Standing Up For The Power Of Learning, By Jay Mathews

1252 words - 6 pages

The essay, “Standing Up for the Power of Learning,” by Jay Mathews explained how one of many students was accused of academic dishonesty. During the regular school session of the year 2001, three fourths of 187 students at Georgia Institute of Technology (GIT) were found guilty of cheating. This was because they collaborated on an assignment in a computer science (CS) course with friends. By communicating with others about the project, the students violated the course honor code that prohibited the discussion among students for that particular class.
Perhaps, some people may argue that no collaboration is unhealthy and ineffective in a learning setting. Well, that is not the case for ...view middle of the document...

All formal organizations/institutions have legal and rights to set rules that govern how people should operate when they are in its domain. With that being said, in the case of the convicted student, he/she was not acting foolishly but on the terms of logic and academic interests. The reason is that this student saw the course honor code to be irrational in respects to his/her circumstance. Take in mind that this student is only a freshman and perhaps never had any much experience in the field of CS. In addition, his/her aim is to get the most knowledge and the highest grades possible by whatever legal means necessary. In essence, the student would automatically not think that he/she would be penalized for collaborating on a homework assignment. Furthermore, the CS honor code was to some degree unreasonable to give an inevitable academic policy of such limitations to students who are required to take and pass CS.
*Based on my personal experiences and observations I have established that human beings typically operate in numbers through heavy communication especially in a learning situation. Interaction of some kind is needed for us to work through complex and complicated matters and produce the optimum results.
On the other hand, the institution should be held partly accountable for constructing a course honor code that realistically for the students it was unfair with major glitches. Presumably, at the time the standing course honor code at GIT was not previously tested or passed by experts. This is to show that GIT failed to give its best services to the students who were unjustly treated. Unlike other high rated institutions they did not have a similar academic policy in rule in comparison to GIT and traditionally it is not a norm to prevent collaboration of homework assignments among students. Some faculty members had “restrict(ed) student access to resources in their effort to maximize their learning potential.” (Mathews 211) Even though it is probable that someone had to pay for the ignorance of GIT, it is bad enough that the student is the only one paying full price; he/she got a grade of zero and a suspension while GIT had no penalties on its part.
In this case a student received the ultimate punishment for breaking a college course honor code, as a result of that disconnection he/she finds with the reasons for its existence only does a disadvantage to the student. Nevertheless at the same time it provided enlightenment and reform for the greater good for both the institution and the students.
In evaluating how effectively Jay Mathews communicated the dilemma faced by this specific student at Georgia Institution of Technology, I discovered some strategies he used as tools for...

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