Open forum discusses the thin line between cheating and technology use in the classroom

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Photo by Cody Glasset

The UVUSA Senate Student Voice Forum tackled the issue of grey areas between plagiarism and technological use in classrooms Oct. 4 at Centre Stage.

Jon Anderson, assistant professor of developmental math, Tanner Mcquivey, a UVU student and member of UVUSA, and Kolene Mills, director of academic tutoring, were the panelists who lead the 40-minute forum. Benny Yamagata, a sophomore computer science major, was selected out of the crowd to join the panel.

Mills discussed how search engines such as Google are great resources for students, but emphasized that the tools should be used for independent learning and not to easily look up answers.

“These resources are there and they are fantastic. But if you become dependent on them, you’re not accomplishing what you’re here to do, and that is to become an independent learner who is capable of contributing to society,” said Mills.

The panel collectively agreed that students are more likely to cheat when they are under a lot of stress. To avoid those types of stressful situations, Anderson recommended that students take advantage of the office hours of their instructors. Anderson discussed that his office hours are rarely used by his students because students tend to search for answers online.

“Yet I’m sitting in my office for an hour a day and no one is coming to see me,” said Anderson.

Yamagata felt that he learned a lot from participating in the panel discussion.

“It was great. There were a lot of people here, a lot of people shaking their head in disagreement. There was a lot of non-verbal participation and I could see student’s reactions,” said Yamagata.

Yamagata found the most important information he learned from the open forum was the amount of resources the institution has for students, such as online tutoring and on campus tutoring labs.

“The student voice needs to be heard. I feel like a lot of students don’t feel comfortable in talking or speaking up about their opinions about important matters like academic integrity,” said Mckell Wall, communication major and university college senator of UVUSA. “The point of this forum was just to get the voice heard of students and also get opinions and different biases.”

Yamagata said, “I was able to express my voice and the way I felt about a lot of things.”

While organizers expected 60-80 students to attend the open forum, approximately 100 showed up.

The next UVUSA Student Voice Forum is scheduled for Nov. 29. The subject matter will be chosen 4-6 weeks prior to ensure the issue is relevant.