Academic Dishonesty: An Educator's Guide

By Bernard E. Whitley Jr.; Patricia Keith-Spiegel | Go to book overview

5
Confronting and Dealing With
Academic Dishonesty

This chapter discusses the unpleasant process of confronting and dealing with instances of academic dishonesty. We offer suggestions for handling academic dishonesty when it is first detected (e.g., while proctoring an exam), discuss the issues involved in resolving cases of suspected and actual dishonesty, and comment on appropriate sanctions and punishments for academic dishonesty.


WHAT ABOUT JUST DOING NOTHING?

Because confronting students suspected of student dishonesty is among the most onerous features of the teaching profession (Keith-Spiegel et al., 1998), it may be extremely tempting to justify inaction when suspicions are aroused. Besides viewing cheating as “a positive form of collaborative learning” (as presented in chapt. l), Box 5.1 provides examples of other possible rationalizations for turning one's eyes away.

It is true that some administrators may be so unsupportive that they cause faculty members to think twice before getting involved in a doubly noxious situation: They must deal with not only a student they suspect of cheating, but also with an indifferent or obstructive administrator. It is also true that some students will reap unfortunate consequences for unethical actions in the future. Of course, dealing with cheating does take some time and mustering of courage. Furthermore, we know that all human beings have frailties. However, as noted in chapter 1, ignoring academic incidents altogether contributes to larger problems for students, our institutions, society, and even for ourselves. Dealing with cheating in a devious manner, such as is illustrated in Box 5.2, does not solve the dilemma either.

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