1. Thinking about an online class you teach or might teach, what is the most likely issue related to plagiarism and/or cheating with which you would anticipate dealing?

Since I plan to teach professional development programs for managers, much of the courses have a coaching focus. Frequently participants will all be from the same company.

In this context, ethics takes on a different slant.  It seems more focused upon individuals carrying their own weight and not about plagariasm per se.

To get around the issue of plagiarism, I am thinking of having participants develop portfolios. Through the coaching, I will get a good sense of who the participant is and if that person’s work (e.g., style, capabilities) is reflected in the work product.

2.Identify and explain the steps and measures you would take to reduce the occurrence of plagiarism/cheating identified in item 1.

Since my programs will be somewhat different than most of my colleagues, my responses will also differ.

Assuming that a program participant does submit work product that exceeds my expectations (i.e., positive or negative), I would arrange for a real time conversation to discuss what brought them to the submitted product.

Since most mid to larger companies do have honor codes and codes of conduct, I would make sure I was familiar with those standards before the actual conversation.

My decision about reporting the person must be contextual. I know from past experiences that there are companies that immediately fire an employee who repeatedly pads their expense account (even for as little as $25 per report.

  1. What does research tell us about the reasons students give for plagiarism/cheating. Remember to cite your sources!

Since I ascribe to Posner’s definition as a fraud (Bailey, 2007). Cyberplagiarism is simply the theft of intellectual property. An arguably very rigorous definition.

Hult Business School Archives (2013), Slater (2014) as well as McCabe (2009) report that plagiarism occurs in all disciplines and at all levels. For these publications, cyberplagiarism at younger levels is a lack of knowledge that they are stealing. Although posed, even with my juniors and seniors and Master’s students feign naiveté and ignorance.

What also emerges, and might be expected, it is in those disciplines that are highly competitive (e.g., business, engineering, graduate schools), that cyber and other forms of plagiarism occur. It is in the humanities and the arts where cyberplagerism occurs.

In addition to actual cheating, there are situations where students try to “barter” for a better grade. For example, when I was teaching juniors at a well known university, an attractive student with a very low cut sweater, walked up to me, letting me know that she would most anything “for an A.” As an FYI, my response was: “Study”.

Slater (2014) indicates that cheating also occurs in f2f and similar teaching formats. According to the author, it appears most frequently in most technical and business disciplines. 

Hult Business School Archives 2013.

 McCabe, Donald, MBA’s Cheat, But Why? Harvard Business Review, April, 2009. HTTPS://HBR.ORG/2009/04/MBAS-CHEAT-BUT-WHY.HTML   (Abstract)

Slater, Harry, Distance Learning Can Make Plagiarism and Cheating Harder to Spot. The Guardian, http://www.the

Thomas, Ebony Elizabeth and Kelly Sassi. An Ethical Dilemma: Talking about Plagiarism and Academic Integrity in a Digital Age. English Journal, 100.6 (2011), pg 47-53

 Evaluate your participation in the discussion this week. Provide at least one quote from the discussion that supports your evaluation.

My participation in this week’s discussion may have been less frequent than I would like, however, I do think there were some quality comments. For example, I supported Laura’s assertion about less plagiarism with on-line courses, as demonstrated with Open University courses

I suspect that my submissions on the cyberplagiarism thread were a bit too late, as I think that I made at least one good point that was overlooked (i.e.  cyberplagiarism is for many students like hacking; it is a game.).

It was an assignment that made me remember experiences from my days in graduate school an initial years teaching.

  1. Identify the student you think was the most important participant in the Blackboard discussion. Explain why and provide at least one quote from that student’s contributions to the Blackboard discussion.

Lorraine for me provoked considerable thought. Her citation about how internet access suggests that there is a paradigm shift among the Millenials.  I just administered an open book midterm and found students paraphrased textbook language without any attribution.

6. Reflect on what you have learned this week. What have you learned that has the potential to inform or influence you or your practice of online learning going forward? Explain why.

This week corroborated what I know, explicitly and implicitly. It also is forcing me to rethink how I am administering f2f classes, as I am not teaching anything on-line at this point.

It also has me thinking about I will assess learning and skill acquisition in professional development programs. Right now, it seems that portfolios seem to be a good choice.



  1. “It seems more focused upon individuals carrying their own weight and not about plagariasm per se.”

    Some one pointed this out in the discussion this week. It is something I have never considered as cheating, but definitely experienced in one of my classes this quarter. It took me by surprise that I was dealing with this in a master’s program. I think often times we just leave at people not pulling their weight, but now I fully consider it cheating! This is an aspect of cheating I will point out to my future students and hold them accountable for on group projects.


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