Ethics And The Online College Student Essay

Ethics And The Online College Student Essay

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Ethics and the Online College Student: How Does Academic Stress Affect Ethics and Learning?

The college experience has changed immensely over the last 40 years. In the past, college was synonymous with small campuses, large class sizes, and out-of-date text books. With the coming of the digital age, civilization saw class sizes shrink, college networks grow and even transcend physical boundaries with the introduction of the Internet, and saw access to information become only a click away. However the current system and the colleges of old have two key things in common. The first is that both place a fair amount of stress on the college student. The second is that both require the student to follow a code of ethical academic behavior. What is ethics? Ethics is defined as the moral principles that govern a person or group’s behavior. (oxforddictionaries.com, n.d.) Essentially, ethics is a sense of right and wrong behaviors- Correct behaviors being considered “ethical” and incorrect behaviors “unethical”. In education, these principles are dictated by the institution. Generally, as academic pressure increases, a student’s behavior will become increasingly unethical.
It is no secret that academic dishonesty in online courses is more prevalent and more easily accomplished than in a traditional classroom setting. In 2009 a study was published in The Journal of Educators Online that found that 74% of students believed that it was easier to cheat in an online class than it was in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting. Additionally, a series of surveys conducted from 2006 to 2010 by Donald McCabe, the co-founder of the Center for Academic Integrity found that 40 percent of 14,000 students surveyed admitted to copy and...


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...o stay competitive, additionally if another student is caught cheating, The institution may choose to enforce policies that may inadvertently hinder legitimate studies such as placing restrictions on what sites and resources may be used on certain assignments and implementing more scheduled real-time test.
As academic pressure increases, students become less ethical – this is a startling and growing trend in the education community. Academically dishonest behavior is especially prevalent in the online classroom where cheating is easiest and resources greatest. Academically dishonest behavior can carry harsh penalties and can be detrimental to learning for both the guilty party and other students. Ultimately, it is up to the individual online student to deal with stress in a manner that is conducive to a good distance learning education, and strong ethical values.

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