My First Academic Ethical Dilemma

I’m a very straight-forward person when it comes to academic integrity. Use the avenues legitimately available, and beyond that, it’s every person for themselves. I don’t work with other people unless the assignment demands it, and I don’t share my notes with people who don’t come to class with no good reason.

Yesterday, I went to the first class of a course which is being taught by a professor in my research group, and he “voluntold” me to upload the notes I took in his lectures to the course website for the duration of the term.

Is it unreasonable for me to be possessive of my notes?  He absolved me of any responsibility for the accuracy of the notes that I was taking, so that wasn’t a concern.  The scanner is easy to use, so that wasn’t a concern either.

The main issue for me was that…I don’t want to share my notes.  They’re mine.  They’re better than yours.  You’re not my friend.  I don’t want to share with you.  That’s it.

I’m not a very smart person.  I don’t catch on to the things taught in class very quickly, I’m not creative with information, and I’m not a “genius” like other academics.

However, I am an excellent student.  I have learned how to distinguish the important things from the non-important material, and I have refined the art of creating mnemonics for material that I don’t quite grasp.  I’m really good at synthesizing lectures to get to the heart of the content.  I consider my lecture notes to be my competitive advantage over other students and I don’t want to upload my personal interpretation of lectures for random strangers to see.  I don’t want people to sit in class, take half-assed notes, and read my notes to get my insights.  I’ll help you if you’re a friend.  I’ll teach you if you’re my student.  But I will not give it out indiscriminately, especially if I’m not getting any credit for it.

So what do I do?  Tell my professor that I refuse and risk taking a hit on my marks?  Upload a sketch of my notes that exclude my material?  That’s even more work.

One Response to “My First Academic Ethical Dilemma”
  1. Matt says:

    I agree with you…
    I would say you should tell him that you don’t feel comfortable about it… Of course, that only works if he’s reasonable 😉

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