You Tube video on UCF cheating scandal opens debate on Academic Integrity

The November 1 lecture by Professor Richard Quinn of the University of Central Florida Business School has become a sensation on You Tube, opening a discussion of plagiarism and cheating in Academia.  When faced with the knowledge that up to 1/3 of his class of 600+students cheated, the  Professor uses his class time to address the issue. His lecture is both methodical and passionate. Among the many issues that are raised with this scandal is the use of test banks in courses.

What is also interesting is the students who feel unfairly treated by the accusation. Check out the My Fox Orlando piece  concerning one of student’s claim of innocence. Also the comments below the story and video are eye opening. For the complete lecture click below.

Professor Quinn’s Lecture on You Tube

Wikipedia under siege!

While Wikipedia has always been a lighting rod for criticism, the latest Media coverage concerning the website has left its staff and supporters in crisis.

First, Middlebury College’s History Department banned the use of the site in papers and exams. This after a serious factual error was quoted by numerous students on an exam–their communal source was Wikipedia (Read the Middlebury College weblink concerning this issue) .

Now the latest scandel to rock the website is the fact that a ‘Professor of Theology’ who published thousands of entries on the site is in fact a college dropout. This has led Wikipedia to change its policy and philosophy concerning authors (Read the CNN report on this issue).

So what is the moral in all this? Well, although I personally love Wikipedia for it overall high quality, I would NEVER consider it for serious research. Trivia—yes, Scholarship–no.

Finally, the bias of Wikipedia has been questioned by users who feel there is a liberal slant. To counter this Conservapedia has been created to represent the Conservative point of view.

Tackling your Research Question.

      By now you have been attempting to create your research question. Frankly this is one of the most challenging aspects of your project. I strongly suggest you view the Empire State College’s webpage concerning formulating a research question. In particular, focus on the eight steps of evaluating your question which are reprinted here.

1. Does the question deal with a topic or issue that interests me enough to spark my own thoughts and opinions?

2. Is the question easily and fully researchable?

3. What type of information do I need to answer the research question?
e.g., The research question, “What impact has deregulation had on commercial airline safety?,” will obviously require certain types of information:
—statistics on airline crashes before and after
—statistics on other safety problems before and after
—information about maintenance practices before and after
—information about government safety requirements before and after

4. Is the scope of this information reasonable? (e.g., can I really research 30 on-line writing programs developed over a span of 10 years?)

5. Given the type and scope of the information that I need, is my question too broad, too narrow, or o.k.?

6. What sources will have the type of information that I need to answer the research question (journals, books, internet resources, government documents, people)?

7. Can I access these sources?

8. Given my answers to the above questions, do I have a good quality research question that I actually will be able to answer by doing research?

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