Things you consider academic dishonesty , but people do all the time?

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Main Question or Discussion Point

Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Obviously, bringing in unallowed material for a test (written on hand, etc) is academic dishonesty (AD) but there are a lot of things students do that are in a 'gray area'.

  • Taking unprescribed Adderall
  • Getting Adderall prescribed when it's not needed
  • Purposely getting a low score on a test to determine a "student with disability" status, which allows extra time on tests
  • Legitimately getting a low score on a test to determine a "student with disability" status, which allows extra time on tests
  • Copying parts of code from the internet or friends
  • Obtaining copies of old exams from friends and studying from them
  • Forcing yourself to cry in a professor's office to try to negotiate a better grade
  • Allowing yourself to cry in a professor's office to try to negotiate a better grade
  • Other ways of putting extra pressure on a professor to raise your grade
  • Making up excuses for missing class
  • Overhearing useful information in conversations between professors regarding grading or exams
  • Speaking foreign languages during exams (creates situation where not all students get same information)

What else am I missing? What do you consider to be the most repulsive?
 

Answers and Replies

Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Legitimately getting a low score on a test to determine a "student with disability" status, which allows extra time on tests
I'm wondering why you list this as a "gray area" (I bold your "Legitimately"). Maybe I just tend to be more sympathetic to any "student with disability" than average, given that I have a stepson with multiple physical disabilities (who will never even be able to take a written test). With that in mind, I have no problem allowing a student with disability status to take extra time if that helps them achieve full potential (from what I see, many of these students have visual issues like dyslexia, which slows reading and writing). Not that it is ever an issue for me anyways... since in my gen-ed courses, where I see most of these students, I try to design the tests so everyone has enough time in the class session to finish the exam.
 
Ryan_m_b
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Obviously, bringing in unallowed material for a test (written on hand, etc) is academic dishonesty (AD) but there are a lot of things students do that are in a 'gray area'.

Taking unprescribed Adderall
Getting Adderall prescribed when it's not needed
Why is this AD? If I drink more coffee/energy drink or eat a more nutritional diet I will have greater capability to work over my classmates who don't.

Legitimately getting a low score on a test to determine a "student with disability" status, which allows extra time on tests
If it is legitimate then it's neither AD nor a grey area.

Copying parts of code from the internet or friends
Obtaining copies of old exams from friends and studying from them
Studying past exam papers is a good way to prepare from an exam. The only issue here is that not all students have access to the same resources but that's not the fault of the student who does have access.

Overhearing useful information in conversations between professors regarding grading or exams
Rubbish! If a student comes across a piece of information that is applicable in an exam then it doesn't matter where that information comes from. E.g. If the question is what dose of drug X should you give to a patient with conditions A, B and C then the fact that you know it because of overhearing a professor rather than reading a book doesn't change the fact that you could adequately treat patient X in real life.

Speaking foreign languages during exams (creates situation where not all students get same information)
Who speaking a different language? Students to other students? Why should all students be able to listen in on other student's private conversations?

What else am I missing? What do you consider to be the most repulsive?
How about getting someone else to do your coursework or using a hidden aid during the exam (e.g phone, notes etc)
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Notefolio
 
cristo
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Who speaking a different language? Students to other students? Why should all students be able to listen in on other student's private conversations?
Any talking during an exam is cheating, regardless of which language it is in!
 
848
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

I have not expressed any opinions of my own yet, please do try to read, people.
 
848
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

There are many people who feel it is unfair to give certain students more time on tests, even if they do have some sort of mental disability.
 
ideasrule
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

I know KingNothing hasn't expressed any opinions, so I'm just commenting on his list, not trying to refute it.

[*]Taking unprescribed Adderall
[*]Getting Adderall prescribed when it's not needed
[*]Obtaining copies of old exams from friends and studying from them
[*]Overhearing useful information in conversations between professors regarding grading or exams
My philosophy is that if you know the answer, you should get the point. It shouldn't matter whether you know it because you're naturally good at studying or because you used Adderall to help you study--either way, you have the knowledge. It also shouldn't matter whether you got your information from the textbook, from professors, from old exams, or from /b/, or from an alien artifact.

As for overhearing useful information, it's the professors' responsibility to keep exam information confidential, and if they fail so badly at this that a student can accidentally get information, it's hardly the student's fault for having ears.

[*]Legitimately getting a low score on a test to determine a "student with disability" status, which allows extra time on tests
Depends on the nature of the disability, and the nature of the exam. If the student is dyslexic but can do math problems after understanding them, I see no problem in allowing extra time. He shouldn't be allowed extra time on an English exam because being able to read and spell is an essential part of English.

[*]Copying parts of code from the internet or friends
This is definitely AD. At my school, this isn't a grey area; it means automatic failure of the course, and possibly expulsion from the school.
 
Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

I'm wondering why you list this as a "gray area" (I bold your "Legitimately"). Maybe I just tend to be more sympathetic to any "student with disability" than average, given that I have a stepson with multiple physical disabilities (who will never even be able to take a written test). With that in mind, I have no problem allowing a student with disability status to take extra time if that helps them achieve full potential (from what I see, many of these students have visual issues like dyslexia, which slows reading and writing). Not that it is ever an issue for me anyways... since in my gen-ed courses, where I see most of these students, I try to design the tests so everyone has enough time in the class session to finish the exam.
I think the disabilities being referred to are the more nebulous "anxiety issues". I find these much more dubious. Basically a person gets their own room and 6 hours to write a 3 hour test because they got a doctor to say "tests make them nervous". I find these especially suspicious when the 3 hour test was like, you only got around to finishing 3/4ths you could have really used just 10 MORE MINUTES, etc.

The thing is how could you ever demonstrate that a persons "anxiety" is atypical to normal test anxiety. That and some students just google the symptoms and regurgitate them to a doctor.

I've always felt that some university should do a comprehensive study of the test grade of people who purport to have these disabilities. If they are significantly above average (which I'd think they would be) then I think we should reconsider these policies. We won't of course, because setting out to tell people they're NOT disabled is probably PR suicide.
 
Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

One that I always thought was hilarious is that at one of the unis I went to it actually listed "Collaborating with other students on non-group assignments" as Academic Dishonesty. EVERYONE, worked with someone else (or a group) on homework assignments.
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Obtaining copies of old exams from friends and studying from them
It is more the fault of the professor since he did not keep the old exams or since he did not release them to everyone. Since most classes have almost everyone doing it, I don't see how it's dishonest to level the playing field against those students.

Forcing yourself to cry in a professor's office to try to negotiate a better grade
Allowing yourself to cry in a professor's office to try to negotiate a better grade
Other ways of putting extra pressure on a professor to raise your grade
None of those are dishonest. It's the fault of the professor, not the student.

Overhearing useful information in conversations between professors regarding grading or exams
To overhear is not to have control over hearing. How the hell can accidentally finding out knowledge be dishonest? Maybe, they think it's dishonest, because the student should have told the professor he overheard it.

Speaking foreign languages during exams
Does this mean asking the teacher questions in another language (one who understand that foreign language)?
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

None of those are dishonest. It's the fault of the professor, not the student.
It's the fault of the professor if he raises the grade, but I consider it to be very dishonest to start crying to your professor and begging him to raise the grade. People who do this lose all my respect...
 
BobG
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Copying parts of code from the internet or friends
This is definitely AD. At my school, this isn't a grey area; it means automatic failure of the course, and possibly expulsion from the school.
Hold on, here. That's some serious overkill depending on the situation.

For example, you might use Fast Fourier Transforms over and over in Matlab codes where the object of the program you're writing is something completely different than showing whether or not you can write a Fast Fourier Transform.

So, if you wrote code for a Fast Fourier Transform, would you have to rewrite it from scratch in every program you used it in?

Or could you copy code that you'd written previously for a different program that used FFTs?

Could you just copy the code from your textbook as long as you typed it into your program yourself?

Could you download what is a very common slice of code from the Internet?

Or could you just use the built in Fast Fourier Transform function that someone else wrote and included in the Matlab software?

If writing a program in C++, could you use the square root function built into the C++ language? The function that some other programmer wrote? Or would you have to write your own segment of code that takes square roots?

Just by using a language's built-in functions instead of designing and coding each function yourself, you're using someone else's code.

When it comes to code, I don't think you can apply some catch-all policy on copying segments of code from other sources to use in a bigger program. It should almost be treated the same as using quotations in research papers.

I do agree that if your class is assigned to write a program to sort n objects, copying a bubble sort program from the internet or a classmate and calling it your own is cheating. But there has to be some common sense involved, as well.
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

I'd recommend the person who wrote that list learn what academic dishonesty is.
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Obviously, bringing in unallowed material for a test (written on hand, etc) is academic dishonesty (AD) but there are a lot of things students do that are in a 'gray area'.

  • Allowing yourself to cry in a professor's office to try to negotiate a better grade
There's a difference between making oneself cry in a prof's office and crying because you can't help it. This is a little off-topic, but I remember reading the story of a transgender person (male-to-female) who, when she started taking female hormones (i.e., estrogen) during "transition," suddenly found herself crying during movies and on other occasions that wouldn't have fazed her when she was male and didn't have those particular hormones in her body. So, a dude might go into a prof's office but not cry, but a girl may go in, have the same exact encounter and cry. The girl isn't being manipulative or dishonest; she may really not be able to avoid crying. It's just a hormonal--not ethical or moral--issue.
 
fluidistic
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

So, a dude might go into a prof's office but not cry, but a girl may go in, have the same exact encounter and cry. The girl isn't being manipulative or dishonest; she may really not be able to avoid crying. It's just a hormonal--not ethical or moral--issue.
Although I agree with you about the fact that girls are more likely to cry than men, I do think that humans should really make efforts (in this case the girl shouldn't cry or if she can't control it, she shouldn't go into the professor office) to keep the control of themselves.
Would you justify a raper in a trial because... err well... his acts were just hormonal? :/

Edit: not sure the following example would fit as an academic dishonesty. You be the judge :) : photocopying books.
 
AlephZero
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

It much be tough being an academic. I remember a week-long residential management training course (i.e. 7 consecutive days of more than 16 working hours a day!) which included several business games.

A complaint about unfair play from one of the losing teams on day 2 got this putdown from the course leader: "Show me where the rules say that you can't cheat".
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

I think the disabilities being referred to are the more nebulous "anxiety issues". I find these much more dubious. Basically a person gets their own room and 6 hours to write a 3 hour test because they got a doctor to say "tests make them nervous". I find these especially suspicious when the 3 hour test was like, you only got around to finishing 3/4ths you could have really used just 10 MORE MINUTES, etc.

The thing is how could you ever demonstrate that a persons "anxiety" is atypical to normal test anxiety. That and some students just google the symptoms and regurgitate them to a doctor.
I have horrible test anxiety*, which I've previously described here on Physics Forums. For me, it's far from ordinary test anxiety; it's completely debilitating, leading to hyperventilation...and when you can't get oxygen to your brain, you're NOT going to perform well.

I've never received any accommodation for test anxiety, not even an extra five minutes of exam time. However, I do take an Ativan before any exam. Ativan is like the polar opposite of Adderall. It makes you calm down, even feel a little sleepy. In fact, many people use it as a sleep aid. For me, it keeps me relaxed enough to breathe normally. In no way does it enhance my performance on a test.

*FWIW, my test anxiety is related to my auditory processing disorder which went undiagnosed for a long time. If you want to know the details, just PM me.
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

Although I agree with you about the fact that girls are more likely to cry than men, I do think that humans should really make efforts (in this case the girl shouldn't cry) to keep the control of themselves.
Would you justify a raper in a trial because... err well... his acts were just hormonal?
What makes you think the girl didn't put effort into controlling her emotions?

Yeah, any rapist should be given the death penalty. No dispute there. Hormones don't make anyone rape, but they can make someone cry.
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

I've always felt that some university should do a comprehensive study of the test grade of people who purport to have these disabilities. If they are significantly above average (which I'd think they would be) then I think we should reconsider these policies. We won't of course, because setting out to tell people they're NOT disabled is probably PR suicide.
So what if you're smart enough to be above average even with your anxiety or disability, but your performance is still significantly less than what it would be if you were "neuro-typical" (in the case of a reading disability, for example) or had a normal amount of pre-test jitters (in the case of severe test anxiety)?
 
fluidistic
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

What makes you think the girl didn't put effort into controlling her emotions?

Yeah, any rapist should be given the death penalty. No dispute there. Hormones don't make anyone rape, but they can make someone cry.
I edited my post a few times :D
I said I agree that girls are more prompt to cry. I would not call the fact to head -crying- into a professor office to be "dishonest". I'd call that unfair. In fact I personally believe it's unfair to claim for a better grade if the grade was well given, i.e. the test taker did bad in the test/exam. Now if a girl cries and the professor feels compassion with respect to the girl and set her a better grade, I feel that's totally unfair for other students.
Edit: But fortunately I've never seen it happening in University.
 
Last edited:
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

I'd recommend the person who wrote that list learn what academic dishonesty is.
At no point did I ever say I personally considered any of those to be or not to be AD.
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

At no point did I ever say I personally considered any of those to be or not to be AD.
At no point did I specify you were the one who wrote the list. :wink:

Perhaps I should have used "created" instead...
 
Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

So what if you're smart enough to be above average even with your anxiety or disability, but your performance is still significantly less than what it would be if you were "neuro-typical" (in the case of a reading disability, for example) or had a normal amount of pre-test jitters (in the case of severe test anxiety)?
...In comprehensive studies one AVERAGES results from a large sample of data. The point of this is to reduce the distortion of outliers.
 
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Re: Things you consider "academic dishonesty", but people do all the time?

There was one thing today that I considered dishonest.
A student finished his exam very quickly and went outside.
A few minutes later the teacher explained a question on the test a little more.
When testing was over, the student came back in the class and was asking others what they put for that particular answer. Many other students told him their answers. Someone told him that the teacher explained it a little more when he was gone. He asked the teacher if he could redo that question because she explained it more in his absence and of course she obliged. If he didn't get the answer from other students I think this would have been ok, but it seemed dishonest to me.
 

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