'Plant Species Montage' by Emily Nagler
PLB 203 Biology of Plants: F11

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Statement of Academic Integrity

What is academic integrity and why are we concerned about it? Academic integrity means being honest about your intellectual work. Working with a learning partner and as a member of a cooperative group is an effective and efficient method of learning biology or any subject. Interacting with other people is a natural way for humans to learn, but each person must construct her or his own knowledge in the process. In PLB 203, we encourage you to work and study together both in and out of class meetings. The written materials you produce as homework assignments, in-class activities and projects will be an outcome of these interactions, and a means of evaluating your personal understanding.

This is when the topic of academic integrity becomes an issue. Michigan State University has an all university policy concerning Integrity and Scholarship of Grades. As a student of Michigan State University it is your responsibility to become familiar with, understand, and abide by General Student Regulations which protect both you and the university if an infraction has occurred. Ignorance of these regulations is not a defense in cases of infringement. So... Just DON'T Do It!

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

(Case histories showing things you shouldn't do!!)
  1. Copying information from the web ("Google-stitching")
  2. Copying information from the web ("Google-stitching") (another example)
  3. Working together on an assignment, but submitting the work as a solo effort
  4. Copying directly from a peer
  5. Copying directly from a peer (another example)

Consequences for Academic Dishonesty

Academic integrity is a precondition for intellectual maturity. By writing [in-class assigments, homework,] and conducting research at the university level you are entering into a community of scholars, an ongoing conversation to which you can and should contribute your own, unique voice. This requires that you make a clear distinction between your own work and that of others (from Dr. Robert Kirkman; LBS 133 Syllabus Fall, 2001).

"Whatever form it takes, academic dishonesty hurts everyone: it is unfair to other students, it diminishes the reputation of the University and the value of the degrees it confers, and it can result in serious disciplinary action" (from Dr. Robert Kirkman; LBS 133 Syllabus Fall, 2001).

In PLB 203, students who commit acts of academic dishonesty will receive a 0.0 in the course. We may proceed with a formal hearing that could ultimately dismiss them from the University. In addition, a written indication of the violation of academic integrity will appear on student's transcript.


Responsible Conduct

What the are standards of responsible conduct in this course?

from Nature and Practice of Scientific Integrity EPI827

"... is based upon the premise that ethical behavior cannot be "taught".  Rather, learning and adoption of high standards of conduct arise ultimately from communication and modeling by senior researchers who will serve as research mentors.  The responsible conduct of research will be stressed continually as an integral component of the process of inquiry and as another area of academic interest along with discipline based knowledge, technological tools for investigation, and ways of knowing which contributes to and is not just a characteristic of quality research."
http://www.msu.edu/~biomed/epi827/background.htm (Accessed January 5, 2005)

So practically speaking, if I conduct research in my laboratory irresponsibly and cause, for example, a dangerous chemical spill, I not only harm my research and the graduate students who are conducting research with me, I harm others too.

An individual's conduct in this class in terms of side conversations, unsolicited remarks, late arrival, uncooperative attitude and not meeting other expectations we agreed to,

... not only prevents the individual from maximizing their potential for learning, but disrupts others in their desire to learn.

Therefore, this class policy will ask overt offenders to leave the class until they are prepared to demonstrate responsible conduct.