Friday, October 2, 2009

Academic Integrity

The Dean's office called because they had heard that I have an academic integrity violation report to file, and the needed it stat, since that student was up for other violations and they were having a meeting about Student very soon. Could I please hurry up and get the report done?

Well, its a new academic integrity policy. Yes, shocker of shockers, here at Small Religious U, students cheat. A formalized academic integrity policy was a bit overdue. Previously it was handled at the professor level. That means you can cheat your way through school as long as you never reached any one professor's limit. Reports would be send to the Dean's office, but then no one heard what happened after that. I know I haven't yet seen a student kicked out of school for cheating.

Student had taken one of my classes before the formalized policy, and was caught by me cheating. Student has failed at least 2 other classes for cheating. But NOW, we are starting with our new policy. And there are forms to fill out and deadlines to accomplish. In principle, a web form would be nice. But we have a non-fillable PDF, which asks for the student's ID. This requires extra time looking that up. And I have to have the students sign it. If they skulk away from class and / or avoid my requests for a meeting that makes it impossible to get done in a timely manner. All of these things make it quite burdensome to file the AI report. The last thing I need to do is spend my time chasing a cheater down, when I'd much rather be spending my time attending to the needs of, oh, students who actually want to learn and achieve!

I do believe that ideally students who cheat should be given restorative treatment on first pass. They should be confronted- and in Wonderfulworld they will apologize to the professor, realize the error of their ways, and turn from the cheaters path and take the high road to graduation *tinkle, tinkle*. I do believe that can happen.

OTOH, I also believe that for every time someone is caught cheating they've cheated several if many more times than the one they got caught for. Student, for example, was just totally jacking the system so they could stay in Student's social world and be Popular Student on Campus. The fact that they had been caught enough times that two separate profs had flunked Stu, means by my calculations Stu probably successfully cheated their way through at least 12-18 credits.

No restorative treatment for Student in my book. I filled out the bloody form, attached my evidence, let them look up Student's ID number, skipped the signature, and walked it to the Dean's office myself. I'm anxious to hear the results.

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