Ethics

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Ethics

Postby Sabina » Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:25 am

"Ed Dante is a pseudonym for a writer who lives on the East Coast. Through a literary agent, he approached The Chronicle wanting to tell the story of how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and to describe the extent of student cheating he has observed. In the course of editing his article, The Chronicle reviewed correspondence Dante had with clients and some of the papers he had been paid to write. In the article published here, some details of the assignment he describes have been altered to protect the identity of the student."

Here is the link to the article: The Shadow Scholar
I warmly recommend that you read it. Ethics out the window...
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Re: Ethics

Postby mirjana » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:05 pm

The man who has no name, no opinions, and no style and who has written so many papers, including legal briefs, military-strategy assessments, poems, lab reports, and even papers on academic integrity considers himself as a bad guy. Not strange as he took part in cheating on the most sophisticated level with consequences that go deep into the future.
Ok, his excuse is that he has just been doing his work for living. And of course that pointing the finger at him doesn´t bring much. At least, he has revealed a horrible fact said from the first hand.
The main question stays, that he put it himself, which is: “Why does such business thrive? Why do so many students prefer to cheat rather than do their own work?
How it is possible that professors who are with their students are not aware of a huge difference between the ways the student talks and the way he expresses his thoughts in a written form? Aren´t those professors also cheaters in the way how they do their work? Where is a competence?

The information provided by The New York Times about 61 percent of undergraduates who have admitted to some form of cheating on assignments and exams shows how deeply this has already penetrated the academic system. Sad, very sad…
This guy has at least initiated a conversation about this problem, if at all. In the moment of his solitude and silence he will have to confront his consciousness for contributing to something so bad.
But, will this article change anything? I am sure it will not. As scholar system today has lost a compass and everything works around terms so that any kind of personal mentorship that could make possible realization if the written material is original or not, has gone for good.
Mentioning Dickens only proves that at least from that time on things haven´t changed for good in this aspect. Contrary...
=0(
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Re: Ethics

Postby ThePermster » Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:42 pm

An interesting read but I'd rather see better statistics of the situation before I personally consider this as being as worthy of doomsaying as he makes it out to be.

He only presents one extremely dubious factoid of some 60+% students admitting to cheating which is nowhere near compelling enough for me.
Heck I remember chewing notches into my pencil to make sure I remembered a particularly arbitrary list of chords for a music exam; so I'd answer a question like "have you cheated academically before?" in the affirmative but I doubt anyone's gonna lose any sleep over that ungraciously achieved 1 mark.

Certainly if you take the figures he presents for his workload, the size of his company and a conservative estimate for the number of companies like his out there you barely reach a single percentile, let alone 60.
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Re: Ethics

Postby dermot » Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:01 pm

Permster would you not consider it wise to cherish the principle of Ethics, rather than to seek clarification of the details of this report?

Do you see its importance in terms of percentage ?
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Re: Ethics

Postby ThePermster » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:29 pm

dermot wrote:Permster would you not consider it wise to cherish the principle of Ethics, rather than to seek clarification of the details of this report?


I don't see how the two are mutually exclusive here as your question would imply? In fact it seems to me like the two are very much aligned, or at least the latter is in the best interests of the former.

dermot wrote:Do you see its importance in terms of percentage ?


In regards to the realities of essay writing companies being used as a cheating aid then yes. It doesn't take a genius to figure you have to show that there's a problem first before you can justify tackling it.

As for the fundamental educational system problems to which the report alludes, these have been one of the forefront conversations for the bodies in authority over the system for decades. Certainly if one was to join their discussion one would expect more than an introductory report with a few allusions lest one waste time catching up and redundantly restating what has been stated a hundred times before.

It's all too easy for an outsider to feel as though they know the solution without so much as a mote of knowledge or consideration regarding the necessary bureaucracy of the system in which the solution is to be applied. Dunning Kruger effect anyone?
So I'd expect to conduct my own research or be presented with a more applicable report before attempting to take part in anything more than a purely speculative conversation on such a wider subject. Of course speculative conversations can be just as fun and somewhat productive to the individual but you'll pardon me if I don't get worked up about any the conclusions drawn.
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Re: Ethics

Postby Ryan » Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:40 pm

The problem is getting accurate data in order to build sufficient statistics... when probed... who (that has any conscience at all, knows the difference between right and wrong, or realizes what their education is to represent for themselves, the university, or society at large) out of the two parties are going to admit participation?

As far as my logic leads me to see the situation, I would have to conclude that whatever statistics are going to be accumulated, the actual situation will always be worse...

Regardless... the implications are pretty serious... in the sense that there are "professionals" in the world that are far from it... I believe this is the point Dermot was trying to make. It is not really how "wide spread" the problem is... but more to the point... the consumer cannot be certain if the "professional" they have hired and/or are depending upon for serious matters is actually as qualified as that little certificate hanging on their wall should signify.

It is really a compounding problem that will spread and become a sort of cancer if left unchecked... The affect that such a person will have on the people that they encounter in a professional sense will leave a bad impression and possibly become a support for a developing cliche about that branch of "business"... or the "professionals" involved... and the world looks even more bleak than it did...

And! Why? Why did they ever get into that field if they don't find it interesting, compelling, and drive them to want to learn more and more? Generally it is because the person got into it for the "wrong" reasons... which plays another part in the disappointing service/attention you would receive from such a "professional"... not too mention their own unhappiness and misery doing the "same old thing" day after day... which again makes things even worse... but not always isolated to business relationships but also familiar...

It is a social stain... and should be addressed in some way... although I would have to say... I do not see much of a full proof method... other than (as some said in the comments) just resulting in oral exams and/or written essays within a controlled environment.

The problem is... they are not just cheating themselves... they are cheating everyone else with which they have dealings...
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Re: Ethics

Postby ThePermster » Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:43 pm

Fair point, though don't forget you have to remember to factor in those who cheat in this manner for "defensible" reasons. For instance the individual who - similar to the writer of the article - doesn't believe in the traditional academic evaluation process, they may still very well be very versed with the syllabus. Certainly a large portion of modern syllabuses is unnecessary memory tests, I know from personal experience that as a computing student a lot of what we're taught is arbitrary syntax for programming but give me a crib sheet for the language I'm using and any hit to my productivity suddenly becomes moot. Or how about the student that literally does not have the time but may well have the knowledge, I know many a student who through their own skill has managed to acquire themselves many a great opportunity and responsibility, such that in some circumstances they simply do not have time to spare for assignments, often having to drop the opportunity or seek extension.

I think it's quite important to first know the ratio between these defensible types and the other plain cheaters. Certainly in the context of the article he names types like principles that I simply can't see reason for them to outright cheat, what's far more likely for such a busy administrative figure? A simple lack of time I'd be inclined to think.

I'd also be very interested to know just how long the plain cheaters last in their ungraciously achieved placements. If it's not very long at all then great that's as we'd like to expect it, if it is more common for them to last indefinitely then perhaps our evaluative procedures are lacking or perhaps these people are just those that excel practically. The dangerous types to which you refer Ryan are most likely those in the middle, who cannot maintain their position but do not immediately have it removed from them.

Of course none of this detracts from how sorry a situation it is to have people like these in the world but personally I'm not convinced that the magnitude of the situation is great enough to dedicate resources to, nor be concerned and paranoid about being personally effected by it.
My first port of call for investigation would be the above questions applied to particularly high and authoritative positions. It'd be an interesting experiment to put someone entirely unqualified in a very top rung political job and see how long they'd last, I wonder how that'd play out if only for the inevitable satirical humour that'd come from it.
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Re: Ethics

Postby mirjana » Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:54 am

ThePermster wrote:...
My first port of call for investigation would be the above questions applied to particularly high and authoritative positions. It'd be an interesting experiment to put someone entirely unqualified in a very top rung political job and see how long they'd last, I wonder how that'd play out if only for the inevitable satirical humour that'd come from it.


Oh, they would, they have already proved that...if they serve diligently those that are behind them.
What about the ex US president?
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Re: Ethics

Postby ThePermster » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:15 pm

Swish! xD
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Re: Ethics

Postby Sabina » Tue Dec 07, 2010 12:25 am

ThePermster wrote:I'd also be very interested to know just how long the plain cheaters last in their ungraciously achieved placements.

Good point, strictly logically speaking. I actually liked your whole reply, and... I agree with Mirjana's comment, I had the same association as I read your closing.. :)
That same example is a nice illustration of a lot more though. Being connected, knowing "the right people", and being a slimer are all assets in our current society and these assets can be (and usually are) a lot more valuable than real knowledge or intelligence.
It doesn't have much to do with logic.

Plus, being ethical can be an obstacle if you want to succeed professionally. Based on all that, these cheating students splendidly fit into the current society.
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