Academic Dishonesty = Fail: Procrastination & Copying Homework Increases Failure Rate Irrespective of Aptitude
From ScienceDaily (Mar. 21, 2010) — The history of students who copy homework from classmates may be as old as school itself. But in today’s age of lecture-hall laptops and online coursework, how prevalent and damaging to the education of students has such academic dishonesty become?
According to research published online March 18 in Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research, it turns out that unnoticed student cheating is a significant cause of course failure nationally.
A researcher from the University of Kansas has teamed up with colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to get a better handle on copying in college in the 21st century.
Young-Jin Lee, assistant professor of educational technology at KU, and the Research in Learning, Assessing and Tutoring Effectively group at MIT spent four years seeing how many copied answers MIT students submitted to MasteringPhysics, an online homework tutoring system.
“MIT freshmen are required to take physics,” said Lee. “Homework was given through a Web-based tutor that our group had developed. We analyzed when they logged in, when they logged out, what kind of problems they solved and what kinds of hints they used.”
Lee said that it was easy to spot students who had obtained answers from classmates before completing the homework.
“We ran into very interesting students who could solve the problems — very hard problems — in less than one minute, without making any mistakes,” said Lee.
Students also were asked to complete an anonymous survey about the frequency of their homework copying. (According to the survey, students nationally admit to engaging in more academic dishonesty than MIT students.)
Among the researchers’ most notable findings:
* Students who procrastinated also copied more often. Those who started their homework three days ahead of deadline copied less than 10 percent of their problems, while those who drug their feet until the last minute were repetitive copiers.
The students who copied frequently had about three times the chance of failing the course.
* Results of the survey show that students are twice as likely to copy on written homework than on online homework.
* This study showed that doing all the homework assigned is “a surer route to exam success” than a preexisting aptitude for physics.
“People believe that students copy because of their poor academic skills,” Lee said. “But we found that repetitive copiers — students who copy over 30 percent of their homework problems — had enough knowledge, at least at the beginning of the semester. But they didn’t put enough effort in. They didn’t start their homework long enough ahead of time, as compared to noncopiers.”
Because repetitive copiers don’t adequately learn physics topics on which they copy the homework, Lee said, the research strongly implies that copying caused declining performance on analytic test problems later in the semester.
“Even though everyone knows not doing homework is bad for learning, no one knows how bad it is,” said Lee. “Now we have a quantitative measurement. It could make an A student get B or even C.”
At the beginning of a semester, the researchers found that copying was not as widespread as it was late in the semester.
“Obviously, the amount of copying was not so prevalent because the academic load was not as much at the beginning of the semester,” said Lee. “In order to copy solutions, the students need to build their networks. They need to get to know each other so that they can ask for the answers.”
But the KU researcher and his MIT colleagues also demonstrated that changes to college course formats — such as breaking up large lecture classes into smaller “studio” classes, increasing interactions between teaching staff and students, changing the grading system — could reduce student copying fourfold.
Adapted from materials provided by University of Kansas
High School and College years cannot be forgotten easily. Why? Because it is one of the hardest and the toughest stage in a person’s life. It entails lots of preparations and adjustments.
College life is full of challenges. College students are faced of mountainous confrontations and obstacles that must be faced. These students must work hard to prove not only to themselves but to other people that they are worthy of getting into college and finishing successfully.
To do and accomplish all the challenges and dares that are facing the college students, proper time management is necessary. College student should know how to manage time properly and how to consume time for worthy things.
The ability to manage and schedule time wisely makes college life easier. Missing important deadlines and appointments may cause difficulty and complications to both the academic and social life of the student. These things can also result to guilt, anxiety, stress, frustrations and other negative feelings.
The following are some of the tips for college students on how to manage time their time successfully.
• Learn how to prioritize. Prioritization is one of the most important aspects of time management. Proper prioritization of engagements and responsibilities is very necessary. There are too many college students that are ignorant and do not know how to set prioritization. This can often lead to procrastinations.
• Make use of ‘to do list’. This does not necessarily mean making a schedule. This is only listing the things that are important to be done. List things according to their importance.
• Stop being a perfectionist. Nothing is perfect. God created no perfect things and individuals. When you try to be perfect, you are only setting your self up for defeat. Many difficult and hard tasks lead to avoidance and procrastinations.
• Set goals. Setting goal is good in managing the time of college students. You should set goals that are not only attainable but should also be challenging.
• Try to combine several activities. Trying to combine many several activities in one sitting. Example of these are the following:
when watching a sit-com, try to compute your bills in between commercials; when taking a shower, list in your mind the things that are needed to be done; while you are commuting on the way to school, listen to taped notes. These things can save you some of your time that could have been set aside for other things.
• Survey your personal time. Making personal time survey help in estimating how much time is consumed and spent in many typical activities. This is very important if you are wanting to manage your time properly. Do these by tracking the time you spent for a day or a week. This gives you an idea on how much time you are consuming in different activities and things. This will also allow you to realize and identify the time wasters.
• Make a daily schedule to be followed. There are many different styles of time schedules that you can use. Try to make use of the time schedule that can fit into your personality. The common styles of time scheduling are through engagement books, cards, a piece of poster board tacked to a wall and many other styles. Once you are know what style to use, construct it soon. Put in the time schedule all the things that are necessary, including your personal needs.
• Take some notes and review them before the end of the day. This will help identify the things that you have done properly and the things that you have failed to do. This can help you develop proper time management skills.
• You should learn how to say no. There is nothing wrong in saying no in some instances and cases. For example, somebody invited you to watch a movie at a time when you have got something to do. Leave out the movie and prioritize your task. You can do that later on.
Learning proper time management for college students is very important. Learning these things early on will prepare them for the life that lay ahead of them. These will be their tool in achieving the life they are dreaming of.