Academic Honesty and its significance in a student's life. The importance of maintaining academic honesty is one of the major highlighting aspects of the paper. The article has also accentuated the means through which academic honesty can be of assistance for the student to become a better human being. Furthermore, it also emphasizes on the fact that academic honesty is not only accomplished by the student but it is also the responsibility of the academic staff to rectify the major constituents that can create academic dishonesty and how it can be prevented.
What is Academic Honesty?
As the human race has penetrated into the world of advancements and electronic age, competition, opportunity and temptation are few of the factors that have escalated to an unprecedented rate in virtually every aspect of life. This severe competition has raised various ethical dilemmas, especially in the academic lives of the students. Cheating, plagiarism, misinterpretation of abilities or efforts, exam dishonesty, multiple submissions of same works without explicit permissions, falsification of records, unauthorized collaboration and so forth are few of the behaviors that are increasingly being observed than ever by the students as a result of competition (Whitley, & Keith-Spiegel, 2002).
Considering the codes of ethics in the academic life of a student, the concept of academic honesty has become common, widespread and prevalent. Academic honesty is usually the codes of ethics that the students ought to accomplish in order to avoid the unacceptable behaviors. In other words, academic honesty is the phenomenon that asks the students to perform their activities with integrity and in a respectable manner. This clearly signifies the fact that students need to provide accurate, honest and truthful information when presenting their work assignments or test papers (Whitley, & Keith-Spiegel, 2002).
Academic honesty has also been described as the action of the individual student that enables him or her to abstain from performing unethical behaviors (usually referred as academic dishonesty) that include cheating; copying other's work, stealing material from external sources and so on. The intentional or even unintentional utilization of ideas or works of other students, especially if it is without acknowledgment are considered as plagiarism (copied without consent), which is unethical or academic dishonesty. In fact, through academic honesty, the student exhibits their true talent in them in the form of thoughts that they represent in the materials, writing and other classroom activities (Whitley, & Keith-Spiegel, 2002).
The academic institutions have their fundamental objective to preserve the academic honesty and integrity, as well as they want the students to represent independent work that can enhance their skills and abilities, hence, the institutions tremendously focus on this component. Indeed, the transmission of knowledge and the challenge of learning is the core purpose of the academic institutions due to which academic conduct and integrity is of immense importance. Therefore, it is expected from the students to maintain the high standards of academic conduct (Whitley, & Keith-Spiegel, 2002).
Importance of Maintaining Academic Honesty
Academic institutions have rated academic honesty and integrity as the most significant and essential value amongst all values for the students in their intellectual lives. However, it is unfortunate to say that many of the students are certainly not honest at all times, and they carry dubious ethical habits when they go on to their higher levels of education. Therefore, academic institutions are now profoundly focusing on the component of academic integrity and institutions that can portray its importance to the students in their entire life and career (Whitley, & Keith-Spiegel, 2002).
According to some schools of thoughts, the importance of maintaining academic honesty is just like being sincere and truthful to oneself. This means that if an individual is not honest with their own personality, they cannot maintain honesty in their educational life. However, it is prudent to note that ethical values and morals are not imbedded since birth, but the individual learns them as they grow. Pre-defined norms, rules and ethical conduct that an individual learns and practices helps them grow and nurture as a positive image in the healthy society (Hall & Kuh, 1998).
The learning process (of the norms and ethical values) of the individual begins at home, which is the first institution for any individual. However, schools and colleges are the second, but primarily very vital institutions from where the individuals learn a great deal of things. Educational institutions are not only to provide the students with basic knowledge and skills; rather, they enhance and shape the entire personalities of the students in a positive manner. Besides, the educational organizations also help the students develop a prominent social presence that leads them towards the path of betterment and success (Hall & Kuh, 1998).
As the student matures, the sense of accountability is one of the aspects that grow because the level of understanding increases that how academic honesty can bring a positive influence on their entire personalities. Academic honesty is simply being truthful with strong determination for hard work. The importance of academic honesty becomes extreme when the student is at his or her university level. This is due to the reason that at this stage the students are most susceptible and exposed to wrongdoings such as cheating and plagiarism, which remove the slight difference from good to evil (Hall & Kuh, 1998).
Maintaining academic honesty is also of great importance as many of the students are not fortunate that they can accomplish the goals that they have made for themselves. Due to this reason, academic honesty and hard work is emphasized by the instructors and educators. Moreover, the importance f originality of work is accentuated by the teachers that can motivate and persuade the students to bring out their skills and abilities in the form of true piece of work (Ercegovac & Richardson, 2004).
One cannot ignore the fact that hard work and honesty is the only way to achieve success and an esteemed position within the society, which cannot be attained through misconduct or dishonesty. Due to this reason, the academic organizations put great emphasis on academic honesty, as the honest educational life results in truthfulness and reliability of the students. While looking at the other end of the spectrum, dishonest conduct of the student decreases their self-esteem because they themselves shrink the opportunity of becoming skilled and knowledgably. Therefore, maintaining academic honesty is of gargantuan importance that can prevent the students from conducting unethical conducts like cheating, plagiarism and fabrications (Ercegovac & Richardson, 2004).
Few of the scholars bring the fact to the surface that responsibility and respect for other's values are the major outcomes that are learned by the students from the phenomenon of academic honesty. This undoubtedly indicates the idea that if the student practices academic honesty and integrity, they are able to value and respect the original work of others due to which they provide exact references of the works that is copied in their original ideas (Staats, Hupp & Hagley, 2008).
The academic honesty is also the reflection of the person and his or her image that is brought forward in the public. It means that honesty and integrity aids the person to define their personality and delineate their key characteristics. Maintaining academic honesty is not only limited to educational life but it continues to the professional life as well that can determine what kind of contributions a person can make for the betterment of the society (Hall & Kuh, 1998).
Wide ranging empirical studies have brought the fact to the forefront that academic dishonesty is usually practiced by the students when they have pressures from their peers or even social pressures count to this unethical conduct. Besides, it has also come to notice that students involve in academic dishonesty when they feel that they cannot accomplish higher positions only by putting an effort or with their intelligence, thus, they are likely to get involved in unethical conduct like cheating, falsifying or copying other's work. High grades are the main objective of many of the students instead of gaining knowledge or improving their skills, hence, the students specially earning lower grades are more enrolled in academic dishonesty (Staats, Hupp & Hagley, 2008).
This aspect and conception of the students have become the primary focal point for the academic institutions for which they lay key emphasis on gaining knowledge, rather than only focusing on grades. Here, they highlight the importance of academic honesty to the students in not only their academic lives, but also on their overall lives and personalities. Considering the perceptions of such students, academic staffs and administration has a vital role to play, as they are the key constituents that can transform and shape the overall personality of the students in the long run (Ercegovac & Richardson, 2004).
After rectification of academic dishonesty, the overall administration of the academic institution should work on making the environment of the organization in such a way that can promote a welcoming and honest academic environment for the students. Additionally, a plan as a component of…