Need accounting help with 250 words for 3 questions - Harvard cheating scandal.

Dec 8th, 2015
Business Finance
Price: $10 USD

Question description

Case 1-1  (250 words, 1 reference, original, no plagiarism)

Harvard Cheating Scandal

Yes. Cheating occurs at the prestigious Harvard University. In 2012, Harvard forced dozens of students to leave in its largest cheating scandal in memory but the institution would not address assertions that the blame rested partly with a professor and his teaching assistants. The issue is whether cheating is truly cheating when students collaborate with each other to find the right answer—in a take-home final exam.

Harvard released the results of its investigation into the controversy, in which 125 undergraduates were alleged to have cheated on an exam in May 2012.1 The university said that more than half of the students were forced to withdraw, a penalty that typically lasts from two to four semesters. Of the remaining cases, about half were put on disciplinary probation—a strong warning that becomes part of a student’s official record. The rest of the students avoided punishment.

In previous years, students thought of Government 1310 as an easy class with optional attendance and frequent collaboration. But students who took it in spring 2012 said that it had suddenly become quite difficult, with tests that were hard to comprehend, so they sought help from the graduate teaching assistants who ran the class discussion groups, graded assignments, and advised them on interpreting exam questions.

Administrators said that on final-exam questions, some students supplied identical answers (right down to typo- graphical errors in some cases), indicating that they had written them together or plagiarized them. But some stu- dents claimed that the similarities in their answers were due to sharing notes or sitting in on sessions with the same teaching assistants. The instructions on the take-home exam explicitly prohibited collaboration, but many students said they did not think that included talking with teaching assistants.

The first page of the exam contained these instructions: “The exam is completely open book, open note, open Internet, etc. However, in all other regards, this should fall under similar guidelines that apply to in-class exams. More specifically, students may not discuss the exam with others— this includes resident tutors, writing centers, etc.”

Students complained about confusing questions on the final exam. Due to “some good questions” from students, the instructor clarified three exam questions by email before the due date of the exams.

Students claim to have believed that collaboration was allowed in the course. The course’s instructor and the teaching assistants sometimes encouraged collaboration, in fact. The teaching assistants who graded the exams—graduate students graded the exams and ran weekly discussion sessions—varied widely in how they prepared students for the exams, so it was common for students in different sections to share lecture notes and reading materials. During the final exam, some teaching assistants even worked with students to define unfamiliar terms and help them figure out exactly what certain test questions were asking.

Some have questioned whether it is the test’s design, rather than the students’ conduct, that should be criticized. Others place the blame on the teaching assistants who opened the door to collaboration outside of class by their own behavior in helping students to understand the questions better.

Answer the following questions about the Harvard cheating scandal.

1- Using Josephson’s Six Pillars of Character, which of the character traits (virtues) apply to the Harvard cheating scandal and how do they apply with respect to the actions of each of the stakeholders in this case?

2 - Who is at fault for the cheating scandal? Is it the students, the teaching assistants, the professor, or the institution? Use the concepts of egoism and enlightened egoism to support your answer.

3 - From a deontological perspective and the point of view of achieving justice, were anyone’s rights violated by the events of the scandal and outcome of the case? Explain why or why not.

1The facts of this case are taken from Richard Perez- Peña,”Students Disciplined in Harvard Scandal,” February 1, 2013, Available at harvard-forced-dozens-to-leave-in-cheating-scan

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(Top Tutor) Abdul Muqeet
School: UC Berkeley

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