2020

Lee Ann Clements, PhD Director of Academic Integrity, Professor of Biology & Marine Science, Jacksonville University

The move to remote learning in the wake of the pandemic has produced some unusual trends in the incidents of academic integrity violations at Jacksonville University. The data show that people of all ages when presented with stressful, uncertain times make bad decisions based on lack of information. This includes reaching out to others for comfort and reassurance, even when they do not have the answers. Professors and administrators need to be aware of the ways our course design, our reaction to the rapid shift to distance learning, and our reliance on familiar assessments of student progress may have contributed to the trend.

The number of offenses I have seen in the last two months of the semester exceeded both the number and percentage of incidents predicted for the semester. Based on the five previous years of data we should have seen between 44% and 52% of the annual cases in the spring semester (average of 47%). However, this academic year 61% of cases were in the spring, and 60% of the spring term cases occurred after students began remote learning. A normal semester would have approximately 50% in the last half of the term, starting to increase at mid-terms. This year the increase was dramatic and correlated with the move to remote learning, 3 weeks after mid-terms.

The types of academic integrity violations also shifted with plagiarism declining (2018-2019 68%; 2019-2020 47%) and cheating on tests increasing (2018-2019 7%; 2019-2020 21%). None of the faculty assigned more papers after the shift, and students write papers regardless of the mode of delivery of content. The bulk of cases were among traditional student population forced to transition when the pandemic forced closures of classrooms. The population of exclusively online students did not show any shift in number, percentage, or types of incidents.

Students expressed their difficulty understanding instructions in the virtual setting, and difficulty contacting professors. When confused, they reached out to their classmates via group chats (typically snapchat) rather than emailing the professor. Many students applied rules of collaboration that were standard for homework and other types of assignments to testing situations. Still others blurred the lines for communicating with classmates during tests delivered in online format.

Faculty struggled with moving rapidly to online delivery of content AND online assessments. We made assumptions that students all had the necessary skills and technology to do complex work on the LMS platform. What can we do in light of the likelihood that distance instruction and testing may become more commonplace in future semesters? The first answer is to take a lesson from our colleagues who have specialized in online course development. At Jacksonville University, the Academic Technology Office is running a series of webinars including best practices for delivery of content, assignment design, feedback, and assessments. This is timely, as many courses may need to be fully or partially online in the fall term. Secondly, we should think about our course objectives in terms of essentials for individual attainment, and preferably mastered in a collaborative setting. Finally, we need clear instructions with examples, and we must be available in multiple formats to our students.

Being an academic integrity advisor has been one of the most rewarding and challenging tasks I have ever practiced as a professional in recent years. Students who come to me are those that are involved in a reported incident of academic misconduct. The professors I advise are those who have reported cases of academic dishonesty and whom, in one way or another, are part of them. But what does being an academic integrity advisor mean?

Let me start by telling you that at Universidad de Monterrey, we have an Honor Council composed of students, professors, and staff from the Center for integrity who are in charge of reviewing academic dishonesty cases. This Honor Council holds hearings to listen to the parties involved, consider all the evidence presented, and determine consequences according to our academic integrity regulations such as the Honor Code, always with a formative and learning purpose for the students.

In this context, it is my role as an integrity advisor begins to support the Center for Integrity in the process before the hearings to review the reported incidents.  In my role, those incidents reported from the School of Education and Humanities. I contact the students and/or professors involved to gather information, guide, and advise in relation to each case. This is why the role of an integrity advisor is all about communication, ethics, and responsibility.

An integrity advisor should establish communication with all stakeholders, that is, students and professors involved in incidents of academic dishonesty; must also consider the university organizational background and the contextual variables of their audiences: stress, schedule problems, grades, family, work and /or economic problems, overwork, lack of training, among others. In this complex scenario, the integrity advisor must communicate with empathy, seek dialogue to understand the situation of the other, an "other" who can sometimes be vulnerable, troubled, or worried. Through communication, calm and confidence must be provided so that the student or professor sees not only the problem but also the solution. In this sense, the integrity advisor fosters communication and builds bonds of trust.

The integrity advisor must be an ethical person, must promote the values that the university declares in its philosophy. In this sense, the integrity advisor constructs himself as a model human being, not by being perfect, but by being and carrying out his task with humility, honesty and with the awareness that ethics has an individual dimension but also social, collective and cultural, which is put into practice in the university context in which it is precisely his turn to advise.

As an integrity advisor, you also have the responsibility to be cautious and open-minded, as you cannot and should not, judge the facts and situations that those involved entrust to you; there is a responsibility to be impartial, discreet and respectful; to be fair in the valuations and evaluations.

This responsibility has, like ethics, an individual dimension for itself and a collective one for the other; the integrity advisor must take care of himself and the other, and in that care, he must help the person involved to improve his professional/student practice, as appropriate.

In my career as an integrity advisor, I have built this profile that, based on communication, ethics and responsibility, helps to establish a constructive dialogue of new possibilities for action for students and professors. In this development process, the first one to learn is me.  I learn by listening to the problems of others and trying to care for them, to protect those involved, and to visualize the common good, the supreme good that is what leads us to be a better educational community.

For the fourth year running, Texas Tech University’s Ethics Center has hosted a Faculty, Student and Staff Ethics Symposium. Every spring, the campus community is invited to submit current scholarship related to ethics either from within an academic field or more broadly related to the work of an academic community. Submitted papers are judged by a panel of faculty and staff who rate them to award first, second, and third place for faculty, staff, and student categories. The winners present their work during the symposium and are awarded monetary prizes. The submitted papers are also collected for an edition of the Journal of the TTU Ethics Center (forthcoming this Fall, 2020).

2020’s symposium was held as a virtual event attended online by the Ethics Center staff and sponsors as well as the winning presenters. Participants submitted papers and made presentations addressing topics as diverse as ethical issues in advocating for children in foster care, student use of online “study” companies, and the ethics of borderland land claims in Texas. The research represents the spectrum of TTU’s scholarly community and its interests as related to problems in ethics.

Among those in the faculty category, the third place winner was Associate Professor of English, Dr. Cordelia Barrera speaking on the ethics of borderland land rights and a history of dispossession in the Southwest. Second place was awarded to Dr. Duane Hoover, Professor of Practice in the Rawls College of Business who presented on ethical decision making using a model of requisite variety. The first place award was presented to Assistant Professor Daniel Kelly from the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership in the College of Education for his paper on the ethics issues involved in conducting research on children in foster care.

Among the student paper presentations, third place was awarded to Matthew Streseman and Joseph Millican, (Rawls College) for their work on the student use of Chegg, an online study service, and how students assess their use of it in terms of academic dishonesty. Second place was awarded to Blain Pearson (Human Sciences, Personal Financial Planning) for his work on consumer knowledge of ethics violations by personal financial planners. The first place awardee in the student category was Ngan Nguyen (College of Education, Curriculum and Instruction) for her study of a practice of care ethics for international graduate students at US universities.

It is with great pleasure that we present the video recording of the symposium showcasing work from these scholars from across the university community Please enjoy the presentations and join us in thanking the scholars for their excellent work.

Symposium link:  Link:  https://youtu.be/P0s3NWUI9VU

I work at the Center for Innovation in Education (CIE, for its initials in Spanish), at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico. The CIE is a space where we support professors to develop their creative ideas, launch projects and promote their teaching talent. We also hold different workshops for that purpose.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, our work team thought about creating a series of online workshops that would support our professors in their teaching practice during these contingency months. Among these, we decided to develop one on academic integrity that could help them to overcome some of the current challenges.

I had the opportunity to give this one on academic integrity last week and I want to share with you that the experience was very enriching and challenging. I started by explaining what academic integrity is, for all those professors new to the subject. In Mexico, this topic is not well known yet, so I thought it would be an excellent space to start the dialogue. The important thing was to emphasize that academic integrity is not only following rules, but knowing how to do what is right. Next, I explained some of the "more traditional" actions that involve academic dishonesty like copying on exams, plagiarism, fabrication or falsification of information, and inappropriate collaboration.

The next section of the workshop dealt with the subject of academic integrity in the online format as well of the contract cheating problem. Since many teachers do not know the term, in addition to the fact that the subject is not regulated in Mexico; I explained about it and gave some examples of sites that engage contract cheating and some ideas of how to avoid this academic misconduct. In recent years, talks have started on this matter in my country.

It was also important to tell them about new technologies that are undermining the commitment and effort of university students. An example of this are the task outsourcing companies that use algorithms to write essays using bots, based on keywords that the user / student writes. This new form of dishonesty is worrisome, as these programs offer immediacy when generating the tasks, as well as originality to pass the "detection test" of the text similarity identification tools. These advances in technology confirm how this represents a double-edged sword.

Finally, I had a discussion with the professors, where I asked them about some of the challenges of academic integrity that they have faced in this pandemic. Some of them commented that one of the most common problems has been in taking exams. Students find many ways to pass the answers and have books and resources next to their computers that they review at the time of the evaluation. Other students talk on the phone during the exam or leave the microphone open for listening. A professor expressed his concern about some flaws that have text similarity detection software, because many times the identification of similarity is not 100% accurate and also does not identify intelligent plagiarism.

Based on these concerns, I shared with them a list of support resources. However, I think that what is important, beyond sharing and leaning on didactic paraphernalia, is understanding how, from our teaching experience, we can leave a mark on students. How to engage them so they want to learn. Following this line, I leave this reflection by Rafael Alvira and Kurt Spang on writing in the souls of people:

To write in the soul is to awaken the love of the truth, so that it takes root in the most intimate part of man, and becomes the beginning of his movements. It requires knowing the person, loving him, and helping him acquire study and reflection habits. The sum of all these elements can enable us to write — not without trembling — in souls. (2006, p. 21)


Reference:

Alvira, R. & Spang. K. (2006). Humanidades para el siglo XXI.  Eunsa.

 

 

Academic integrity in regular classrooms is not always easy to achieve, now imagine in remote ones. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this topic has become much more important, I might even say alarming. Because of my work, teachers constantly ask me how can they ensure that their students work with academic integrity, some of them, are even more distrustful and think that with remote classes it will be more common for students to commit academic dishonesty.

I am also a teacher and I must admit that this mistrust has also crossed my mind. However, I remember the foundations of teaching, where what is important, in addition to the knowledge that is taught, is the trust that must be built between student and teacher. With this said, I consider that the behavior of a student in the classroom should not be very different from the one shown on the computer outside the teacher’s view, but I do believe it is important that teachers should put the same effort in preparing our online classes as those in the classroom, even a little bit more to continue that trust and the fostering of academic integrity.

So here are some methods that Tricia Bertram from UC San Diego recommends to maintain academic integrity in online classes:

1. Inform and educate. Remind your students of the importance of academic integrity. Put in a strategic place on the platform that you use a content area with the integrity policies, the Honor Code of the university and the styles of citation. Establish new rules together for the now remote class. Ask them to sign an honor pledge on their assignments and tests. Explain what you expect from them and what they should expect from you. Apply a brief quiz of academic integrity concepts and advise them on the subject.

2. Prevent and protect. Remind and clarify the students the learning objectives of the course. Involve them in the design and deployment of the learning activities. Use clear rubrics and apply formative assessments. Ask them to cite and reference their information sources. Use challenging and meaningful assessment instruments. Build large banks of random questions with a time limit. Allow them to use “open notes” clarifying that this does not mean that someone can answer for them. Set up exercises with text similarity tools. Update your exams every semester.

3. Practice and support. Check all the assignments; you could identify contract cheating by detecting strange words, topics not seen in class, different wording than previous works, etc. Apply oral exams. Use tools to check text similarity. Stay available for your students, establish consulting hours. Be a model of integrity; cite your sources and images, evaluate on time and properly and be punctual and prepared for your class. Don´t forget to report academic dishonesty to the appropriate authorities at the university.

I am not saying that by doing all this we will avoid completely that students commit academic integrity breaches, but we definitely could reduce the chances and strengthen our path for the education of honest students and future decent and respectable citizens.

Information based on webinar “Going remote with Integrity” by Tricia Bertram Gallant in conjunction with UC San Diego Academic Integrity Office and the International Center for Academic Integrity.

About the Author
Adriana works at the Center for Integrity in Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) as coordinator of the Integrity System and disciplinary advisor. She received her Bachelor´s degree in Information and Communication Sciences and her Master's degree in Education Sciences from the same university. She has worked in communication, public relations and fundraising at different organizations. Among her recent projects, she has promoted the involvement of student groups to promote integrity on campus, as well as the training for teachers and students to manage cases of academic dishonesty and student conduct. She is also a professor at this university and is part of a collaborative network with universities in Mexico and Latin America to promote the culture of academic integrity. All views presented are those of the author.
 

When training to become a restorative conference facilitator, an early exercise involves brainstorming and then ranking the reasons that “most people do the right thing most of the time.” In the two years that I have given this training, invariably, “fear of punishment” is mentioned, but it always appears fairly low on the list, whereas “values,” “community,” and “responsibilities tied to relationships,” or a version thereof, consistently appear at the top. In my experience, this insight is partially reflected in most of our institutions’ approaches to academic integrity, in a focus on prevention and education over policing and punishment. But to what extent does prevention and education directly speak to the reasons people do the right thing? And how well are these reasons reflected when things go wrong, that is, in our response to misconduct? In what follows, I’m going to explore these questions and argue that restorative practices can be a powerful contributor to a culture of (academic) integrity over and above one of mere compliance.

What I’ve found striking over the years is how readily students who engaged in academic misconduct frame their wrongdoing in terms of a rule violation and how rarely it is explored as an ethical transgression, that is, as a violation not only of the values we associate with academic integrity, but of those students themselves associate with ethical conduct. This is problematic, since acting with integrity by definition requires an awareness of the ethical dimensions of a given situation and decision. To bridge this gap, a reflection on the concrete harms to relationships and community that academic misconduct involves, as well as on the resulting obligations is required.

Also, how well do our responses to academic misconduct align with our own values and with our institutions’ civic education mandate that is reflected in some form or other in our institutions’ mission and vision statements? Are our discipline procedures geared towards helping students develop an ethical awareness and learn from their mistakes through socio-emotional learning, or do they focus merely on encouraging compliance through deterrence? My experience is that our default responses to academic misconduct, governed by quasi-legal policies and procedures, by far do more of the latter than the former.

At MacEwan University, in Edmonton, Canada, these observations lead to the integration of restorative practices as the default resolution mechanism into its academic misconduct procedure (and now also its non-academic misconduct policy) since July 2018.

Restorative practices1 refer to a social science and set of practices integrating “developments from a variety of disciplines and fields … [that] build healthy communities, increase social capital, decrease crime and antisocial behavior, repair harm and restore relationships” (Wachtel, 2013 as cited in IIRP, n.d.).

The key is to focus on the harms resulting from academic misconduct in a collaborative process that holds students accountable and collaboratively explores how harms can be repaired, as well as what needs to be put in place to avoid misconduct in the future. In a fairly formalized procedure, a trained restorative conference facilitator guides the responding student (responsible party), the faculty member (harmed party), and a student association representative (harmed party), through a set of questions2 that forces students to listen to the impacts of their actions (material, emotional, on the community) and helps them take responsibility.

To be clear, restorative practices by no means replace standard, quasi-legal disciplinary procedures, since they are only effectively applied when a student is willing to truly take responsibility for their actions, but I have found that more often than not they are an appropriate default starting point. Not only do they promote integrity, rather than mere compliance, by creating an awareness in students of the ethical dimensions of academic misconduct, they also are a practical application of the factors that consistently are named as the reasons that people do the right thing most of the time, namely of values within community and responsibilities tied to relationships.

Critically, though, what is restored in a restorative practices resolution, is not only or mainly the “offender,” but more importantly a sense of community and of honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness, respect, and courage.

 

[1] Even though restorative practices have their roots in restorative justice, it is now employed as an umbrella term for a variety of practices, including restorative justice.

[2] International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP). (n.d.). Defining restorative. iirp.edu/defining-restorative/restorative-conference

Many institutions are still grappling with the effects of COVID-19 and the transition to remote learning. While faculty and students find their footing, student conduct practitioners must use this time to develop new proposals for academic integrity policies at their institutions. One beneficial project would be clarifying policies for students and faculty.

Legalese. Institutional policies are riddled with legal jargon that make their policies unintelligible to the average student, staff member, and instructor. The goal of plain language guidelines is to make documents accessible to all readers. While many policies may need to have legalistic language, it can be difficult to navigate the myriad university policies, leading to confusion and policy violations. 

In the United States, the federal government provided guidelines for the Plain Writing Act of 2010, which “...requires that federal agencies use clear government communication that the public can understand and use.” Though not required of collegiate institutions, if a document can be created to simplify the policy for readers, without replacing said policy, it is still a worthy target. Again, this does not mean that a plain language guideline would replace or supersede any policy at an institution, rather it could provide a supplemental guide for all readers to better understand academic integrity policies and processes.

If you are proposing plain language changes to your integrity policies, you may find the following steps, as recommended by the Plain Language Guidelines, a useful roadmap:

    1. Define the Purpose: If you are choosing to re-write your institutional academic integrity policies, be clear that this will take the place of any older policies. Similarly, if you will be using this as a guide to explain an existing academic integrity policy, let the readers know.

 

    1. Organization, or Reorganization: There are elements within the institution’s policy that ought to be reorganized to offer more clarity for students. Instead of flipping back and forth through several pages--or clicking between pages on a website--to explain one step of a process, reorganizing the policy may alleviate some confusion. Further, while the guidelines do recommend having a “definitions” section, organizing the definitions at the end of the document as a glossary may be more useful to those reading your policy.

 

    1. Conversational and Readable: For policies to be digestible by any party, policy language must be as concise and simple as possible. In addition to cutting out unnecessary phrases, abbreviations, or jargon, material should be broken down into bite-sized pieces. Plain language guidelines also recommend using active voice in the present tense. Further, use short sentences and limit the number of sections. Every sentence should be reevaluated to make sure it is intelligible to readers.

 

    1. Work with Key Audiences: Once your language has changed, it is important to check with students and faculty to both test their understanding of the plain language packet and ensure that it is appropriately written to capture the essence of the policy in a digestible manner.



Are your academic integrity policies easy for students to understand? Tell us what you think by commenting below.


While we have been focusing on how and what instructors and student conduct professionals can do to ensure integrity as we transition to online and remote learning, students have been experiencing fear and uncertainty about their courses. This week, the focus is on what students are going through. A student wrote the blog. Here’s what Isaac had to say.

I, like most other students, went into Spring Break for the week of March 9 with nothing more on my mind than enjoying some free time and procrastinating my homework. By the fourth day, my entire reality had completely changed. I’m sure everyone has their own coronavirus story, as not a single person’s life has been left untouched by its effects in the past month. The unique challenge for students has been adapting to the entirely new and unchosen online school environment while simultaneously grappling with the effects of a mounting pandemic.

Challenges to Moving Online

The biggest challenges of the transition to online school have been compounded by the everyday challenges of living through a pandemic, meaning they most likely affect teachers just as much as they do us students. Social distancing and stay at home regulations have led to a sedentary lifestyle that makes it extremely difficult to focus and stay motivated in completing assignments. Simply not having to see your professor’s face on a day to day basis can really decrease the drive to get work done. There is less personal accountability. 

It is worth mentioning as well that for many students, the at home Wi-Fi can be dodgy at best and non-existent at worst, as is the case at my parents’ house. Navigating the maze of the online school format, with its dropboxes, hyperlinks and dropdown menus that never seem to be in the same spot twice, can seem formidable and undesirable for the majority of students. Altogether, the combination of being stuck at home, confusion of the online submission format, and lack of face-to-face instruction does not make for a conducive learning environment. 

The Opportunity to Cheat

For professors concerned with upholding Academic Integrity, the challenges of a transition to online learning can be even more daunting. Especially considering the general difficulties listed above, including faltering accountability and technological difficulties. It is clear that the opportunities for academic dishonesty are even more common in the online format. 

The biggest issue undermining integrity as a result of the online transition is obviously the access to the internet; it has become infinitely easier and infinitely more tempting for students to look up answers for their online assignments with Google available just a click away. Of course, there is always the possibility of this happening in a traditional classroom setting, but it has never been easier than it is now for students to search answers for major assignments such as tests and quizzes. 

I hope that professors will continue to be just as stringent in monitoring Academic Integrity now as they would have been before, but it is likely many may let the Integrity policy fall to the wayside to make things easier for themselves and their students in the midst of a difficult transition. 

What Can We Do?

Is this a hopeless situation? Is the reality of online learning something we’ll just have to bear with until ‘this all blows over’? Certainly, there is nothing we can do on an institutional level to change the format or requirements of online learning until the pandemic is over. But small actions and habits we can choose to make as people working through this together can make this new reality a bit more bearable for all of us. 

Instructors should ensure they are communicating even more than usual with their students. This could mean sharing work phone numbers or setting up additional Zoom meetings, as many of my professors have. Students should be cooperative and patient with assignments and realize that despite the ‘suckiness’ of this situation, we are still paying for our education and should make the most of it. 

Most importantly, however, we should all remain cognizant of the fact that we are all living through an unprecedented pandemic. Everyone’s situation is unique, and you can make no assumptions about how this disease is affecting the life of the person on the other end of the Zoom call. 

By now, it’s already cliché to say that higher education, and the world at large, is facing unprecedented conditions that are sending much of what we do on a day-to-day basis into upheaval.  Academic integrity is especially important to maintain, as ever, with much of our operations going entirely online. This post will go into some of the issues, considerations, and potential solutions to a number of challenges of conducting academic integrity hearings in the online space.  While this is particularly pointed towards the “stay at home” nature of the 2020 pandemic, the below set of questions is meant to be as evergreen as possible for online hearings.

  1. Does your institution allow for policy and procedure changes?  What considerations do you need for a new guideline?

Be sure to look into how your institution creates policy, procedures, and guidelines.  You don’t want to run afoul of breaking an internal rule in policy creation, from which a student could then potentially point to as a reason that overall procedures weren’t followed and therefore the hearing is invalid.  That being said, many systems allow for the addition of internal guidelines that can be adjusted, especially in unusual and emergency circumstances. This likely counts.

In the new procedure, make clear the circumstances in which it is to be used.  Once the pandemic is over, you’ll want to go back to “normal,” however, it wouldn’t hurt to have this ready to go for the future should it be warranted.  Describe in your procedure how online hearing procedures are activated. Consider language such as, “if the institution’s campus’ facilities are unavailable to staff, faculty, and students for use of a hearing beyond fifteen business days, this procedure will come into effect.”

  1. What technological issues do you need to address?

When using online meeting software, it’s important to keep appropriate privacy.  Many recent higher education news outlets have been describing “Zoom Bombing,” where unfriendly folks randomly guess at meeting numbers or get wind of them through various means, who in turn disrupt meetings.  Almost all meeting software allows for the requirement of a password to enter the session. Also consider requiring “waiting room” functionality, where the meeting administrator grants permission to enter the session, and disabling the ability for the meeting to start before the host has logged on.  Be sure to set who can share their screen and who cannot, how muting and unmuting will work, and video settings. Requiring webcams of committee members should be a consideration, as their presence can closely replicate a face-to-face hearing through maintaining attention and the seriousness required.  At the same time, consider keeping the same policy for recordings as you do for face-to-face hearings. If you usually only keep audio, continue to do that here. Many meeting software allows users to save separate video and audio-only recordings, making for simple record keeping.

  1. How do you maintain privacy and confidentiality online?

One of the biggest issues facing an online hearing is documentation and confidentiality.  Students should have the right to view and keep any evidence that may be used for or against them in their hearing.  This also needs to be balanced by their right to confidentiality, and at least in the United States, the Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA) requires higher education institutions to restrict the sharing of records.  This presents a conundrum, as any share screen functionality in a meeting can lead to a potential breach. Anyone in the meeting can take a screenshot of their screen, and hearing members can also take notes that cannot be retrieved or destroyed.  One potential solution is to use document sharing services that enables you to restrict who can view a file and restricts screenshots, and after the hearing is completed, to then remove the permissions. Of course, this is not foolproof, as it doesn’t prevent someone from simply taking a picture with their phone.

Another option to address the above issue is a confidentiality agreement.  Before a hearing, a form can be provided to members of the committee, denoting how the hearing will take place, to keep an open mind and to be fair in their deliberations, their responsibilities and obligations, and ultimately confidentiality imperatives by not maintaining any records and to not communicate any information they have learned.  A digital signature can suffice, to be returned to the appropriate person through email. This, too, does not completely remove all issues, but can reduce them.

Otherwise, you can pretty well keep the rest of the procedure as-is, through each step in the process as otherwise prescribed.  Any procedures on use of staff members, document retention and protection, and due process is paramount to maintain. Just like in a face-to-face setting, communicate ahead of time to everyone involved how the process will go, what they can expect, and how to use the software that you’re using.  And remember to couch your online hearing under the auspices of, “treat this how you would any other serious endeavor,” including dress and demeanor. It seems to be a good way to go about getting across the gravity of the situation and reducing problems.

As we transition to online or remote learning, many practitioners and faculty are worried about an increase in academic dishonesty. This concern is valid, especially considering the articles regarding a surge in cheating across the globe. One such instance has already come to light from the National University of Singapore. With resources scarce, it may be difficult to implement any mass proctoring tool, but many institutions have created resources for faculty to take advantage of during this crisis, which are available in previous blog posts or from member institutions websites. 

Before focusing solely on the challenges administrators and faculty face, it is critical to recognize that students that are struggling with the transition as well. Many are nervous about moving to remote learning, concerned with their ability to succeed and the temptation to cheat, as seen here. In an effort to mitigate these challenges, some are advocating for a full transition from traditionally graded courses to a pass/fail option as seen here or here

It is worth considering that many students are concerned about academic integrity at this time, and they wish to transition to remote learning honestly. Check out this Op-Ed by Michaela Steinback at the University of Colorado Boulder. In it, Michaela refuses to compromise her ethics and urges her peers to do the same. With an increase in time spent online for courses, students may be even more susceptible to predatory contract cheating services, including consumer reports for how to choose the best essay writing service. Sometimes, a simple tweet about writing can prompt essay mills to target students, and one can only hope that every student is as ethical as this example.