Unify Calculator Policy at The University of Alabama College of Engineering

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Unify Calculator Policy at The University of Alabama College of Engineering

This petition made change with 491 supporters!
Stephen Compton started this petition to University of Alabama College of Engineering and

In an effort to eliminate cheating in classes via the use of advanced calculators that store programs, spreadsheets, answers, have Wi-Fi access, Bluetooth, among other unfair advantages, many professors within The College of Engineering have implemented new calculator policies, with the majority siding with the use of the Casio FX-260.

To be clear, cheaters should be stopped, but in the effort to stem the tide of academic dishonesty, these professors have negatively impacted the students who are doing the best they can. Furthermore, the new calculator is below what is allowed on the FE/PE exams, which allows the use of "Texas Instruments: All TI-30X and TI-36X models" among other similar systems. If the NCEES allows the use of these "advanced" calculators, why shouldn't The University of Alabama? (Link to the allowed calculators page: https://ncees.org/exams/calculator/

This change is completely understandable, as academic dishonesty is on the rise due to the increasing lack of integrity of too many students. However, this change negatively impacts those students whose academic integrity is still intact, with many feeling that the Casio FX-260 is too difficult to use on intermediate to high level material exams, even if the professor simplifies the material. Many students feel that the new calculator adds an unnecessary challenge to any test that requires its use, with many spending hours on end mastering the use of the calculator instead of absorbing the material they will be tested on.

For those reasons, it is in the best interest of the student body to create a unified calculator policy, one that allows the use of appropriate calculators (such as those allowed on the FE/PE examinations). Though I can not speak for the College of Engineering, it is my belief that such a unified policy would be far more amenable to the student body. Additionally, such a unified policy would reduce the need to purchase multiple calculators, especially if the suggest TI-36X Pro was implemented in this way as that calculator could be used on both the FE and PE examination.

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