This story is a little old, but it probably (and unfortunately) will still be relevant for years to come.Â Check it out and share your thoughts.Â (original post courtesy of Prof. Paul Hillier, University of Tampa)Â
The story received international attention. A business professor at the University of Central Florida claimed that at least a third of his class had cheated on a midterm exam. Certainly not the first time a professor has accused students of cheating, but this instance included at least 200 seniors, who if caught would of course not graduate. Oh, and that the professorâ€™s lecture to the students about cheating was posted to YouTube and then quickly became viral may have added to it being a subject of news reports across the globe.
In case you missed it, here are a couple news reports:
You also can viewÂ Professor Richard Quinnâ€™s entire lecture to the class.
The story raises a number of ethical questions, including the most obvious about â€œcheating,â€ put in quotes to highlight that some people (most often students themselves) find the term subjective. How can we determine an ethics for cheating when the concept itself is debatable? Has the digital era complicated traditional notions of cheating? A number of students have taken issue with the fact that the midterm administered was made-up entirely of questions from a â€œtest bankâ€ provided by the publisher of their textbook, which included both the questions and answers.
A student, or some students, posted aÂ YouTube response to the professor, which is also summarized in this news story:
While there are indeed a great number of ethical questions tied to this story (and I encourage you to note and explore some in your comments!), Iâ€™m particularly interested in the ethical dimension related to the video itself; the Professorâ€™s actions along with the studentsâ€™ reactions. I ask you: was it ethical for the Professor to â€œpostâ€ the video accusing the students of cheating? Should this have been handled more â€œprivately?â€ Are there any problems here? (What if Iâ€™m looking to hire a person and I notice a prospective employee took this very class? Might that influence my decision?)
I look forward to reading your comments!