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According to a recent report, cheating among college and university students is on the rise. However, Groveton College has successfully reduced student cheating by adopting an honor code, which calls for students to agree not to cheat in their academic endeavors and to notify a faculty member if they suspect that others have cheated. Groveton's honor code replaced a system in which teachers closely monitored students; under that system, teachers reported an average of thirty cases of cheating per year. In the first year the honor code was in place, students reported twenty-one cases of cheating; five years later, this figure had dropped to fourteen. Moreover, in a recent survey, a majority of Groveton students said that they would be less likely to cheat with an honor code in place than without. Thus, all colleges and universities should adopt honor codes similar to Groveton's in order to decrease cheating among students.

Write a response in which you discuss what questions would need to be answered in order to decide whether the recommendation and the argument on which it is based are reasonable. Be sure to explain how the answers to these questions would help to evaluate the recommendation.

Before assuming that the honor code is a successful endeavor in curbing the cheating among students, it’s imperative to answer some of the questions.

First, How is this honor code system applied, are the students asked to sign a document before each exam that states the honor code, are there any implications of breaking this honor code that is made clear to the students? If the honor code is just a verbal agreement between the school authorities and the students, then it might not be a very dependable way of qualifying the cheating cases. Because it is highly possible that students take the oath and still cheat in the exams, and if there is nothing in writing about the honor code and there are no severe implications of breaking it ( like suspension from school or awarding a grade F in that subject if found guilty) then it will be difficult to prove that the students have in fact broken the honor code.

Second,this new code takes the burden of keeping an attentive eye on students taking the exam off the teacher’s shoulders. It is highly possible that since this honor code is in effect teachers just don’t pay enough attention on the students writing exams, or may not even be present in the classroom, which automatically will reduce the number of cases reported. Also, just reporting 30 cases per year is not very informative because we don’t know anything about the total number of students taking the exam and what was the teacher to student ratio at that time.

Another important thing to notice is that, the author has stated that the number of cases dropped from twenty one cases per year to fourteen cases within five years of this system being in effect. But this drop could be a result of overall decline in the number of students taking the exams or a total decline in the number of students enrolled in that college. We cannot simply assume it to be a result of this honor system. It should be made clear of the exact number of students taking the exam when this honor code started and how many enrolled after five years. It could also be very well possible that students might make a deal among themselves of not reporting the cases to anyone as a mutual way of benefit. There is no way of knowing this unless there is a video surveillance of all the exams.

Finally, the survey mentioned does not give any information about the number students who took the survey, also there could be difference in responses depending on the age and the gender of the students, none of which is specified about the survey.

Before the above questions are answered, it would be difficult to conclude that the decline in cheating is solely due to the honor code and it should be universally applied to all the colleges and universities.

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