When asked to support the pledge, some members of
The UC Graduate Student Assembly complained that their reports of misconduct were ignored
by faculty and academic program directors who took no action to sanction or stop the cheating.
Students who report cases of stealing and assault to the University Judicial Affairs Office, may
not feel a similar need to report academic misconduct or may not know how to proceed.

        Students unwilling to turn in a cheater might still protect themselves from misconduct by
declining to share their own work with individuals suspected of copying. Many professors
encourage collaborative group work as a learning tool; if they assign original, individual projects
then sharing work for others to copy violates the UC Student Code of Conduct provision on
aiding and abetting.

        Students who discourage cheating by their friends and confront cheaters by objecting to
plagiarism serve their own interests in being evaluated properly in a fair grading system.

         When students who feel an ethical responsibility do report cheating by others, some but
not all faculty will respond effectively. If the course instructor does not respond appropriately or
the student would rather report to someone else, there are a number of individuals responsible for
assuring academic integrity at UC who might be contacted, including: The chair of the
Academic Issues Committee of Student Government, the undergraduate or graduate academic
program director or department head, the College Conduct Administrator, the University
Ombuds, and the Office of University Judicial Affairs.

4. Why should faculty do more as academic integrity role models?
  Faculty don‟t want to be academic cops or the plagiarism police for many reasons:
    Investigating and prosecuting student plagiarism takes valuable professional time.
    Department promotion criteria reward faculty for research, teaching and service--ethics
      instruction and code enforcement aren‟t part of the job description.
    Instructors who report academic misconduct feel “punished by the process” -- time
      consuming paperwork, emotional personal confrontations, and review hearings controlled
      by students and administrators. Experienced professional faculty want the academic
      freedom to fail a student found guilty of cheating
    When dishonest students cheat themselves the instructor may conclude there is more to
      lose than to gain by policing their misconduct.

 The Rebuttal Case for Faculty as Role Models of Academic Integrity
    Implementing effective preventive tools that reduce plagiarism requires less time than
      coping with a widespread cheating epidemic. As noted above, students are more likely to
      cheat when instructors ignore misconduct (See note 4).
    Online tutorials and quizzes can be assigned as pre-tests to teach students that plagiarism is
      “intellectual kidnapping.” See http://tutorials.sjlibrary.org/tutorial/plagiarism/selector.htm
      and “You be the Judge” http://www.fairfield.edu/x14498.html The UC Library provides
      faculty resources on prevention and detection at
      http://www.libraries.uc.edu/instruction/faculty/plagiarism.html#links and resources for
      students at http://www.libraries.uc.edu/instruction/students/plagiarism.html
    SafeAssign text-matching software on Bb now enables students and their instructors to
      detect copied passages and remedy plagiarism with minimal effort.
    Encouraging students to write and sign the U.C. Honor Pledge on written assignments as
      well as tests should provide an additional deterrent.
    The revised U.C. Student Code of Conduct considerably simplifies the burden of
      reporting academic misconduct while increasing the instructor‟s discretion to fail a
      student on the exercise without review by a hearing panel.
    The burden of deterring, detecting and sanctioning misconduct is lighter than the multiple
      burdens of allowing cheaters to earn credentials for which they are unqualified and to
       gain an unfair advantage over fellow students in competition for academic honors, jobs
       and admissions to selective graduate or professional schools.
      Successfully promoting academic integrity fosters critical bonds of trust between students
       and faculty. Refusing to assign research papers in order to eliminate plagiarized work
       deprives innocent students of critical learning.
      A university wide, shared commitment might help UC acquire a reputation for integrity
       enjoyed by elite institutions and to avoid the scandals that have besmirched too many
       others in higher education.

5. What are the revised SCOC academic misconduct procedures and sanctions?
        Depending on the extent of the misconduct, and the instructor‟s discretion, sanctions
range from compassionate forgiveness, through instructional mercy, to justice with tough love.
The instructor may require:
         Resubmission of the assignment with or without a reduced grade for the exercise and
           with no formal report of academic misconduct;
         A satisfactory completion certificate for an online plagiarism tutorial/quiz
         Formal report of academic misconduct to the department, College Conduct
           Administrator, and Office of University Judicial Affairs. UC student disciplinary
           records for 6 years with access limited to those with an educational need to know and
           those who receive permission from the student – law school admissions, government
           employers, etc.
         Reduced or failing grade on the exercise.
         Reduced or failing grade for the course
         Recommendation to the College Hearing Panel/Dean/Provost for probation, suspension,
           dismissal

        Students are entitled to notice and an opportunity to respond, but instructors should not be
―punished by the process.‖ The Student Code of Conduct does not require a face-to-face meeting,
but a personal conversation often helps resolve the situation. For distance-learning students who
plagiarize, the instructor may rely exclusively on email exchanges.

        The SCOC procedures call on faculty to report academic misconduct subject to failure in
the course, but a report is optional for a grade penalty on the exercise. Improved recordkeeping is
essential to identify repeat offenders subject to more severe sanctions. A one page fill in the
blank academic misconduct report form is available online and simplifies the reporting.
http://www.uc.edu/provost/faculty/faculty_affairs.html Under the SCOC students who deny
responsibility have a right to a college hearing to contest a report of academic misconduct. A
College Hearing panel recommends a final sanction to the Dean based on review of the evidence
presented.
                                    Honor Pledge FAQ
6. Does any research show that an Honor Code or Pledge is a meaningful
deterrent to cheating?
        The Center for Academic Integrity, http://www.academicintegrity.org/, conducts
extensive student surveys that provide data used to compare self- reports of cheating at code,
modified code and non-code universities. The results of multi-campus surveys with a 35%
response rate show a correlation between use of a code or pledge and lower rates of cheating.vi
The methodology is easily challenged, as it is difficult if not impossible to obtain reliable data on
the extent of cheating.

        CAI Executive Director Tim Dodd notes: ―We institute codes and pledges as a call to
awareness and understanding and not primarily as a tool of deterrence. While we have
responsibility to deter and/or catch those who cheat and plagiarize, we are called by mission to
mentor ethical citizens. Codes and pledges, when thoughtfully mobilized throughout students'
academic careers, provoke pause, reflection and dialogue -- the hallmarks of the ethically lived
life. Deterrence is affected not through coercion or imposition (there are far more coercive and
imposing measures that could be adopted if our only concern was to stop cheating) but through a
raised consciousness that resists the temptations of expediency and thievery. Codes and pledges
teach.‖

7. Why have an honor pledge that most U.C. faculty will not use or enforce,
resulting in even greater cynicism about additional paper work that makes no
difference?
        An excellent question as illustrated by CAI Assessment Project surveys involving almost
10,000 faculty over a three year period: ―44% of those who were aware of student cheating in
their course in the last three years, have never reported a student for cheating to the appropriate
campus authority. Students suggest that cheating is higher in courses where it is well known that
faculty members are likely to ignore cheating.‖ (See note 4) The Academic Integrity Campaign
seeks to remedy that problem by promoting an honor pledge, and the challenge is indeed a
difficult one.

        Honor Code systems such as the ones at the UC Colleges of Law and Medicine obligate
students to report cheating that they observe. The SCOC honor pledge ―light‖ is to be used at the
discretion of the instructor and does not require students to report; it is unlikely that many
students will take that difficult step. Nor will the pledge deter dishonest students determined to
conceal their cheating by falsely signing the pledge. Although the pledge is not a panacea, it can
still make a difference. Some students will overcome the temptation to cheat because of the
pledge. Some who feel cheated when cheaters gain a competitive edge will be more inclined to
report misconduct and to encourage faculty to remedy that inequity. Improved reporting by
college conduct officers to the Office of University Judicial Affairs may also result, contributing
to improved implementation of the SCOC on campus.
8. What are the consequences for a student who objects to the pledge and
does not sign but has not cheated?
       Faculty should not award an ―F‖ on an exercise to a student who has honestly done
passing work. The revised SCOC provides that refusal to sign an honor pledge will not be
recorded or reported as academic misconduct unless there is evidence of cheating or plagiarism.

        Most professors would consider a mandatory, signed affirmation enforced by failure
unacceptable, similar to the discredited loyalty oath. U.C. faculty who have used a pledge do so
in various ways, and none are known to have failed students for refusing to sign. Science
instructors have asked students who wish to use their own electronic devices on a test to sign a
statement that no unauthorized material is stored on their equipment. Those who refuse were
only allowed to use calculators supplied by the department. In lab courses, students required to
complete an ethics pre-test have been found less likely to cheat. The faculty co-chair of the
pledge campaign provides an anonymous paper ballot to measure student support before using a
pledge on tests. Varying the wording of the pledge used or asking students to write out the
pledge instead of signing a printed statement are possible ways to avoid ritualized recitation of
an affirmation that has diminishing returns.

       Instructors already have the academic freedom to adopt a great range of sanctions for
excessive absence, cheating, or refusal to sign a pledge that they require. Some instructors are
far more punitive than others. Students can challenge an unduly harsh sanction as arbitrary and
have the right to a grievance hearing that can result in a lighter penalty.

        CAI Executive Director Tim Dodd writes: “Faculty can address students who refuse to
sign pledges in one of two ways. Many refuse to accept and grade work submitted without a
signed pledge. Others encourage students to write their own statements about how their
execution of the test or assignment comports with the values of academic integrity and ethical
conduct. . . . I strongly endorse the latter approach. . . . I would advocate for students to be given
a choice between signing the adopted pledge or crafting their own statements in classes in which
an instructor requires a pledge. We have had instances here at Duke of students writing whole
pages justifying their methods and/or anguishing about their uncertainties. A valuable learning
exercise. . . . If our goal is to provoke pause and reflection, let students spend some time
reflecting on the values of open and honest scholarship as they apply to particular exams, labs
and papers.”

9. Where can I find more information and/or challenge these answers?
Check out the Academic Integrity Campaign list of references at
http://www.uc.edu/conduct/Academic_Integrity_Campaign.html

Committee Members: Daniel.Cummins@uc.edu, Director Office of University Judicial Affairs,
Howard.Tolley@uc.edu, Professor of Political Science, Pam Bach – Librarian, Holly Barber -
Student Government, Billie Burton - Asst. Dean A & S, Michelle Conroy - Student
Government, Dr. John Ned Donnelly - Educational Services, Dr. Regina Sapona - Asst. Dean
CECH, James Radley -- Student Body President
                                              NOTES
i
   Based on ―Cheating Among College and University Students: A North American Perspective,‖
International Journal for Academic Integrity (2005) Volume 1, No. 1.
(http://www.ojs.unisa.edu.au/journals/index.php/IJES/article/viewFile/14/64) and the author Don
McCabe’s powerpoint presentation at the 2001 meeting of the Center for Academic Integrity.
ii
   NSSE: Vast majority of undergrads using IT, but „cut-and-paste‟ a typical academic „strategy‟
December 12, 2003 http://homepages.indiana.edu/121203/text/technology.shtml
iii
    Donald McCabe, ―Cheating Among College and University Students: A North American
Perspective,‖ International Journal for Academic Integrity (2005) Volume 1, No. 1.
(http://www.ojs.unisa.edu.au/journals/index.php/IJES/article/viewFile/14/64).
iv
    Donald McCabe and G. Pavela ―Some Good News about Academic Integrity,‖ Change (2000)
32, No. 5, 32-38. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1254/is_5_32/ai_66278484/pg_7
Donald McCabe and L.K. Trevino "What We Know About Cheating in College: Longitudinal
Trends and Recent Developments," Change (1996) 28, No. 1, 28-33
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1254/is_n1_v28/ai_18011556/pg_4
v
    Lathrop, Ann and Kathleen Foss. Student Cheating and Plagiarism in the Internet Era: A Wake-
Up Call. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2000.
vi
    From ―Some Good News about Academic Integrity,‖ Change (2000) 32, No. 5, 32-38. (with G.
Pavela) http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1254/is_5_32/ai_66278484/pg_7
"What We Know About Cheating in College: Longitudinal Trends and Recent Developments,"
Change (1996) 28, No. 1, 28-33 (with L.K. Trevino).
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1254/is_n1_v28/ai_18011556/pg_4 The author Don
McCabe’s powerpoint presentation at the 2001 meeting of the Center for Academic Integrity
based on survey responses from a 1995 survey of over 4,000 students at 17 code and 14 non-
code schools reports self reported test cheating of 30% and 45%. Twice as many women as men
responded to the survey leading him to caution about use of the results. His 1999 research based
on over 2,000 responses included several ―Modified Code‖ schools that used an honor pledge –
University of Maryland, Kansas State, and University of California at Davis -- where the 36%
reported rate of cheating was higher than at code schools, but below the 45% rate at non-code
universities.

								
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