Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Widespread Cheating Scandal Prompts Florida Professor to Issue Unusual Ultimatum

ABC News reports today on Widespread Cheating Scandal Prompts Florida Professor to Issue Unusual Ultimatum. This is a story where Prof Richard Quinn of the University of Central Florida discovered that "two hundred students, approximately one-third of the class of seniors, were believed to have received advanced copies of the exam. It was the largest cheating scandal in the university's history". Prof Quinn  "offered the students an ultimatum: Come clean and take a four-hour ethics course, and your records would be wiped clean. If they chose not to come forward, they'd run a risk" - see Prof Quinn's lecture from YouTube below:

So far about 75% of the "cheaters" have come forward. Interestingly, the video shows a student who states that cheating is OK because everyone cheats all the time in life! Dude - you are so not going to get a job when (if) you graduate.

I like the idea of giving the students a second chance. At least they will learn about the experience and will discover that learning is also about dealing with the consequences of making a big mistake like cheating on an exam. I recommend to the remaining students to "come clean and take a four-hour ethics course". First - is is a very small price to pay for what they did. Secondly, it will be a valuable life lesson - but be warned, don't go to the second chance well too often!

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