Plagiarism is by definition the act deliberately taking someone else’s words and ideas and representing them as one’s own without giving proper credit to the individual by which the ideas originated from. In order to understand the act of plagiarism and what it entails, it is important to recognize the overall process of sharing information and how this information can be taken as a support for various arguments in the correct way. It is also necessary to recognize that whenever we collect and share information in our daily lives, we are in fact regarding someone else’s ideas and merely adding new perspectives or drawing new conclusions from that information. In higher education, specifically, the educational system focuses on the goal of having the students make important distinctions between original ideas and ideas coming from the perspective of other individuals. These so-called distinctions are based on the action of citing properly and recognizing and naming the appropriate sources by which the ideas originate. It is also vital for the students to understand that citing other sources gives the readers an insight of where they can find a more detailed explanation of the material exposed in the summary or document. This is why in order to eliminate this problem or even regulate it to a good extent where the students can acknowledge the original ideas of a project and where they obtained them, to give proper credit. With this information in mind we aim to discuss the methods previously used to reduce the amount of plagiarism in the educational field and comprehend what can be arranged to come up with better methods or improve the current ones.
The federal and state governments have some common goals regarding higher education policy and its impact on the community, with the main purpose of making education accessible to an extensive range of students and in the best quality possible. However, due to differing priorities and divergent necessity for resources, these federal and state policies do not always agree or even meet a common goal. For a more specific approach, as the interest on funding higher education grows over time, so does the doubts about whether this topic should involve more than just specific funding for students or general funding for an institution itself.
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According to Loss (2016) “Federal funding does not have to mean federal control or a uniform national policy. But to further national goals for postsecondary opportunity and attainment, in addition to providing funds to students, the federal government could partner with state governments to support and influence their efforts to provide quality, affordable public higher education. Experiences in other areas of public policy provide lessons for a successful partnership.”(p.5). Federal funding can definitely maintain powerful standards and improve the impartial character of higher education ; however, states could also take part by being more forward and accessible to build a fruitful partnership in which common goals are met. All in all, it is necessary to understand that the states and the government do work together to come up with new laws that benefit and regulate public colleges and universities in order to make available postsecondary education for state residents in the best quality possible.
Emerging Issues in Federal Higher Education Law (2018) shows that “It has been also proven that transferring federal funds to state governments provides states more stable funding. It allows the federal government to influence state spending patterns and leaves program administration to the states. Supplying funds does not necessarily mean the federal government will dictate or carry out specific activities. Even in the context of increasing the influence of federal priorities, state and local governments may be better positioned to understand their communities’ needs and to oversee local activity”(p.3).
The management of plagiarism and its consequences brings many discussions and dilemmas into place. Many institutions can respond similarly or also have different methods by which they take a stand against it.According to Smith (2014) “In the United Kingdom and Australia, in the early years of the twenty-first century, virtually every university reviewed, revised and republished its policy and procedures for managing student plagiarism. In both countries, policy revision was seen as a marker of quality assurance as there was widespread concern that cases were being ignored and/or managed inconsistently. Policies revisited issues such as the apparently low level of detection and inconsistent treatment of cases.”(p.7). Previous policies and methods implemented with the goal of preventing plagiarism were not noticeable of having good outcomes as they were inconsistent and could not keep a record or properly monitor the application of penalties across the school. With the passing of the years, a more centralized system leaded to the betterment of a design that could handle of all of the deficiencies of the past methods and was able to express authenticity.
The fraud triangle and the penalties associated with the fraud triangle that are tied with it in the financial cases are very different from the ones tied to academic dishonesty. Burke (2018) states that “The criminal justice system imposes significant penalties for perpetrating accounting or financial fraud. Embezzlement is a prosecutable crime that violates a fiduciary relationship in which the employee/agent converts the property of her employer/principal that previously was lawfully in her possession.109 The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act requires companies with securities listed in the United States to meet the accounting provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which requires corporations covered by the provisions to make and keep accurate books and records as well as to maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls.”(p.8).
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Many institutions of higher education have different methods that they implement in order to deal with academic dishonesty and apply the appropriate disciplinary action. Academic dishonesty, however, does not go as far as to going to court, as proper disciplinary action can be taken, and then no further initiatives. Burke (2018) argues that “The regulations further provide that an institution can satisfy this obligation by requiring a secure login and passcode, proctored examinations or other technologies and practices that are effective in verifying student identity, at the institution’s option. Clearly, the identity verification standard for distance courses and programs permits compliance methods that range from lenient to strict. Students can give their secure login and pass code to anyone to complete a test or assignment.”(p.4). Although a disciplinary action can be taken as a consequence of academic dishonesty, this can also be taken as an agreement where both parties can come to a legal agreement with formation and proposed execution of punishment.
By looking at what we can call the ethical obligation of the academy we can see how different approaches work in order to approach the problem in the best way possible and explore the different options.
The act of academic dishonesty is an act where there are many victims and many consequences. Without the proper monitoring of the activities that can lead to this act, many individuals and institutions can be compromised. Not only the act is dishonest and unethical, but it can also represent a threat and a negative factor for the students who do not engage in this type of act. With new technology and more effective methods we can combat the temptation of the students to cheat and even go against the possible commitment of the act itself. All in all, the appropriate response of the different academic institutions is necessary to respond to the call of action against it, in order to ultimately protect the integrity of the teachers and alumni along with that of the institution.
- Burke, D. D. ., & Sanney, K. J. . (2018). Applying the Fraud Triangle to Higher Education: Ethical Implications. Journal of Legal Studies Education, 35(1), 5–43. https://doi.org/10.1111/jlse.12068
- Emerging Issues in Federal Higher Education Law. (2018). Retrieved from https://pullias.usc.edu/download/emerging-issues-in-federal-higher-education-law/
- Legal Education and Training Review. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://letr.org.uk/the-report/chapter-4/references/index.html
- P., Loss ,C., Ed, McGuinn, J., P., & Ed. (2016, September 30). The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education: Policies and Programs in a Changing Era. Educational Innovations Series. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED568824
- Policy, Pilots and the Path to Competency-Based Education: A National Landscape. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.heartland.org/publications-resources/publications/policy-pilots-and-the-path-to-competency-based-education-a-national-landscape
- Sutherland-Smith, W. wendy. sutherlandsmith@deakin. edu. a. (2014). Legality, quality assurance and learning: competing discourses of plagiarism management in higher education. Journal of Higher Education Policy & Management, 36(1), 29–42. https://doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2013.844666
- Tripathi, M. (2019). Integrity in Education and Research. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 39(2), 57–59. https://doi.org/10.14429/djlit.39.2.14215
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