Avoiding Academic Dishonesty In the Classroom

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Harvard University expelled around 70 students this month in response to a cheating scandal that rocked the university last year. In addition to the 70 students that were forced to withdraw, the media reports that around 100 additional students received disciplinary action as a result of their behavior.

According to the New York Times, 279 students enrolled in an Intro to Congress course found the course to be more difficult than in years past and collaborated with one another and other graduate students in order to succeed in the course. Administrators questioned their activities when students had almost identical answers on a final exam. The students stated that they collaborated while administrators felt that students cheated during the exam.

Unfortunately, collaboration can often be a grey area where administrators and students may have differing opinions. Often, students are encouraged to study together, take notes together, and use one another freely to further their academic careers. Now, with the introduction of online education, students have even greater reasons to collaborate because the instructor is not available in the classroom at a set time to answer questions as they arise. So how can instructors and universities remind students that collaboration isn’t always allowed in a class?

1. Academic Honor Code: Instructors should remind students of the academic honor code that they agreed to upon being accepted into a college or university. This ethical code is reminder enough that students should uphold increased moral judgment when completing assignments because of the risk of academic discipline or expulsion.

2. Identity Verification: An easy way to define collaborative assignments from individual assignments is to use identity verification systems to assure students are working alone on specific projects. The use of ProctorFree’s facial and voice recognition system will remind students to work individually on assignments and provide instructors with security in knowing students are being honest.

3. Clear Direction: Sometimes students need reminders to work individually. Using clear instructions will help students know when to work together and when to work apart.

Combining these three points will create a high level of academic integrity in the classroom which only helps students and instructors in the long run. Universities can maintain a high quality reputation, keep students in class, and know that graduates have the best education possible.

Call ProctorFree today at 704-584-9626 to get your school started on our high integrity, secure identity verification system.

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