idajones

Have Money, Will Cheat

In cheating, integrity on March 16, 2012 at 8:17 am

Cheating! What is it good for?!

Apparently everything, that is if you’re a member of a fraternity or sorority, an international student, from an educated family or do not require needs-based financial aid. This is according to the summary of a study presented at a conference of student affairs professionals. It is frustrating to look at the statistics on cheating. According to the cited survey of faculty and students at an Arizona University, 60% of students admit they’d cheated on homework, 19% admitted cheating on an exam and 30% admitted cheating on both.

At California State University, Fresno, one of the primary types of cheating is plagiarism. I’ve discussed that issue in this post (and others).  Plagiarism has serious consequences-students do not so their own work and thus faculty cannot evaluate the work. Plagiarism is undoubtedly part of the reason students fail to leave the University as educated citizens. If the students are not doing the work (and this post summarizes some of students’ study habits as reported by the students), then it’s no surprise they graduate unprepared.

Arizona University’s findings are consistent with the findings we’ve made at our University. At Fresno State a colleague, Judith Scott, and I, have offered workshops to inform students about the definition of plagiarism and how to avoid it. We’ve done that for Crowd-paradenearly seven years. The workshops have been very popular with students and faculty.  Each year, approximately  2000 students attend the workshops and faculty from every school and a variety of departments require that students attend. We offer an online version and are studying the impact of that version, but many faculty and students prefer the 50-minute  face-to-face version of the workshop.With funding cuts, however, it may be that the workshops will no longer be offered.

As a society, the educational institutions in this country have failed to teach students that integrity matters and that getting an education is more than just checking a box and receiving a diploma. In this post, I discuss the NFL’s latest cheating scandal and recommend relatively harsh penalties. Sports are a multi-billion dollar business; the ethical standards should be higher so that fans, like me, can enjoy watching fair competition.

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