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Integrity is one of the core basic pillars of a profound educational experience. The absence of integrity not only affects the life of that particular person but also the society revolving around him/her. Academic Integrity is a subset of personal integrity. Personal Integrity is the basis of justifying and verifying one’s honesty and trustworthiness. Academic honesty on the other hand ensures that academically dishonest behavior such as plagiarism, fabrication, falsification etc. are not present in an individual. Education plays an integral role in forming the core of an individual’s life. If academic integrity (micro level) is missing it is almost impossible for that individual to maintain personal integrity (macro level). Nobody wants to trust a doctor who cheated on his way through the medical school and similarly for other sectors as well. As quoted by Professor Taylor that integrity is ‘an essential part of any true educational experience?’ I completely agree with the point and believe the same.
Academic Integrity not only has to do with students but also the professors and the working staff of any educational institution. It enables the presence of a healthy atmosphere in the institute which is beneficial for everyone associated with it in any form. Academic Integrity enables a healthy exchange of ideas and development of new knowledge and it requires that individuals work with and trust one another. If anyone starts cheating and using false attempts to make their way through college, that college degree loses its value and remains of no use to the individual. Not only it demotivates other honest workers in the environment but also someone’s dishonesty harms the stimuli around him. Oregon State University’s Shared Student Values help create an environment in which fellow colleagues are able to prosper and grow. These values are not only just applicable to Oregon State University but also for any educational institution across the globe. Respect as quoted in the document is treating every individual with dignity, honor and generosity while valuing their humanity.
For Academic Honesty to be present it is essential that we respect all participants of the educational environment. This not only involves student-student relationship but also student-teacher, teacher-student & teacher-teacher relationships as well. Empathy is another integral value required to set up the pillars of Academic Integrity. Empathy helps us in providing a different perspective of our thoughts. For example, a student trying to cheat in an exam. If he is an empathetic person, he will put himself in his teacher’s shoes and think about how would the teacher feel if he/she gets to know about the cheating. Also, he will think from other honest student’s mindset and see how would the honest person feel if he gets to know someone got the same or more marks by cheating his way through the exam. Inclusion is another important value which allows building up for a healthy and friendly atmosphere. Academic Integrity is impossible if someone feels left out from the society. If a person’s thoughts are not embraced and encouraged, he is likely to resort to false methods.
My act of misconduct led to a change in behavior of the people around towards me. I was a bit skeptical at first at what might have caused this change in behavior but soon enough I realized that my misconduct has affected a lot of people around me. If I was on the other side of the situation where anyone else used false methods I would be disheartened and lose my trust over him or anyone else as well. It might create a sense of doubt in my mind about everyone around me. If Professor Taylor asked me the question as defined in the problem statement it would arise a few questions in my mind and I would force myself to think from the perspective of Professor is trying to point out. The concern is truly legitimate and well justified. My response would be that everything starts from small and so does integrity. If we start ignoring the small things in our lives, we might shape our lives into something which is accompanied by a lot of false judgements and it would become so miserable that returning to normalcy would become almost impossible. Thus, integrity in small things is as important as it is in any other part of our lives.
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