Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Allegation of Cheating

The title of this post was in the subject line of an email I got today from my professor for my last final yesterday. Apparently, a couple of members of the the negotiation group I was in came forward to report that a few other team members had in there possession some information that they were not "technically" supposed to be privy to.

I don't understand why any of my classmates would feel the need to have an advantage in this class. It's not that hard and not to knock the professor, who just happens to be a close friend of mine, but the class was a cinch and one of my easiest I've ever taken! We had one test over a book that was like 80 pages long and that was just to be sure we were reading the book. The rest of the work was in-class (sometimes longer or after-class) negotiations. As long as we attended class and participated in the negotiations and general class discussions, we were golden with at minimum an A-. These kids were actually worried about the final. I was shocked and amused. I got the final case information about two hours before the final. I printed it. Read it. Highlighted some things and came to a conclusion to what I thought we should look for as part of our team and where we could concede. I actually wanted to play hard ball with the other groups because this isn't real life. This classroom negotiations and the point is not to have an agreement all the time. The class room is where you can fail in the negotiation process whereas real life is not.

So, these overachievers and worry-warts, Googled and found some 14-page 'paper' that talked about our specific case and even gave the points that the other groups would be looking for. Was this cheating? In my opinion, yes. One team member found this document and forwarded it to the rest of the group. She actually read it and mentioned the specific page where the points for each group was located. I clicked on it, saw it was fourteen pages long, and immediately closed it. There was no way in hell I was going to read fourteen pages of something that may not even benefit me. Besides the fact that I really didn't give a shit if I got an A on the final. My goal was to pass, which is a D-, and that was all I needed to complete my final class/semester. Don't ever call me an overachiever in the classroom! I was done last semester in my mind so the least I could work to achieve passing was the best I wanted to do.

The Internet is a powerful tool. You can find just about anything that references part or all of your search. The kids of this generation and the past couple are used to having this information at the touch of a button. They are more ways than one. They feel that an A- is worse than an A. I guess in the minute sense of the grades, yes, one is better than the other. But is there really much difference between a 3.7 and a 4.0? If you round to the nearest whole number they are equal. If you see an A for one student and an A- for another, does that mean student A is smarter than student A-? Is there much of a difference between an A- and a B+ or a 3.7 versus a 3.3? Granted rounding to the nearest whole number makes the two look different. A- is the bottom of the 'A' barrel whereas a B+ is the top of the 'B' barrel.

I know. I know. We can throw in the wrench that some students need to maintain a specific GPA to continue to get their grants, awards, or scholarships. Let's just keep it simple!

So, the originator of the email came forward after the professor's email. She took full responsibility. A little while later the prof sends and email and it seems that two other students were "caught." I don't know if the prof is going to really go forward with this but we'll see. Not my problem.

I just know that once again something, anything, could happen to fuck up my graduation!

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