Ethics/Science

Lelia C. Orrell orrell at umbsky.cc.umb.edu
Fri Nov 14 18:41:55 EST 1997


I would like to add an additional behavior/problem:

SPELLING ON THE LAB REPORTS!  I have heard students say "this is a science
course, not an english course", and I have heard TA's say the same.  As a
TA, I grade all the lab reports and write-ups the same way - proper
spelling and grammar are important and work into the overall grade.  In
addition, I try to teach the students how to use citations and the *true*
meaning of plagiarism.  I get SLAMMED on my student evaluations as being
too tough and nit-picky.  Though this may prevent me from being considered
for teaching awards and such, in the long run it's worth it to me.


> Doing a quick and dirty titration to determine where an end point is
> (and calculate the concentration of an unknown) but not including
> it in the report.

In my classes, that constitutes an incomplete report.  Again, to many
students, pointing this out is "not fair" and "nit-picky".

> After observing a glass jar full of creepy crawlies for a semester
> making up, de novo, the observations for a semester.

HAving the students work in pairs or teams helps solve this problem.  All
members of the team should have the same data.  If not, then why??

> The obvious copying lab reports/ prelabs and other homework.....

This is when I again raise and discuss what plagiarism is and that it is
illegal.  Usually blank stares are the most I can hope for.


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