Ethics in an Academic Environment

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Ethics in an Academic Environment

Eric Kiszely, Christina Boland, Elaine Ready, Jacob Fontenot, and Jaime Luna

University of Phoenix (online)

The subject matter of this paper is Ethics in an Academic Environment. It is quite appropriate that this is approached in the first mandatory class within the University of Phoenix regardless of the focus of the degree, because it will set the guidelines and appropriate behavior, actions, and technique involved in any paper written beyond this class as well as the way one participates in the setting of the Academic Environment. Ethics can be approached in a variety of ways with numerous interpretations. Within the words and writings in this paper, those subject matters will be approached, discussed, analyzed and proven positive in its poignancy and application toward the intended objective of being ethical in the course of obtaining Educational degrees from the University of Phoenix. As a Team, five topics of interest were chosen to pertain to the idea of ethics in an academic environment. Those concepts that were discussed and finally chosen to apply toward the subject matter of this paper were: original content, participation equality, following set guidelines, freedom of exploration of new ideas, and finally the development of relationships with peers.

In order to begin getting absorbed into the topic of ethics in an academic environment, the most basic element of this subject must be clearly defined in a way that is approachable and clearly understood as in the definition given to us by the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “The discipline dealing with what is good and bad or right and wrong or with more duty and obligation.” Now, that alone is the definition of ethics. As a conscious human species happening to be the singular (or supposed singular) sentient beings on our planet Earth, we are given an innate natural ability of a sense of ethics which manifests itself in a “gut-feeling” for most. Whatever may be being discussed or analyzed some sort of sensation of right or wrong is produced through thought or a physical reaction. Usually, those definitions of ethics or feelings are built upon the belief system of the individual which was set in place and intact at a young formative age by the opinions of others, thoughts, and feelings of the world at large and their definition of correct or incorrect (filters). With this being expressed, it allows us to examine that the perception of each individual of ethics can, and is, different. Now, finally imagine applying ethics to the academic environment and even more specifically in an online medium. How does one define or apply the idea of ethics in an academic environment? As the discussion continues, the aforementioned perceptions of ethics in accordance to the academic environment will be explored and integrated into a cohesive thought.

One of the first selected notions that were chosen is the theory of original content. In order for one to apply their knowledge and basic foundational learning to create an identity for oneself and participate in an honorable and just fashion, participating in any academic endeavor or assignment must include original content. Being an automaton simply repeating the words previously expressed by a peer, co-worker or classmate does not authenticate independent thought, analytical and critical thinking. Another way of viewing this is the opposition of plagiarism. What exactly is plagiarism? Plagiarism, introduced by Indiana University in their documentations within the Student Code of Conduct, expresses plagiarism as follows:

Plagiarism is defined as presenting someone else's work, including the work of other students, as one's own. Any ideas or materials taken from another source for either written or oral use must be fully acknowledged, unless the information is commonknowledge....
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