Running Head: Academic Honesty
The increasing competition and pressure in learning institutions has jeopardized academic honesty. As a result, it has increased academic dishonesty amongst students (Bisping, et al, 2008). This is further worsened by the advancement of technology. Technology has eased and simplified ways of cheating particularly plagiarism (Ercegovac, & Richardson, 2004). This is taking and using the ideas, words or works of others as your own without acknowledging the author. Today, this is the most common academic offense. In this regard, academic dishonesty, plagiarism, has emerged as a major concern for ...view middle of the document...
Most often, instructors assume that students know and understand how to avoid plagiarism leaving many students not sufficiently taught. Institutions should provide instruction, perhaps through collaborating with the library and/or the English department, to make clear to the significance and the guidelines of academic honesty to students.
Minimizing plagiarism opportunities is the next significant method of preventing it. Institutions should strive to design assignments and learning environment that discourage plagiarism. This includes assignments or learning environment involving critical thinking, investigation, analysis and synthesis of information. Such process-oriented projects will reduce the chances as well as interest to plagiarize. Moreover, the assignments should be specific (Johnson, 2005). Broader assignments leave the students to turn into other sources for content more so the internet. Although assignments should not be overwhelming, they should not be too difficult to encourage cheating. The assignment given should fall within the required course materials approved in advance. On the other hand, the course materials should be easily and equally available to all students mostly through the library. Besides accessibility, the course material should have a theme to guide the students while they are reading, researching and writing. Additionally, the assignments should not be repeated each time a course is taught. This will help to prevent students from adopting similar previous done assignments by other students or recycling of their own work. Adapting of more in-class and informal assignments encourage students to work on their own and in groups (Williams, 2001). This cultivates a learning environment that encourages academic honesty (Hudd, et al, 2009). Furthermore, this enables teachers to monitor the progress of the students throughout the assignment process.
Finally, responding quickly to cases of plagiarism is another way of preventing plagiarism. In spite of the tough policies on academic dishonesty and plagiarism in particular, frequent cases on violations of these policies and code of conduct occur. According to Pino (2003), this is more evident with students having outside commitments. Therefore, immediate action is required for the cases identified and/or reported. Almost every institution has an established plagiarism detection program. Such programs are used to detect any plagiarism in students’ work by comparing it with works from other sites, particularly the internet. Consequently, some of the institutions have their own databases where they upload works submitted by their students. Quick response should be taken in dealing with any cases of plagiarism. As it said that action speaks louder than words, implementing plagiarism policies to the latter will reduce and prevent it in the near future. Students identified with plagiarism should be confronted directly the soonest possible (Gomez, 2001)....