Hot answers tagged

174

What you are doing is called catastrophizing. This incident, unpleasant and mildly serious though it is, is simply not the life-destroying event you imagine it to be, and you are not the evil person you imagine yourself to be for having committed this act of dishonesty. In fact, I think the worst aspect of the situation is the negative thoughts you are ...


115

Since you ask, specifically, about legality, I'll say that it is unlikely that it would be a matter of criminal law anywhere, though, of course, I can't know the laws of every jurisdiction. But it could well be a matter of civil law and if this were known could easily generate a lawsuit against everyone involved. I think that a person would be very ...


98

You are thinking about this like an industry employee (which you are, so that's a reasonable stance). Your advisor is thinking about this like an academic (which they are, so that's a reasonable stance). Some perspectives: Academic work is personal work and community work You don't work for someone in academia as much as you work with someone. It seems ...


61

When it comes to "he-said, she-said" situations, as seems to be the case here, most institutions will tend to take the side of professors by default. For obvious reasons—the 18–22 year old college student is much more likely to lie to obtain a favourable mark, than the professor is to act maliciously to sabotage a student. The only scenario where the ...


50

Any you in my answer is general. I am discussing the general ethics or the ethics of your professor’s actions here, not yours. You have a formal grading system (exams with points, a grading rubric mapping percentages to grades, some formula to derive the final percentage from the exam and other contributions, etc.) to make grading transparent and thus more ...


48

Okay, this is just my opinion but I'm a professor with a lot of life experience. Some, very few, but some, of my students have cheated on exams I have given them. They've gotten in trouble for it. Maybe I should clarify that statement. Some of my students have been caught cheating and have gotten into trouble for it. I don't know what proportion actually ...


35

As for addressing what already happened, this obviously depends a lot on what rules you have, but it may still be worth looking whether you have some of those very broad rules demanding mutual respect, not being a nuisance, not damaging the university, etc. These need not be in the students’ code of conduct, but might as well be in the enrolment contract or ...


29

Since cultural differences may be important here: I'm in germany. As you say, the teaching staff in academia learns teaching mostly in a form of training on the job. Pedagogy training for university teaching staff is a rather recent advance here, and I'm not sure how widespread that is done (read: likely still rare). Within that system, you have to ...


28

TLDR: it’s not technically illegal, but as for whether it is ethical and/or academically appropriate, it’s complicated. (That’s why the answer below is longer than I normally like answers to be — sorry for that.) Your story reflects a tension that exists between two different notions that one might define for what it means for a student to “deserve” to pass ...


26

Independent re-evaluation and re-grading In my institution a situation like that "The real strike comes at the end of the semester" complaint and dispute with some potential risk of unfair grading or not following due process because of some personal animosity would result in the student's submitted work being regraded and any oral exams/presentations/...


22

I think the others have given some helpful general advice. Let me respond to two specific concerns. Along with both options, a report of academic misconduct will be reported to the chair of the engineering department of my discipline. I think it's worth understanding this further. Is this just an e-mail to the chair, or is it something "on your record" ...


22

My thesis advisor expects me to 1) write the paper rebuttal and 2) finish any remaining experiments by coming in on the weekends, for free. I am now working full-time in industry, and no longer being paid by him. Is this ethical? Generally, it's OK to have unrealistic expectations, and it's also OK to say no to unreasonable expectations. An ethical issue ...


21

You should have gone to your professor with your problem, rather than your solution. Your problem is that you were having trouble getting your peer to contribute, and felt like you did all the work on the project. Your solution was wanting to clandestinely submit the finished version while lying to your peer. I'm guessing your email wasn't particularly ...


20

This is of course why many systems (but not commonly in the US I understand) insist on blind double marking: that is, all marking is done by two people, neither of whom know the identity of the student they are grading. All of our systems and samples of our marking are inspected by "External Examiners": that is respected academics in the same field, but from ...


17

Yet it has been 2 days since this email has gone out and my professor has not retracted the statement on the course website that we will be using Examity. I think your concerns are reasonable. But I think you should give your professor a few more days to react. Keep in mind that professors may get thousands of emails. You could write at a later date: ...


17

I once had a visit from a government employee about a former student needing a security clearance. I'd previously caught him cheating on homework and written it up. The University's Academic Dishonesty department apparently still had the record (the student was probably a graduating senior). The incident seemed to be no problem. The investigator asked me to ...


17

I'll answer the second question first My thesis advisor expects me to ... finish any remaining experiments by coming in on the weekends, for free. I am now working full-time in industry, and no longer being paid by him. Is this ethical? Yes, this is obviously unethical and you should not do it. If he wanted an hour for you to show someone else how to do ...


15

I think one thing that is missing from this conversation is whether the supervisor is able to pay or not. As much as I hate it when students that have worked for me continue to work on a paper after they run out of funding, there it is often that or no paper. I have never had money lying around in the lab to choose to hire someone at will. Any staff money ...


13

Echoing some others' remarks: no, this is unethical, immoral, and unfair. The course materials should have described the rules of the game, and if someone scored certain points according to those rules, then, ... well, they did. Yes, it is true that "grading systems" do not reliably reflect "mastery of material" (whatever that supposedly means, anyway!), ...


13

Yes, it is ethical, but it can't be done in a vacuum. You don't just throw an unqualified person at a group of students and expect anything good to come from it. But, where this is done, there are normally some controls in place. For example, a graduate student given sole responsibility for a course will probably have TA'd in the course previously, working ...


11

While I'll start by saying that I do not support the student's behavior and find it a form of harassment, I'd like to make the case that this should be approached by trying to improve the system, not by punishing the particular student. When the grade is not good (which is 100% of case), a formal complaint will be filed stating that the student was ...


10

My apologies for the length and the style of what follows, but the questioner seems to be concerned about something I myself have struggled with for many years of teaching, namely, how to give just and fair grades. It is certainly valid, because the grade will stand. A grade is also a certificate, to the student, to the administration (who will give a ...


9

Academic dishonesty (and, really, dishonesty in general) is bad. You shouldn't have done it and should not repeat it. And I take from your question that you already know all of that and you seem to be sorry you did it and quite unlikely to make that mistake again. That being said, if the above seems as obvious to your department as it seems to us from your ...


9

One certainly can withdraw a paper after initial reviews and if the reviews indicate that the paper does not fit well with the conference topic-wise or has to be significantly improved/re-worked. In the latter case, the paper author should assess how much time is required to work on the paper and if it is possible to meet the deadlines (taking into account ...


9

Looking at the final exams of barely passing students is a thing. It's done for just the reason your supervisor said: we don't want students moving onto the next required course if they're completely unprepared. My first supervisor did the same thing. Obviously this is when the course is part of a sequence and the first day of the next will absolutely ...


9

If you ever run a large department or institution or similarly large organization, you will discover that every decision that you make (and you will make lots of decisions, every single day) has many consequences and is strongly interrelated to many other decisions you have to make. Some of those consequences will be good (say, saving money, or allowing an ...


8

I think you found the flaw when describing He/she simply has to file a complaint and a grade change appeal at the same time. Students' have the right to do those. First of all, you are not describing how this extortion exactly works. Apparently, handling the complaint is tedious, but somehow changing the grade the complaint is not followed on? Is the ...


8

This person is no longer your thesis advisor. He or she is now at most a collaborator, and this observation should be your starting point. In addition, compensation is not only in the form of money: there could be compensation in terms of promotion or future career to you if you complete this work.


6

If you read my answer to this question you will see that I don’t have a fanatically pro-privacy view about such things. I do understand where your professor is coming from. On the other hand, I don’t think your objections are unreasonable. In fact they seem reasonable enough that I think emailing the professor to ask about this is quite appropriate, although ...


6

Ethical it is not. It is only ethical to grade a student for their performance. Everything else is personal - and pretty much wrong. In your case, you will discriminate a student for their perceived attitude. Imagine the distribution of the student grades. It will be some smooth distribution. Now, draw the "passing" line. Is there a significant inflection ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible