On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Jennifer Wright with the University of Central Florida, where she facilitates workshops and seminars on ethical decision making and is Program Manager of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. She has been working on academic integrity issues and initiatives at UCF for nearly 12 years, including the simple but effective “Take the Zero” campaign.
Jennifer Wright (05:50):
I have a workshop also that I do that is called Bs and Cs Get Degrees. And again, it's not easy for students of today to go ahead and get a C, take a zero. It's interesting how they have the ways of looking at that zero on a 10-point quiz and manifesting it to, "I can't be a doctor. I can't become a lawyer. My parents won't be proud of me. I'm going to let my siblings down." Zero out of 10 will move a student to go, "It's all over." I'm trying to get that concept across to them that it is okay.
Jennifer Wright (08:20):
But I can tell you because there is not a week that goes by that I don't meet with a student and I don't have somebody who is literally crying about what has happened, and that release they do a lot with me. Yeah, they do admit to it. They get it. There' s no other way because they were there when it happened. They can't blame it on anybody else.
Jennifer Wright (15:11):
Because professors for a final grade are looking at student behavior over a 14-week period over a semester. We're looking at one act that has occurred on a day. We're determining the egregiousness of that act. And with that, we look at, what was the intent, what was the impact that it had, how many were involved, were other students brought into this, did other students benefit from a student committing academic misconduct.
Jennifer Wright (15:46):
With the Course Hero and with Quizlet, with Chegg and all of that, other students end up participating as well in that. We look at a lot of things with it to determine what the outcome will be in violation. We have six levels of violations, and they range from a warning to probation to deferred suspension, suspension, dismissal, and expulsion.
Kathryn Baron (16:24):
You talked about intent. I kind of think of it as, what, premeditated cheating versus spur of the moment cheating.
Jennifer Wright (16:32):
I look at it and say, "Was there enough of an opportunity or a moment where the student could have stopped what they were doing?" For example, if there was a student who paid another person to do their work for them, there's contacting somebody, getting it set up, changing usernames and IDs, giving them access, having a lot of conversations, that could have stopped at any moment. That person could have said, "Wait a minute here, what am I doing?" And could have stopped.
Jennifer Wright (17:08):
Continued it, that's where it rises a little bit higher. A student who puts a cheat sheet together the night before, puts it in their pocket, walks with it to class, they could have just said, "I'm not going to take it out. Nobody would be the wiser," but then you chose to take it out. We know what was going to happen there. Those kind of run to a higher level. I also engage with forgery as well of whether it's a medical document or forgery of an email to try to get out of taking an exam or getting an extension on an assignment.
Jennifer Wright (17:51):
We've had that before. Forgery, you knew what you were doing. You know it's not your name that you're signing. Those kinds of things rise to a higher level of it.
Jennifer Wright (18:45):
Those of us in academic integrity lands, we really have a very, I do, and I know many of my colleagues do, have a very visceral reaction to Chegg and to other websites who their sole mission is to convince students that their sites are safe, good, and helpful, and nothing could happen. Nothing could happen if you use us. That's not true.