Week 12: Personal Ethics

After reading the article in the Collegiate Times: Students to retake exam after solutions appear online, about the ethics of using Koofers.com to look at past exams, I believe that this should be a fair study tool. I do not think that it is cheating to look at previous tests to get an idea of the format and material that might be asked. In my opinion, the ethical problem is actually with the professor. Knowing that resources like koofers.com exist, I believe that instructors should provide students with the old exams as study material and write new exams so that no student has an unfair advantage. It seems to me that part of a professors responsibilities are to write exams for the classes they teach and I think that simply reusing previous exams without any changes is lazy and ethically wrong.

If the students were accessing koofers.com during the exam or had copies of the previous tests while they were actually taking the exam, however, I do think this would be ethically wrong. I understand that in the article the teacher and department did acknowledge that there was not an academic integrity violation by the students that used the previous exams to study and that they  just wanted to make sure that all of the students were given equal resources for their studying.

I think that this article raised another important point; technology and academics often have a complicated relationship. On one side technology can be a great tool for learning. It is essential that the modern student learns how to utilize technology in order to be competitive for employment. The other side, however, is that teachers need to constantly be aware of how new technology can be used to cheat and adapt their strategies to ensure that students are utilizing the available technology to enhance their learning instead of abusing the technology to have an unfair advantage.

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