Academic Integrity Workshop Notes

Firstly, the meeting began with the question if the number of the participants was sufficient to enable generalizations to be made or not. At the beginning, the participating academicians listened to the MP3 which we presented. We decided that with that with the MP3 we can hold a discussion that will include the entire school, because that recording was formed after talking with the students about the aspects of cheating, such as add/ drop course registration with money and paying for homework. After that beginning, the academicians started to talk about the subject. Some of the subjects and the comments mentioned are the following.

In the meeting it was mentioned that in previous years SU's smaller student population was an advantage. Also it was mentioned that, because of this smaller group, students were more sensitive about cheating because the professors and the students were closer. Today the population of SU is reaching capacity, and as a result, the personal control mechanism which professors have on students is decreasing. In the past, even if the students had a problem, it could be solved immediately by talking with the students, but today because of the increasing population, it is impossible.

It was defended that this meeting was a first step in the discussion process, and as a result, the discussions should be documented. It was emphasized that a text should be the result of that meeting. The students think that cheating is a normal behavior so with the existence of this text it could be easier to have the subject gain importance. With that text, the new target should be the incoming students. It was emphasized that, if the sensitiveness of the school about this subject will be presented to the new students as a text, when they first come to the school, they can be more well-informed about that matter.

Buying course registration slots at add/drop can be seen as a technical problem which can be talked and solved with IT.

Cheaters must receive some punishment that is harder than it is now. For example, the student who does somebody's homework for money, those who pay for their homework, and those who plagiarize or cheat should have severe punishment such expulsion.

Cheating is a difficult issue to solve completely. Because of the complex nature of the issue, we can spread discussions over a long time to get more productive solutions. It was said that, for long term solution, an organization can be established where these problems can be solved by the academicians and the students who are members. Such an organization can be a reflection of a cultural improvement. Like other student clubs, that organization can prepare posters, give lectures and seminars, organize meetings and publish publications.

Professors should reflect a similar attitude about cheating and plagiarism in their own web sites and lesson's sites to make the students can more conscious.

Students defended the issue, saying that they had too much homework and a big pressure about their grades. These factors led to cheating, plagiarizing and having someone do their homework. This position indicated as a defense mechanism by the students.

An Academic Discussion Forum can be formed where there can be meetings about these issues. Issues can be solved in three phases: firstly, analysis of the problem; expectations as to where to find the answers. Then, discussion as to why these behaviours are wrong and at the end, to create a complete method for preventing them in the future?

It should be known to whom the cheating affects negatively and that should be told to the students. The student who is cheating damages his/her own friend. Because of not having enough evidence, the paid giving and receiving of homework to others cannot be revealed, so cheating cannot be prevented completely. As a result of this, it should be told to the students that cheating is wrong. The students should not overlook these kinds of events. In addition, the honest students should be awarded.

STUDENT COMMENTS

  • As long as the teachers ask memorization type questions, the first question that I recognize is that: learning these will not have any aid in the future to my job, because of that, my aim is only to get a good mark so I am cheating during the exam. For example, in the Hum 202 exam, the term of the works and the owner of the works are asked. Because of the reasons that I said, cheating from a dictionary does not seem wrong.
  • The homework responsibility of Sabancı University is more than in the other universities. I need to make concessions in too many social activities that I want to participate in, to get these homework on time. In these conditions, I do not see it is wrong to get the homework from my friend. The basic idea is to pass at that instant, "it is not important how to hand over the homework, I can study later."
  • The English essay's word number seems too much for me to write. When I search from the Internet about my subject I can find some sites which are convenient for my essay. In these conditions, I do not think that copying that part is wrong. If the part that I took is long, I do not want to give reference, because in that position the teacher says: "You did not write half of the essay. " and gives a lower mark. Actually, it is a mistake, but when I do like that my essay seems better to me.
  • Actually, my English is not enough, that is why I make too many copy/pastes from the Internet. By that way, my essay' s English quality increases. I write my essay with better and more gorgeous sentences. The result of that is, getting a better mark. Fist of all, I have money, and secondly, I need to pass the exam. When I joined them together, there were too many times that I got my homework in return for paying. I said the reason, I need to pass the lesson!
  • Let's be honest. In a short mathematic example: I give less money to my friend to do my homework than the money that I will give to summer school and dorms, if I need to come to summer school. I am practical about money and I will not need to spend my time in summer at that remote place. Actually, if the summer school' s price were less than it is now, I could risk being here at summer and I could strive to be successful. I would not get my homework from another person. The summer school would not be a fear for me, on the contrary, I can feel relieved during the term.
  • For example, some of the students are intelligent from birth and do homework without spending too much time. Some of the students are rich from birth and have another student do homework.
  • This school has deficiency in registration system and everybody can use this. You can get the course and during the add/drop you can sell it to a person who wants that course so much. It's reason is obvious, you can get money in a easy way. If I have that "possibility" I can use it.
  • All irregulars already took Hum 202. If you give the Hum 202 course to these irregulars, doing add/ drop in response to money will be inevitable.
  • I can do homework to another one in response to money. By that way I can earn my allowance. I cannot see any difference between that and giving a private lesson. If a private lesson is not forbidden in that school, doing homework should not be forbidden also. That can be said, during the private lessons the students learn something but doing their homework does not gain them something. They suddenly get the ready homework. I do not agree with that. If I do someone' s homework, I try to do more understandable homework for him/ her. In brief, to have another person do homework cannot be prevented.
  • Doing homework is hard and I do not bother to do it. Actually, I do not know that if I try that I can do the work. I have money so I have done it by someone.
  • The school system is enough to let the student earn more than 100%. If registration changes at the same time, and the chance given to everybody, the faster ones can register for the lessons. Also, off campus registrations are made through separate servers than the ones made on campus. For example, I am not from Istanbul, and I cannot come to Istanbul one week before only for registration. If I need to get one lesson, I have to get it with money.
  • Because of not attending to the lessons, I need to study my friend's notes. If I find someone who has good notes, I can buy it also. My aim is to get a better mark.
  • Is it the student who exalts in making money? Ask yourself? It is money, money, money, management that directs people to these ways. Just drain your power to the students.
  • The one who pays the piper calls the tune. Whose comprehension is that? Answer = Sabancı University.
  • I do not want to make somebody to do my homework as a response having money but why cannot we see that the reason is the school administration? But when it comes to the management, no one dares to talk.
English