Academic integrity is a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values:
Raritan Valley Community College defines academic integrity as a commitment to independent, original, and honest work. Students are expected to conduct themselves with scholarly integrity. The information in this tutorial is designed to get you thinking about some of the temptations to cheat or situations where acting with academic integrity might be difficult or when it is unclear what is the right thing to do. We'll start by learning about some research behind people's motivations for and likelihood of cheating.
In this TedTalk, Dan Ariely describes research experiments he has conducted to determine why people cheat or steal. It will begin a few minutes into the video; you can stop the video at 8:22.
The following scenarios describe situations where students are put in a position to exercise their academic integrity. Read through the scenario and think about whether what is described demonstrates academic integrity. After each scenario, answer the related quiz questions.
In Biology 101, there are lab groups of four students. Tiesha, Antonio, Sally, and Jim are in a lab group together. They sit at a lab table together in class, work on all labs together, and write group lab reports that get handed in and graded, and everyone in the group gets the same grade. Over spring break, the professor gives a take-home exam with the following instructions:
This mid-term exam will show me what you have learned so far from our lectures and labs. It is a take-home, open-textbook exam. You may use any notes you’ve taken in class, the assigned textbook, and all the materials I have provided to you online in our course page. The exam is due at our first class session after break, or you can upload it to the class page any time before that class meeting. If you submit your exam before 11:59PM Wednesday of spring break, I will provide feedback and return it to you so you can make improvements before it is due.
Tiesha and Jim both submit their exam before Wednesday and get it back with the instructor’s suggestions. They meet in the library to compare his notes. While there, Antonio shows up to work on his exam, which he hasn’t started. He sits down with his lab partners and the three of them discuss the best answers to the exam questions. They each write their own answers and then read them to each other to make sure they sound good.
Consider: Is this ok? Why or why not?
Jean is taking American History as a hybrid class this semester, and all of the tests are online. Her laptop isn’t working because Marco spilled his Starbucks on it, so she goes to the library to use one of the computers there for this unit’s test. As she’s working, a guy in her class, Ben, sees her and comes over.
Ben: What up, Jean?
Jean: Hey Ben! (blushing and nervous because she’s so in love with Ben)
Ben: (Looking over Jean’s shoulder at the test) Oh yeah, man, that question was the hardest one. I looked it up in the textbook to see if I got it right. The answer’s B.
Jean: Really? I was thinking it was C . . .
Ben: I’m telling ya, I checked, it’s B.
Jean: (Uncertainly) Cool, thanks.
Jean selects B and continues with the test. Is this ok? Why or why not?
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to doing work for an online class:
It’s Leslie’s senior year and she is taking Ethics and Morality as an elective. The final assignment is a 10-page research paper on any topic related to what’s been taught in the class. A few semesters ago, Leslie took Introduction to Philosophy and wrote a 9-page paper about the connection between moral behavior and a person’s happiness. She titled that paper, “The Morality of Happiness.” All of the major points in that paper have also been discussed in the class Leslie is now taking. After re-reading the paper, Leslie adds another paragraph to the conclusion to make it 10 pages long. Now that she is a more sophisticated writer, Leslie decides to title this paper, “Don’t Worry, Be Moral: How Happiness and Moral Behavior are Connected.”
Consider: Is this ok? Why or why not?