Monday, February 8, 2010

Cheating Reports at Stanford Increase Dramatically

Even though Stanford University is one of the few colleges in the U.S. that has an honor code where students pledge to be academically honest, the campus is seeing a surge in cheating cases ("Stanford Finds Cheating — Especially among Computer Science Students — on the Rise" - San Jose Mercury News, February 7, 2010). "Although computer science students represent 6.5 percent of Stanford's student body, last year those students accounted for 23 percent of the university's honor code violators." A combination of increased reporting and a rise in dishonest acts fueled the spike among undergraduates. Many of the computer science cases involved homework assignments that employed unauthorized collaboration or altering another student's code. Beyond the computer science department, most of Stanford honor code infractions centered on unsanctioned group work.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Do you find it surprising that Stanford students, who should be very intellectually capable since they were accepted into a prestigious school, are committing these dishonest acts? Why or why not?
  2. Should collaboration be allowed in all assignments but not on tests? Why or why not?