Why is it necessary for a university to establish a code of conduct? The University of Florida’s answer is in the following quote, “The University of Florida is an institution which encourages the intellectual and personal growth of its students as scholars and citizens. As an educational institution, the University recognizes that the transmission of knowledge, the pursuit of truth, and the development of individuals require the free exchange of ideas, self-expression, and the challenging of beliefs and customs.
In order to maintain an environment where these goals can be achieved safely and equitably, the University promotes civility, respect, and integrity among all members of the community. As stated in the Standard of Ethical Conduct, students are expected to exhibit high standards of behavior and concern for others. The University strives to protect and guide the educational community by establishing a Student Conduct Code and student judicial system, which promotes individual and social responsibility” (Electronic).
The code of conduct is a legacy document existent in some of the first universities. Why do Universities deem it necessary to implement such a code? A code of conduct is necessary to inform students about the rules of engagement in the academic environment and attempt to preserve academic integrity and prevent infractions such as plagiarism. What constitutes misconduct in the academic environment? What are some examples of misconduct in the student environment? Why is it important for a student to understand and be familiar with the code of conduct?
Students who do not understand the university’s established code of conduct are more likely to perform infractions of misconduct. Not understanding these rules can negatively affect not only the individual’s academic progress but the team’s established goals and academic performance as well. Information is power. Universities should implement briefings and presentations to increase the awareness of an individual’s expectations concerning the code of conduct. Ward Churchill was dismissed from his position at the University of Colorado.
Bindu Ganga was fired from Argosy University in Chicago and had her Doctorate stripped away. Edward Waters College even lost its accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools temporarily. All because they neglected to properly attribute source material they used in their writings. They plagiarized. Failing to give proper credit can cost you a good grade on a paper, a passing grade in a course, a degree, or even your career. Just ask Jayson Blair, formerly of the New York Times.
Some students are unaware that they are committing misconduct when they plagiarize something that they have read somewhere and then they write it in their paper. When trying to look beyond the usual reasons for copying someone else’s work: fear, laziness, and the belief that everyone does it, studies have been performed to try to identify exactly why people plagiarize. Sometimes it is accidental, as shown in a 2006 study on plagiarism performed by students at the University Of Georgia Department Of Psychology.
They found that “people may not spontaneously attempt to recollect sources and either largely ignore this important cognitive component of the task or, perhaps, are able to neglect it altogether”, and “despite being admonished not to copy, participants who performed… tasks inadvertently plagiarized a significant number of items that were originally offered from another external source, and they did so truly believing, as assessed by confidence ratings, that their new contribution was a novel item devised by their own innovation”. Although most of the time it is intentional.
There are many reasons not to plagiarize. It is dishonest, lazy and beneath a college students’ expected level of behavior. With the introduction of networked computers, which allow easy access to documents around the world and the ability to store vast amounts of information, the availability of source material to use as supporting evidence in scholastic writings has increased dramatically. That also means it has become even easier to discover when others are using someone else’s work in their documents and to verify whether they are properly citing where the source material came from.
It is a far less risky option to make the extra effort of giving credit where it is due. This activity is a direct violation of the University Of Phoenix Code Of Conduct/Code of Academic Integrity. B. Martin sums it up nicely in the Journal of Information Ethics: plagiarism is “much more common among both students and scholars than usually recognized” and it “is a serious offense against scholarships and should be condemned and penalized. ” How do you catch a cheating student participating in an online environment?
As defined in the University of Phoenix 2007-2008 Online Master Catalog, cheating is using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise (University). However, without physically interfacing with the student, how does a teacher ensure a student is turning in assignments that are homegrown within the mind of the writer? With the advent of the internet, information is rampant and often unchecked for credibility. In the same instance, it is a Mecca of information potentially influencing the personal education of billions.
Coupling the internet with an online academic environment, there is a potential for cheating. Students are less likely to cheat if they are educated, monitored and disciplined when they perform academic dishonesty. In an article on online cheating written for Black Issues in Higher Education, Dr. Wallace K. Pond, chief of academic affairs at Education America Online takes the position that cheating is far more rampant in the traditional classroom than it is in online classes.
The evolution of online education has unfolded in such a way that the potential for cheating is minimized because of the constraints it has in comparison to traditional lecture hall and classroom teaching, according to Pond (Carnevale). Like an effective antivirus program, if we want to protect our computers from viruses, we have to educate the computer user on what a virus is, how to use the antivirus program, what to do in the case of finding a virus, and how to remediate it.
Similar to that analogy, many academic institutions have incorporated the following tactics to minimize the potential of cheating: class orientation rules, paper submission via plagiarism-checking websites, smaller online classroom environments, and more small writing assignments in the course of the class, proctored tests, and signed documentation from the student understanding the Student Code of Conduct. Prevention through education is the first step.
Through the student orientation phase of each class, instructors reiterate the institution’s policies including rules against cheating, plagiarism, copyright infringements, and other infractions negating academic integrity. Orientation classes, like the GEN300 course ensure students are successful in practicing communications in an online environment while respecting online academic boundaries. It also ensures students understand the consequences of academic dishonesty.
Some classes go as far as listing resources not allowed for use in the research process of an assignment, like CliffsNotes©, SparkNotes©, Wikipedia®, and websites containing manufactured essays. Institutions may require paper submissions through a plagiarism-checking site to ensure proper citation. For example, the plagiarism checker tool is available to University of Phoenix (UoP) students, located in the Center of Writing Excellence.
Classroom size helps the instructor interact with students more often to learn their verbal and written communication style via discussion threads and more writing assignments that are more frequent. The UoP student catalog states the average class size is 13-15 students to control the quality and quantity of interaction (University). Lastly, some institutions incorporate proctored tests ensuring total control of the testing material, delivered to an authorized testing center where students show up at an established timeframe and equipped with just the bare minimum essentials to complete the exam.
It proves the student knows the material based on how well they do on the exam. Luis Nazario, a composition professor at Pueblo Community College in Colorado, says that during his six years of teaching online, he has had three instances of students trying to cheat. Each time, he could tell intuitively that the students had received some extra help when completing their assignments. The best way to weed those students out, Mr.
Nazario says, is through the proctored examinations that are required in the courses. “It’s my chance to get even” (Carnevale). Whether used altogether or individually, these tools provide control in the online academic environment while ensuring students do not cheat in the performance of their studies. Using offensive behavior in the classroom both online and in a brick and mortar school can be very hurtful to classmates, and it is one of the misconducts for the University of Phoenix.
Misconduct is defined as; Conduct either on or off campus, that is determined to impair, interfere, or obstruct the opportunities of others to learn or that disrupts the mission, processes, or orderly functions of the University and will be deemed misconduct and will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action (University). Offensive behavior in an on campus environment entails a whole range of disruptive behaviors including; use of drugs or alcohol, carrying weapons in school, and hazing, among other behaviors.
An online environment shares some of the same behaviors however, we can add more that are disruptive in both an online environment and an on campus environment. Those behaviors that are disruptive in both environments are; cheating, plagiarisms, fabrication, failure to maintain confidentiality, helping another student violate any of the above and other behaviors. These behaviors, which constitute misconduct, are not specific to just the University setting with students.
An example of misconduct in the employment market and workplace follows. Unfortunately, Crace (2003) reports that during the last decade there has been an escalation of academic misconduct as researchers compete for grants and jobs citing a study of 4,000 scientists by the University of Minnesota which reveals that among the group, 15 percent had discarded conflicting data, 22 percent inaccurately managed data, and 33 percent were guilty of plagiarism.
The presence of online and on campus misconduct has made it necessary for Universities to include an ethics clause in their student catalogs and handbooks in an attempt to limit the disruptive effect that misconduct has on both the online environment and the on campus environment. When attending a University one of the first things that they have you take a look at once you are enrolled is the Student Code of Conduct, which can usually be found in the schools Student Catalog for that school year.
There are many rules within the Student Code of Conduct, which every student must adhere to. If they do not follow the rules then they risk getting the punishment for whichever rule that they have broken. When a student does not adhere to the Student Code of Conduct then that is considered misconduct. Plagiarism is one of the misconducts that are most often used by students, whether they do it intentionally or not. Another misconduct that is in almost every schools’ Student Code of Conduct is cheating, which is a serious offense.
If you are caught cheating in most schools you run the risk of failing the class that you are in and possibly being kicked out of school. Offensive behavior that is in the classroom in an online environment towards classmates can be hurtful to your classmates as well as to your teacher, so always keep in mind that it is a good idea to treat others the way you would like them to treat you. If a student wants to be a great student and not accidentally participate in misconduct, then everyone should encourage them to read their schools Student Code of Conduct. References
Carnevale, D. (1999, November 12). How to Proctor From a Distance. Chronicle of Higher Education, 46(12), A47. Retrieved May 11, 2008, from http://search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true=a9h=2464795=ehost-live Martin, B. (1994, Fall). Plagiarism: a misplaced emphasis. Journal of Information Ethics, 3(2), 36-47. Marsh, R. L. , Landau, J. D. , Hicks, J. L. (1997, July). Learning, Memory, and Cognition: Contributions of inadequate source monitoring to unconscious plagiarism during idea generation. Journal of Experimental Psychology 23(4), 886-897.
Electronic 6C1-4. 016 Student Conduct Code; Violations, Penalties and Procedures for Adjudication from the Regulations of the University of Florida. (2005, December 2). Retrieved May 9, 2008, from http://www. dso. ufl. edu/studentguide/studentconductcode. php Snow, R. , Snow, M. (2007). Ethics in information exploitation and manipulation age. Campus-Wide Information Systems 24(3), 207-216. University of Phoenix, Online Master Catalog, Student Rights and Responsibilities, (2007-1008), Retrieved May 9, 2008, from www. ecampus. phoenix. edu. Bibliography Martin, B. 1994, Fall). Plagiarism: a misplaced emphasis. Journal of Information Ethics, 3(2), 36-47. Marsh, R. L. , Landau, J. D. , Hicks, J. L. (1997, July). Learning, Memory, and Cognition: Contributions of inadequate source monitoring to unconscious plagiarism during idea generation. Journal of Experimental Psychology 23(4), 886-897. Carnevale, D. (1999, November 12). How to Proctor From a Distance. Chronicle of Higher Education, 46(12), A47. Retrieved May 11, 2008, from http://search. ebscohost. com/login. aspx? direct=true=a9h=2464795=ehost-live Electronic 6C1-4. 16 Student Conduct Code; Violations, Penalties and Procedures for Adjudication from the Regulations of the University of Florida. (2005, December 2). Retrieved May 9, 2008, from http://www. dso. ufl. edu/studentguide/studentconductcode. php Snow, R. , Snow, M. (2007). Ethics in information exploitation and manipulation age. Campus-Wide Information Systems 24(3), 207-216. University of Phoenix, Online Master Catalog, Student Rights and Responsibilities, (2007-1008), Retrieved May 9, 2008, from www. ecampus. phoenix. edu.