AFTER weeks of online kopyahan and contract cheating for the modular learning approach surfaced online, the Department of Education took a firm stand and reiterated that it will not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty.
Based on DepEd Memorandum OUCI-2021-395, academic honesty is "a foundational element of learning and a fundamental principle of all academic institutions. Violations of the principle deprive learners of the opportunity to gain a confident command of the material they are credited with knowing (www.wpi.edu), degrade the learning process, and demean the learning quality that the Department is committed to promote."
On the other hand, the memorandum also cited the definition of academic dishonesty from www.wpi. edu.ph which is "defined as any conduct that obstructs the evaluation of a learner's progress by misrepresenting the work being assessed and evaluated, as well as the learner's actual knowledge." DepEd, in its effort to curb academic dishonesty, also enumerated the various forms of academic dishonesty that include cheating, plagiarism, fabrication or falsification, sabotage, and contract cheating.
The memo further stated that "as self-directed learning materials, the self-learning modules (SLMs) are given to learners to allow them to manage their learning through the different formative assessments. Although these are not graded and are used to monitor learning progress and prepare learners for summative assessments, cheating on the answers to the SLMs has become prevalent online."
In the same manner, while the SLMs are provided with answer keys at the end of each activity, these keys to correction as considered as an inherent feature of self-instructional materials, it is not intended to be used to cheat and bypass authentic learning.
The following immediate actions to protect academic integrity and ensure the veracity of learners’ assessment results: orientations with parents to raise awareness on the existence of FB pages that promote cheating, encourage their support against academic dishonesty, and explain the repercussions of cheating to the learning and values of their children; proactive transparency of the assessment and grading system to parents and learners in order to promote understanding of the purpose of formative assessments in the SLMs; monitoring of the learner’s online activity and warn them against membership in any online cheating platform; drafting of contracts about academic dishonesty and explanation of the contents to the learners and parents; development of Self-learning Activities (SLAs) or the Learning Activity Sheets (LAS) that require learners to analyze information, craft creative presentations, or explain their thinking; conduct of other assessment schemes, such as online assessment during class, creation of multiple versions of tests, and peer feedback or allowing learners to assess each other’s work.
Other interventions also include the creation of TV and Radio programs that promote honesty and integrity to be aired on specific schedule; establishment of support groups for parents to ensure that they are instilling the values of honesty and integrity in their children, which will be facilitated by the PTA; intensification of academic consultations through any available modes of communications, such as online, call, text, and others; and inclusion of academic integrity in the INSET/Capacity Building Programs that may serve as avenues for teachers to identify teaching actions and attitude that push the students to cheat.
The memorandum also served as a reminder to parents, teachers and school heads "to seek out opportunities to teach academic integrity among learners and discourage them from feeding on laziness and instant gratification as this will generate devastating effects on their values."