Middlebury College to Proctor Economics Exams

Honor codes are meant to enhance student integrity and ensure colleges are regarded as communities of ethics-driven students. When honor codes permit non proctored exams, it doesn’t always work as the Middlebury Honor Code Review from last year illustrates. Students in the absense of a proctor don’t feel the need or see the purpose of reporting a fellow exam-takers’ behavior.

Peer reporting doesn’t reflect true academic behavior. If students are not blowing the whistle on it doesn’t mean there’s no cheating, but no telling. Students are reluctant to tell on their peers even if academic dishonesty happens right in front of them, the college’s Dean Shirley M. Collado told Inside Higher Ed. Friends don’t tell on friends.

Middlebury’s economics faculty will proctor its spring semester exam, as the department opted out of unproctored exams. While some regard the revival of proctoring in a positive light, others suggest that a cultural overhaul is more necessary. Creating a discourse on academic integrity will bond the student community around shared principles of ethics and serve as a reminder of the honor code they need to abide by as responsible adults with integrity and unshaken values.

Exam proctoring technology used in combination with an active faculty and student culture around honor and integrity might be the most effective solution in decreasing academic dishonesty in colleges and companies.