Policies: Examples and Hypotheticals

  1. Students X, Y and Z are sitting around a table in the library working on a group research exercise assigned by the professor which is due tomorrow. The objective of the assignment is to build on the research skills of the students. The students are talking about how to navigate the books to find the answers to the questions posed. The students confirm with each other the cases they found and correct the one student who went off on a research tangent. They discuss and decide what went wrong in the research trail.

    Ans: This is NOT a violation. Assignments which are designated to be small group exercises are designed so that students can work together to increase their skills. Here the exercises are created to support the text and lecture materials previously assigned by the faculty member in the area of research skill development.

  2. Students X, Y, Z are sitting around a table in the cafeteria discussing research strategies and about how to approach Assignment # 3 which was just handed out in class. They take out their notes from the research group work and generally strategize on a plan of attack. Students do not discuss search terms, specific volumes of digests or secondary sources. They leave to write their own individual research plans due on Friday.

    Ans: This is NOT a violation. General review of available materials such as secondary materials, digests, reports and Sheppards are appropriate discussion points. A violation WOULD OCCUR if the students moved beyond skill development and began to discuss specific aspects of a graded assignment.

  3. A week later students X, Y, Z get back together to compare notes about which articles and cases they found. They swap articles and cases to make sure each of the friends has the same material. All agree to come back next week to talk about writing their papers.

    Ans: This IS a violation. The students have crossed an ethical line. Research skills, both with primary and secondary source materials, directly tied to a graded assignment are meant to be assessed on an individual basis. While the assessment of researching skills within each LRW section may be done in a variety of ways, students who share materials for graded assignments take away the ability for individual assessment and counseling regarding their skills.

  4. In the third week, students X, Y, Z get back together. They have all been given back comments on their second papers. No rewrite is scheduled for the assignment. They have a variety of organizational, analytical and technical writing issues. Students spend the time looking at what each student did right and wrong on the second assignment. They run out of time to discuss the third assignment so they agree to meet again the following week.

    Ans: This is NOT a violation. After graded assignments are returned, as long as they are not subject to a rewrite, students are permitted to compare results. While permitted, this is up to the individual student to make this determination.

  5. In the fourth week, students X, Y, Z get back together. This time they compare cases and articles which each had found during research. They discuss how each may or may not be applicable to the hypo and decide which cases to use and which to toss.

    Ans: This IS a violation. The students have crossed an ethical line. Research skills, both with primary and secondary source materials, directly tied to a graded assignment are meant to be assessed on an individual basis. While the assessment of researching skills within each LRW section may be done in a variety of ways, students who share materials for graded assignments take away the ability for individual assessment and counseling regarding their skills.

  6. Student Q is really struggling in her LRW class; the scores on her first two papers have her worried. She does not understand how to structure Explanation and Application paragraphs. Student Q goes to Student A and asks her to explain how to pattern competently drafted E and A paragraphs. Student A talks through the appropriate pattern for E and A paragraphs using samples given out by the professor.

    Ans: This is NOT a violation. Students Q and A are discussing skill development. They are reviewing texts, lectures and materials discussed in class which are designed to allow each student to learn to draft competent Explanation and Application paragraphs. This kind of interaction is encouraged by the LRW Faculty.

  7. Student X meets with his teaching assistance during his office hours. The TA has been directed by the faculty member to confirm with the students if their case selection is headed in the right direction. Student X has an appropriate case for the first issue tested in the assignment but is not on track for the second issue. The TA confirms that the case selected by Student X is one of the acceptable cases for the first issue and gives the appropriate guidance which will allow student X to continue his research for the second issue. Student X sends an email to students Y and Z that he has the correct case for the first issue and suggests that the others try their cases with the TA to determine the correct case for the second issue.

    Ans: MIXED RESULT. Student X and the TA have engaged in pre-designed communications. These types of interactions are encouraged by LRW Faculty. These interactions allow for students to be encouraged that they are on the correct paths and to be given guidance if they are not on the correct heading.
    Communications between Student X, Y and Z are violating the ethics code. Not only are the students limiting their own research skill development, Student X is encouraging manipulation of TA/Student relationship. The students are attempting to gain an advantage over the rest of the students in the class.

  8. Student Y has a conference scheduled with her faculty member to go over a portion of her paper that she is struggling with. During the conference the faculty member and the student use highlighters to diagnose the challenges the student is having with paragraph structure and depth of analysis. Student Y has a "light bulb" moment about paragraph construction. The faculty member also reads the student's Question Presented. The faculty member helps the student to determine that all necessary items are contained within the Question Presented and will likely achieve a competent score on this part of the paper. After the conference, student Y emails her friends that the highlighting exercise is the way to go to understand paragraph construction; she suggests that they all perform this exercise on their papers. In a second email the student cuts and pastes her Question Presented and tells her friends to use it as a guide.

    Ans: MIXED RESULT. Student Y and the faculty member are engaged in individual assessment and counseling with the aim of developing the student's writing skills. Skill building exercises such as the use of highlighters to identify various portions of paragraphs are essential to skill development. Sharing and encouraging other students to utilize these types of exercises is encouraged by the LRW faculty.

  9. However, once the student emailed her upgraded individual work to other students to copy and use as a guide, the student crossed the ethical line. Work that is to be assessed on an individual basis needs to be produced by the student on his/her own.
  10. The week before their final papers are due, the students return to their study group with drafts which are 90% complete. They would like a fresh eye for their papers so they all exchange. They do not revise each other's papers because they know that is not allowed, but they comment on what they have read. They also point out typos, citation errors and the like to one another.

    Ans: This IS a violation. The students have crossed an ethical line. Student's progress in their writing skill development is to be assessed on an individual basis. Production of drafts and final written products are to be the work of the individual. The only exception to this would be if the TA or the faculty member is commenting on the draft the student has produced.
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