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advice_column [2018/05/19 08:39]
edit [On grades and cheating]
advice_column [2018/05/19 08:43] (current)
edit [On grades and cheating]
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 For anyone even contemplating cheating, you should understand it is just not worth it.  First of all, cheating cannot fix the fact that you really don't know or aren't able to do what you will need in the subsequent courses and in your later life.  Second, although the chances of getting away with any one isolated instance of cheating is typically quite good, any one incident is also unlikely to have a noticeable positive impact on your semester letter grade. ​ For that, one has to be cheating systematically,​ and one will surely get caught for that. Third, think back to when you were little and how your mother could always tell when you lied.  She couldn'​t read your mind; you were just more obvious than you think. ​ By watching a student over the course of a semester, we (professors) have a very good sense for what is a student'​s expected performance and trend. ​ You will get the grade you worked for. For anyone even contemplating cheating, you should understand it is just not worth it.  First of all, cheating cannot fix the fact that you really don't know or aren't able to do what you will need in the subsequent courses and in your later life.  Second, although the chances of getting away with any one isolated instance of cheating is typically quite good, any one incident is also unlikely to have a noticeable positive impact on your semester letter grade. ​ For that, one has to be cheating systematically,​ and one will surely get caught for that. Third, think back to when you were little and how your mother could always tell when you lied.  She couldn'​t read your mind; you were just more obvious than you think. ​ By watching a student over the course of a semester, we (professors) have a very good sense for what is a student'​s expected performance and trend. ​ You will get the grade you worked for.
  
-For someone who is already ​feeling the pressure to cheat, ​you should realize that this is the symptom ​of a much deeper problem. ​ Some how you have let your study fall behind and out of control. If you continue the same course, your problem will only snowball. ​ The only way to recover is to identify the problem and to change what you are doing to regain control. Cheating is a poor patch job that does nothing to fix the root of the problem. ​ I encourage everyone to take at look at [[https://​www.cmu.edu/​student-affairs/​ocsi/​academic-integrity/​prevention.html |this very helpful page]] on how to avoid being caught up in this bad situation in the first place. (Notice their suggested way to address academic integrity is to do better in the first place so there is no reason to consider cheating. I fully agree with this.)+For someone who is feeling the pressure to cheat, ​the wrong thing to do is to succumb (obviously). The right thing to do is to recognize it as the warning sign of a deeper problem. ​ Some how you have let your study fall behind and out of control. If you continue the same course, your problem will only snowball. ​ The only way to recover is to identify the problem and to change what you are doing to regain control. Cheating is a poor patch job that does nothing to fix the root of the problem. ​ I encourage everyone to take at look at [[https://​www.cmu.edu/​student-affairs/​ocsi/​academic-integrity/​prevention.html |this very helpful page]] on how to avoid being caught up in this bad situation in the first place. (Notice their suggested way to address academic integrity is to do better in the first place so there is no reason to consider cheating. I fully agree with this.)
  
 I use the following definition in my course syllabus: "To put it plainly, if what you are about to do is not a truthful reflection of your knowledge, ability and effort, you are about to cheat. More importantly,​ if what you are about to do is going to get you a better grade without helping you learn the course material, you are about to cheat."  ​ I use the following definition in my course syllabus: "To put it plainly, if what you are about to do is not a truthful reflection of your knowledge, ability and effort, you are about to cheat. More importantly,​ if what you are about to do is going to get you a better grade without helping you learn the course material, you are about to cheat."  ​