A Red Light for the Conscience of Students

Kang Hyun-heel승인2014.11.25l수정2015.05.22 02:28l335호 1면

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‘Cheating’ is becoming more serious problem these days as an increasing number of students are opting for the easy route instead of putting long hours required on the books. As a result, honor councils are being established to develop an honor code for students to live by. The purpose of this campaign is to increase student awareness of the problems of cheating and to create institutional measures to prevent it from happening in the future. There is no doubt that cheating today is recognized as a very serious social problem that needs to be addressed.

This year’s exams are almost completed. After our exam period, we are required to do a lecture evaluation. Students can write suggestions under the evaluation. It is in these comments that professors and the adminstration can easily see the complaints about cheating in the classroom. Based on the number of complaints received, it is clear that there are lots of students who are cheating. So why do students cheat? First, changes to the school grading system have affected the rate of cheating among students. For instance, the absolute evaluation system as well as the treatment of classes abandoned or failed by a student, add pressure to get the best grades possible. That is to say, nowadays, since the mistakes of students remain recorded on their report card, students have new pressures to better manage their scores. This new pressure has led to an increase in the incidence of cheating on assignments and exams.

However, psychological anxiety is not the only reason that students cheat. Have you ever been to an examination hall? Anyone who has been to an examination hall can tell you that supervisors are not that strict. For instance, during the last midterm exam period, approximately 80 students took the Service Management exam, but there was only one professor and two assistants present as supervisors for the test. In addition, in some exams, some professors allowed students to complete their exams even after they were caught. This kind of weak supervision makes it hard for students to resist the temptation to cheat.

The Dankook Herald (DKH) conducted a survey of 100 Dankookians about cheating. According to the survey results, 60% of students either saw or tried cheating at college.

DKH asked the students why they cheated. A lack of study time was the most common response while the second most popular reason was the lax supervising during the tests. Freshman in particular, found it hard to adapt to the college system and were not familiar with grade hold a large majority. Even though lots of cases were shown, it was not properly treated because they didn’t take any actions with it when they spotted spoted cheating. According to the survey, nearly 70% of students answered as look on with folded arms.

After survey, we can see that students have lot of problems about cheating but Dankook University (DKU) didn’t take proper actions.

DKH interviewed Prof. Lee Ju-rim (Urban and Regional Planning Major) about the problem of cheating and he replied, “Cheating can only decline when a professor is willing to teach students that it is a bad thing, and it can ruin their education. It comes from a lack of studying, so we can’t just lower the students’ grade or give them an ‘F’. We also can’t just offer them a chance to retest because the same opportunity is not given to students who studied,” he replied with a sense of hardship.

This shouldn’t a problem experienced by our college. Recently, the well known university ‘Harvard’ was embattled in a controversy over cheating. About 125 students were involved in what was referred to as the biggest disgrace in the history of ‘Harvard’. But the treatment of the students were very different than the treatment of students who cheated at DKU. Half of the students who were involved in this case received a 2~4 semester suspension and the rest had to undergo intensive moral education. Also, to prevent recurrence, they decided to introduce an ‘Honor Code Policy’. This policy is a written agreement between the university and the student, that the student will not cheat or steal the work of others and present it as their own. This method had a proven effect on the incidence of cheating through experiments conducted by ‘The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ and ‘Yale University’. DKU should also develop diverse ways to prevent cheating and supervisors must apply a strict approach when invigilating exams.

There are some other concrete solutions. First, the university should introduce a cheating banishment campaign as is being done by some other universities. It is imperative we make an effort to develop more conscientious students. For example, at Chongshin University, they put posters up in every classroom reminding students that it is not okay to cheat.

Another solution is a stricter monitoring. It's a system that there is no inspector during the test and monitor the situation after exam. That We could grasp students’ attitude easily is the strong point of monitoring. And if we enforce this, we could expect to decrease the frequency of cheating.

We also need to develop an honor committee. If there is a group working hard to help exam proctors, it could have a positive effect on our ability to wipe out cheating.

Finally, students need to change their attitude towards cheating. They need to realize how serious a crime it is and stay away from it. They also need to report classmates who are cheating to their professors and exam proctors.

It is clear that in order to solve this problem we need the combined efforts of the university faculty and staff as well as students. When facing final exams, university faculty, staff and students may look back on this and consider these suggestions as possible future solutions. In the meantime, let us all work hard to be a DKU that is conscientious and right when it comes to following an honorable code of conduct within our school rules.


Kang Hyun-hee  dkherald@hanmail.net
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