According to a study reviewed by McCabe, Trevino and Butterfield (2001) 75% of college students have engaged in academic dishonesty at one point in their post-secondary academic career. The study that they completed was a decade long review of research on cheating in academic institutions. Their article concluded that currently academic dishonesty is still an important concern at nearly all post-secondary institutions. The suggestions that the authors give as solutions are far from correct and are evidence of just how disconnected post-secondary institutions are from their student populations.
The article describes a situation where nearly half of all instructors will not utilise the formal structures for reporting academic dishonesty because they are viewed as too harsh. To continue a practice when nearly half of the acting instructors believe it to be effectively useless is asinine. Assuming that instructors actually come into contact with students on a regular basis it is fair to say that they can create a better solution for acts of academic dishonesty than what academic honour codes can offer. It is my opinion that the authors of the article being lifelong academics have a bias to preserve the honour codes of academia. Resultantly this influenced their findings on what would be an appropriate solution to cheating.
The creation of an ethical community was suggested as a solution in the article. As many institutions find, it is very hard to create any kind of community in an institution. For years student unions have actively tried to create campus community with little success. The current honour codes, un-reflexive and absolute, demonstrate the extent to which post-secondary institutions’ attempt to create community. I think the first step would be to create a community that encompasses the entire student population before applying any type of honour code if any. Notably contemporary theories contend that student populations are a specific subculture due to the institutional structures of academic institutions much like correctional inmates. This form of subculture is typically confused with community due to similarities in accepted norms and behaviours. This confusion may be mistaken as the completion of the first step. The second step would be to nurture values related to academic integrity within the community, be that with an honour code or informal expression of norms.
The structure of the research completed disregards the reasons why students cheat. It seems that the authors are convinced cheating is akin to homicide and this seemingly obvious revelation is known to the entire student population. I...