Over the month of November, students were asked whether or not it is ethical to work together on a take-home exam, as part of the new ethical dilemma poster initiative. The 15 posters displayed around campus attracted an overwhelming number of responses and thought provoking opinions. The results showed that the Hofstra community is generally split down the middle about the topic. A number of students wrote that collaboration is assumed when professors assign a take-home exam and that the student’s resources should not be limited. Many of these students feel that it is more beneficial to the learning experience when working with other students. Others expressed that working together is unethical because a grade for an exam must be the student’s own original, independent work. Yes, students are free to use all resources such as your own notes and research, but this does not include other students. One response questioned the decision of the professor’s decision to assign a take-home exam in the first place. Even if the instructor permits collaboration, it is never ethical to copy someone’s work or let them copy yours.
The SGA and Academic Integrity Task Force will be taking this initiative a step further by hosting student run focus groups on each of the ethical dilemmas at the end of each month. Be on the look out for announcements about them as well as a new dilemma to kickoff the spring semester. It is sure to catch your attention and incite you to join the conversation!
Melanie Rosner, SGA, Chair, Academic Affairs Committee