If you need help with online teaching or other challenges in academia arising from the COVID-19 crisis, we have prepared this FAQ to get you started.
130

I don't want to report them, I probably don't have the guts to do it, especially because it's such a socially accepted practice. A "Snitches get stitches" mentality will not solve your problem. Cheating is unethical. You know that you are "at a disadvantage" if you keep your ethical behavior and the others don't. Cheating is pretty easy though: one has ...


94

I have never heard of a textbook being "secret" in the sense that it was being kept intentionally hidden to give students of one organization an advantage. I have often, however, encountered draft textbooks that a professor had not yet completed or published, for which students were partly acting as "beta testers." These are often not released for general ...


84

When the instructor said you could work "together", they meant together with a student that hadn't previously completed the assignment. They expect both students (when working together) to contribute equally towards writing an essay from scratch. Basing your essay on another student's essay (that you did not work together on) is plagiarism. The best you ...


82

Besides all the factors that the other answer already lists, the elephant in the room is that KAUST has explicitly been designed to be a world-class university (rather than organically growing into one, as was the case with your other examples). In short, it is not so much more expensive nowadays to found just any university - in fact new universities get ...


62

If I were you and my primary concern was the PhD application (but also not being bugged for the rest of my life if I cheat), I'd ask myself the following questions: How limited is the number of available PhD positions in my university? Are all those cheaters going to sign up for such a commitment as PhD[1]? Where on that imaginary unbiased leader-board do I ...


50

Actually, the competition is largely in your head, not in academia itself. I'll never be able to win a stage of le Tour de France, so why should I ride a bicycle? I'll never win the final at Wimbledon, so why should I play tennis? Of course, there are extremely competitive corners in academia. If you are in a "hot" research area where many many people ...


42

I agree with everything Tom said, but I'd add that the in the meeting with the committee, they've likely already made up their minds. What you did was plagiarism and there is nothing you can tell them that will convince them otherwise. Do not be confrontational. Do not tell them that there's an interpretation of the rules that makes this ok. Do not try and ...


40

I've occasionally done "shocking" things to send an important message. It might be that all he intends is to make it a dramatic statement that you (the class) should take it more seriously. I doubt that he intends to not return, and also doubt that he would get any administrative support for that. I've always been willing to fail the entire class. Also ...


36

First, it would be good to know if that is a claim they can legally make where you are. It is possible that it is an empty claim. Second, if it is a proper claim, you should learn how it is interpreted by the university. A place making such a claim should have an office at which you can learn the consequences. I suspect that all it means is that you need ...


33

Universities work like any organization. The stance of the organization is the stance of its leadership. It can be the president, the chancellor, whatever you call it, it can be the board of directors, it can be the faculty assembly… It can even be a university-wide poll as you suggest. It depends on how the university is governed. The statement "...


30

Beer and Circus calls this the "student-faculty non-aggression pact": Faculty provide an easy class and don't look too hard into cheating Students happily take the easy grade and leave the professor free to do research I wouldn't say this is "the rule"; plenty of faculty do an awesome job teaching. But, I'm not surprised to hear your report -- some faculty ...


30

The extent to which it is frowned upon differs greatly by discipline and country. At least having been in different departments/universities is usually beneficial for young scholars. Departments differ quite a bit, so having been in different departments/universities/countries broadens the range of experiences. This is usually taken into account by hiring ...


23

Here is a perspective from pure math, which is probably applicable to some but not all other disciplines. It’s not really about “pursuing” or about “frowning upon”. You “pursue” a postdoc to broaden your mathematical horizons and develop yourself as a researcher in an environment where you are exposed to new ideas. Doing a postdoc at your PhD institution ...


22

I'm not sure what these wishy-washy answers are trying to accomplish. Make their authors and you feel good? Try to lure you in academia because it's a cult and the more people try to join, the better? Working in academia isn't riding your bike every other weekend because it's fun. It's a job. It's training with your bike every day and watching videos at ...


21

In the two major US state universities that I have either been a student or taught in, the process was roughly the same: Final exam times were based on the first day of the week course time for the main course meeting, typically a 'lecture' section. Every course that started at 9am on a Monday had the same final exam time. Every course that started at 11am ...


19

Having attended two top end universities, I can say that I have never seen or heard of a proper textbook that was only for use within that university. Textbooks require a lot of time and effort, and the author (often a professor) expects to be properly compensated, which can only occur if students at many different colleges and universities purchase his ...


18

If you have to ask, you know the answer. Don't do it. Cheating now puts you on the same level as the other cheaters. Pass the exam on the strength of your knowledge of the material, not on the basis that you cheated better than your compatriots. Tell your professor about the cheating. If you are scared, it's OK to do this anonymously. You'll feel much ...


17

It sounds like you know what you did and have a pretty good idea as to why you are being called in. Whether you broke a rule, or pushed the boundary, regarding working together by choosing to work with someone from the past semester depends on the instructions given, the instructor, and departmental policy. You should be prepared to tell the committee what ...


16

The closest thing to a "secret textbook" (apart from draft textbooks) I've encountered were sometimes referred to as 'compendia'. These were often glorified lecture notes, sometimes spanning multiple logically connected courses, tailored to the syllabi at a given institution. Hence they lacked the breadth that would make them useful as textbooks for others. ...


15

Have you considered what happens if you get caught during the exam? Unless I've missed something you haven't talked about what actually happens if a cheater gets caught (during the exam I mean). If it's a bigger deal than a slap on the wrist, consider that if you go ahead, cheat, and get caught, you'll probably be treated like any other cheater, and ...


15

I would add two other factors to the good answers already available. Growth of science into multiple fields and disciplines have resulted in increased costs. Back in the day, for example, mathematics was considered one field. But nowadays, there are many diverse subfields within mathematics (e.g., pure maths, statistics, computational math, etc). Creating a ...


14

As Buffy says, it's very likely that you can publish your work. What you should do is discuss this with your project advisor and probably have them as co-author, as I assume that they had a role in the project, right? Additionally they are certainly able to help you make the publication more likely to be accepted. Institutions usually retain (some) IP ...


13

Complain about cheating. You don't have to report any person if you don't want to. But complain about having a disadvantage because of playing fair. When you feel like "everyone cheats", it could be that the professor also feels like "everyone cheats". The professor might need to see that not everyone cheats. To see that not everyone is on board with that. ...


13

I guess it depends on the definition of a text book. For one of the courses I teach, a fellow professor and I wrote the text book for that course ourselves, because we couldn't find anything out there covering the subject properly. However, neither of us wanted to go the publication route, as that would have been a lot of extra work for a rather specialized ...


13

I suspect that you’d probably need to look at the budgets for the institutions in question to get a definitive answer, but I can think of a few potential causes: Increased administrative and bureaucratic costs. In the days when those universities opened, HR departments weren’t a thing, and there was significantly less regulation on businesses in general. ...


12

In the UK at least, this is not the case. Non-EU international students pay full fees so there is a strong push to accept as many of these students as possible. They still nominally meet the same minimum admissions requirements, but very few home students come in at the minimum. Once at university, many struggle with the language and differences in learning ...


12

If you use your friend's essay "as a guide", that means she'd already done the work on her essay by herself (and perhaps others), and consequently you were not "working on your essays together". The semester of separation just makes it more damning, but you could've done this in the same semester and it'd still have been basically the same problem. So just ...


11

I would argue that the real problem here is deeper, provided that it actually exists. Grading of exams should not be competitive On any exam, the grade given should depend only on how the individual student does, not on what others do. A system in which the only way that one student can do better is for another to do worse is deeply immoral. It also ...


11

I studied in the United States (bachelor's and PhD). In my school, it was very common practice to list "TBA" (to be announced) for course professors, especially undergraduate courses. Through my years in the university, including becoming a part-time instructor myself as a PhD student, I got to know that it was pretty much always a logistic issue. Even if ...


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