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Academic Honesty at COD, How honest are COD’s students?

Kitt Fresa, News Editor

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Have you ever cheated on a test? Have you ever been tempted to? According to an ongoing survey of ALP English students to measure academic honesty at COD, 75 percent of students answered yes.

As part of an ongoing initiative, The Academic Honesty Committee has been working on educating students on what constitutes cheating in class. In an interview with Academic Honesty Committee member Jennifer Kelley, she said, “I’m new to the committee, but I think it’s overarching goal right now is to kind of shift the discussion about academic honesty on campus away from it being punitive and more being like “this is our culture at the college.” We value academic integrity, we expect it, we work towards that goal.” The initiative may be working as well, questions relating to what constitutes cheating in the recent surveys have been proving to show that students are becoming more aware of what the rules are.

Students have been answering survey questions more accurately as the survey has been given out over time. “A friend lets you copy their homework because you left yours at home” and “you hand in a paper you wrote for a different class” are two examples of cheating that the survey asks the student to respond to and have recently been getting answered correct.

After being asked if she was surprised at all with the student surveys, Kelley answered, “Not really. The surveys that I’ve been doing with ALP English students have been interesting. I think the students tend to be a little bit more surprised than I am. We’ll go over the results in class and the first question on there is, “have you ever been tempted to cheat?” and everyone’s response is always “yeah, of course” but there’s always a couple of people who haven’t, so they’re surprised that there’s somebody in their class that has never been tempted to cheat.”

When asked how she thought COD could lower the amount of students cheating Kelley said, “Part of it is making the stakes lower, I think that’s a huge part of it. Part of it is also shifting the conversation to, the goal of learning isn’t the grade, the goal of learning is figuring it out. Also creating that culture of academic honesty and academic integrity, everyone being more open about challenges and the reasons why students cheat. I think there’s some instructors who just take the position of “students are going to cheat, no matter what.” So they kind of lock everything down, but I think there needs to be more reflection on why that’s the case and make changes in order to fix that. It’s not a given that students walk in the door and they’re automatically going to cheat, and also its not true, there’s plenty of students who don’t cheat. On the other hand, theres students who happily admit that I’ve had in these sessions where we do the survey that happily admit “Oh yeah I totally got away with this.” So I think it’s understanding why they think that’s ok, what other options could there be, what would have prevented that student from cheating, that kind of measures what we can put into place.”

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Academic Honesty at COD, How honest are COD’s students?