Academic Integrity, Nature Not a Rule
Academic Integrity, Nature Not a Rule
  • Reporter Choi Na-youn
  • 승인 2014.03.05 16:45
  • 댓글 0
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Every Postechian knows POSTECH’s Honor Code, “Honesty and respect for others ensure Postechians the honorable future”. However, answers to various quizzes and exams are widely available and most students make use of them, thinking it natural and their own answer undesirable. Three students, Sanghoon Baek (ME 11), Sunghyun Kim (ME 11), and Changhoe Kim (EEE 10), formed a team and was given an opportunity by Job Korea to investigate the situation and find solutions in four universities and one organization in the United States: Georgia Tech, MIT, Harvard, CALTECH, and The Organization of Research Integrity.
They focused on Academic Integrity (AI). AI includes not copying, not falsifying, nor plagiarizing. Showing the source of quotations, not cheating, and no free riding are also part of AI. Actually, AI is not preserved well in Korean universities, including POSTECH, but upholding it is not only the duty of students. Professors merely give a zero on a given assignment as punishment, and it is almost impossible for  college organizations to specialize in one activity for students. It is necessary to discuss AI in the university because solving problems starts with attention and recognition of problems. US universities and students have powerful AI. For example, CALTECH holds conferences every two years to make professors and students discuss various issues, including AI. Also, CALTECH adopts “take home exam” based on trust between students and professors. The importance of AI is great in US, so punishment for misconduct is that MIT students can be expelled from the university because of AI violations.
Many Postechians complain about the burden of homework but do not use office hours or help from teaching assistants (TAs) except during exam week. In co-ntrast, at MIT professors’ office hours are imm-ediately filled with inquisitive students and TAs give feedback of homework to help studying even after the due date. In addition, there is PIAZZA, a site to ask and answer about study among students, TAs, and even professors. It is similar to LMS in POSTECH, but LMS is not as popular as PIAZZA, where it is common to receive an answer within 30 minutes even at 3 A.M.
The team proposed several things to develop AI culture in POSTECH. Rev- italizing office hours, employing more TAs, and implementing a Pass/Fail system to reduce pressure are among the top suggestions. The team also suggests making LMS a debate place to help students learn without misconduct. Honor campaigns and a meeting between President Yongmin Kim and the President of Undergraduate Association to discuss AI are also among the team’s recommendations.
The students offer fellow Postechians some advice. Baek claimed, “AI should not require rules to follow but become second nature to students honestly pursuing knowledge and personal development”. Changhoe Kim announced Postechians have passion and potential as great as US students but need to increase their motivation. Sunghyun Kim said that a change of Postechians’ perspective could lead to POSTECH becoming the best and hoped the change proceeds from POSTECH to all over the country. Hopefully, Postechians will practice the Honor Code, instead of just seeing it as letters to be read.