What is the honour code?
According to Stanford University and I quote “The Honor Code is the University’s statement on academic integrity written by students”…” It articulates University expectations of students and faculty in establishing and maintaining the highest standards in academic work”
In simpler words, trusting students and faculty to do academic work with a sense of morality and integrity.
- Faculty clearly confident about trusting their students.
- Taking examinations without proctors hovering over your heads and keeping you more tensed.
- Take-home examinations and assignments.
- Independent individual work (assignments, research, projects etc)
- Unpermitted collaboration
As is the case in Ashesi University, the whole student body signed up to the honour code, accepting the fact that any violation to it will cause them to face the AJC (Ashesi Judiciary Council). This system was implemented as a means of instilling trust in students in order to gain more benefits in the future. This article is not to discuss how feasible or not the honour code is, but rather throw light on the gradual change in an educational institution.
Although some bodies are refusing this system, (such as the National Accreditation Board) many employers are seeking employees that can be trusted to do things right. This is surely ringing bells everywhere, and people are noticing it. Ashesi’s mission is educating a new generation of ethical leaders and the honour code goes a long way to mark a significant step in the university’s mission. The honour code began in January 2008 with a few classes signed up to it at the beginning. The good news is that whole student body is now on the honour code.
Sample of the Honour Code signing sheet for examination:
(Source: Ashesi Site)
The whole idea is simple, write your examination independently, and make sure you reference your work (do it right and you’re safe). Personally, I wrote exams in both situations (with and without proctors) and it feels much more better when you’re left alone without having one or two people walking around the room making you feel much more tensed. Every student is ‘policing’ the other, you don’t know who’s watching you and might not sign the honour sheet after exam.
It’s such a nice feeling when you’re trusted.