Reply to below discussion of at least 140 words ,in addition to the course textbooks, must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years.
In this scenario, Harvard students tarnished the reputation of themselves and the institution by cheating on this exam in a manner that was explicitly outlined. While collaboration had often been encouraged in preparation for exams/ lecture notes or discussion of concepts, collaboration on an exam is usually a big “no-no” already engrained in a college students mind after 12+ previous years of school. The six pillars of character apply to everyone in the scenario including the students, professor and the University themself, but there are characteristics that are more prevalent to each party involved. From the student’s perspective, the two most prevalent characteristics are trustworthiness and responsibility. The students broke the trust that the professor bestowed in them for the privilege of a take home exam and the students will have to own up to their actions and pay the price for cheating. The professor’s most prevalent characteristics in this situation are trustworthiness and fairness. The professor trusted the students not to collaborate with each other although the instructions outlined that they could use all other resources including the Internet and the students betrayed that. The professor also had the duty to report the cheating and not brush it off, fairness is an important trait in a position of authority. It would not be fair to the students that did not cheat and made an honest attempt at the exam. The University’s most prevalent characteristics are responsibility and fairness. The University has a duty to uphold the reputation of the institution and discipline with that reputation in mind. If they let the students get off without any consequences, it would surely happen again the the reputation would go downhill. The University must keep in mind how to assign these repercussions in a fair manner and what will be fair to the other students that are maintaining trustworthiness.
I believe that the students are at fault for the cheating scandal. “Students may not discuss the exam with others” was clearly stated. They were given instructions and know as 18+ year old adults what is acceptable for tests and what is not. The students knew their expectations and still committed wrongful actions.
The deontological manner of thinking is examining the reasoning for the action and the rights of the individuals playing a role in the situation. The teleological manner focuses on the outcome and if the outcome is desired/acceptable, any manner you did to get to that outcome is morally acceptable. The CS50 clause established means that the consequences would be determined per class instead of by the university themself. This could be potentially devastating to the University’s reputation because sometimes professors will turn their head if they know about cheating or something of the sort going on in the classroom. If the Harvard cheating scandal was dealt with by the CS50 clause, chances are it would not have been as publicized and the students would merely received a 0 for their test score and could still pass the class. The deontological manner focuses on why the student would cheat, would they cheat knowing it would be a small scale consequence if they got caught as opposed to suspension or expulsion from the institution? Possibly. The teleological manner focuses on the outcome and if the student didn’t get caught and got a good score, it was acceptable. If they were caught and received a 0 for their score it is a slap on the wrist and onto the next course.
The New York Times published an article about a student’s opinion on the clause and cheating especially nowadays with the Internet. The student pointed out that some students spend a large portion of time on a small portion of problems when they could simply copy the answer from online resources (Gilpin, 2017). This is a very true point, but it does not make it acceptable to copy another’s work. However, if the student used the answer to guide themselves through the steps to find the correct answer and understand how they got there, that would be different. I think that it all depends on the inherent intention of the student themselves. The traits to cheat and copy others work can apply to every other personal moral that person upholds.
Proverbs 20:23 states “Unequal weights are an abomination to the Lord, and false scales are not good.” This applies to this situation because a person that works out the problem and understands how they got their answer and gets an A contrasts with a person that copied their answer from the internet and also got an A. The are not equal at all.
Gilpin, C.M. (2017, June 1). Is a ‘Regret Clause’ a Good Idea for Cases of Academic Dishonesty? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/learning/is-a-regret-clause-a-good-idea-for-cases-of-academic-dishonesty.html (Links to an external site.)
Mintz, S., & Morris, R. (2020). Ethical Obligations and Decision-Making in Accounting: Text and Cases (5th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education: New York, NY.