Integrity and it’s role in a valued education


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Integrity plays an important role in academics, ultimately improving the value of student’s education.

Jack Mcclellan

As students take most of their exams and assignments online, little stands between them and a few google searches or a Chegg answer key.

In response to easier avenues to cheating, colleges are having to rely less on test proctors and more on the academic integrity of their students.

With this being the case, Iowa State has been looking into alternative options for educating students on the importance of academic integrity. One program that is intended to launch in fall 2022 will educate students on the importance of academic integrity as well as overall integrity and how it translates into broader life.

Another program would include brief online courses that could be implemented into other courses canvas pages allowing professors to set standards at the beginning of a semester.

Sara Kellogg, the Assistant Dean of Students for Strategic Partnerships, Operations, and Compliance & Director of Student Conduct, explained why integrity is so important in an academic setting.

“So your personal integrity and how that you know you’re just like any other habit or skill, you have to practice it to develop it,” Kellogg said. “So you may be tempted you may face some especially on the internet, you know, you may face some easy path to completing work that you haven’t done and you know getting access to information that will allow you to complete work with the app without actually learning the content.”

Building strong personal integrity is an important step to take in order to take education seriously. Without that serious perspective on education, the value it has to students drops dramatically.

“The importance of that as well as if you’re cheating, if you’re not doing your work independently if you’re getting work from other places, there’s the potential that you’re missing out on some important knowledge that you might need for your next course or that you might need in your career,” Kellogg said.

Olivia Lulich, a sophomore majoring in agricultural education, offered her take on academic integrity, pointing out how easy it can be to work outside of what would be considered integral.

“Well, I think it’s something to take seriously and I think this year is a little different, like going back to in-person classes,” Lulich said. “Last year, I was just like sitting in my dorm not doing anything and then like, with my roommate, being in all the same classes as me, it was really easy to just, work together and really like, I don’t know, split the work per se in that way.”

Another student, Sam Catron, a junior majoring in English education, explained how student-teacher relationships help encourage integrity in students.

“I think within in-person classes it’s a lot easier just because you have to meet with the teacher and stuff, which is nice,” Catron said. “Whereas with online classes and things, they’re the only person holding you accountable as you and I don’t always trust me.”

Catron’s point outlines the importance of personal integrity, being able to see your own tendencies and take steps to keep yourself responsible is important when it comes to a lot of the more self-led courses.

Luke Hicks, a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, offered his perspective on why it’s important to take school seriously.

“If you use Chegg all the time for your homework and all that stuff, then you’re not going to really understand what you’re learning and so it comes down to like the test, you’re gonna have to try and figure it out on your own,” Hicks said. “You end up in your career and you’re screwed because you didn’t pick up anything or learn anything.”