Are words enough?
But, are honor codes the ultimate answer to the problem of cheating? One of McCabe’s articles – written in conjunction with Linda Klebe Treviño of Pennsylvania State University and Kenneth D. Butterfield of Washington State University – states that honor codes can certainly reduce cheating on college campuses, but they “are not a panacea and will not work on every campus.”
The article, titled “Cheating in Academic Institutions: A Decade of Research,” states, “It is not the mere existence of an honor code that is important in deterring college cheating. An effective honor code must be more than mere window dressing; a truly effective code must be well implemented and strongly embedded in the student culture.”
“On many campuses, the fundamental elements of an academic honor code may be a particularly useful tool for colleges and universities who seek to reduce student cheating. However, at an even broader level, academic institutions are advised to consider ways of creating an 'ethical community' on their campuses,” the article concludes.
Hager believes that this ethical community does not exist on Tech's campus.
"To be quite honest, I don't think we've done a good job of establishing one, she said. "Every student is really aware of the honor code and that cheating is not allowed here, but they still do it."
Hager added that she thinks the reason students still cheat even though they are aware of the honor code is that no one ever talks to them about why they should not do it.
"I think it would be benficial if we had a discussion about that in some of the classes - maybe freshmen orientation classes - just an open discussion about the consequences of cheating that don't come from the honor code," she said.