The Assiniboine Learning Commons and Academic Integrity Advisory Committee are excited to present a week of professional development opportunities. The sessions are designed to cover the four recommendations made by the Quality Assurance Agency (2020) and others in regards to academic integrity: education about academic integrity, prevention and reduction of academic misconduct, identification of academic misconduct, and administration of related policies and procedures. The sessions align with the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating, the Manitoba Academic Integrity Network Speaker Series, as well as the declarations of many provincial organizations that October 18-22 is Academic Integrity Week in Canada.

On October 18th, Library Technician/Academic Integrity & Copyright Officer Jessi Robinson will show how and why the student stakeholder group at a Canadian college receives proactive, positive, and supportive education related to academic integrity. Continual reinforcement throughout the student’s program by other college stakeholders in the context of future workplaces can help make improvements to student well-being.

October 19th sees a virtual workshop designed to compare the limitations and benefits of five different approaches to academic assessment security: lockdown browsers, text-matching software, assessment design, e-proctoring, and IP address analysis. Facilitated by Josh Seeland, Manager of Library Services, this workshop will guide participants’ learning around some important research and evidence on assessment security and academic integrity in general (Bertram Gallant, 2008; Bertram Gallant, 2016; Dawson, 2021; Mellar et al., 2018).

The focus moves to the identification of contract cheating on October 20th, with a session by Dr. Sarah Elaine Eaton. Here, participants will learn how to conduct a discovery interview in order to identify and address potential contract cheating in a non-confrontational way. Having multiple stakeholders who are able to use this method helps to not only identify this complex type of academic misconduct, but builds distributed leadership in academic institutions. This session is also a part of the Manitoba Academic Integrity Network’s Speaker Series for 2021/22, and takes place on the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating.

Educational Quality Assurance Specialist Caitlin Munn will present the session for October 21st – one which focuses on taking a proactive, educative, and supportive approach to text-matching software. Using this and other technologies in a negative, punitive, or reactive way can cause more problems than they solve for not only educators, but their students. This session will prepare participants to implement text-matching software in an effective and educative manner.

In the final session of the series on October 22nd, the focus will be on the administration of policies and procedures. In Eaton (2021), the issue of options such as restorative practice being used in academic misconduct cases is raised, with a prediction that it may be initiated by senior leaders whose portfolios include the promotion of socially just practices. This will be the focus of Sheryl Prouse, Director of the Learning Commons and Senior Advisor for Student Affairs. In this virtual workshop, participants will use the principles of administrative justice and academic integrity to highlight research informed practices, and examine policy using these two lenses.

Details on the series of sessions, with registration links open to anybody working at a higher education institution, can be found at: https://assiniboine.libguides.com/ai-pd

References

Bertram Gallant, T. (2008). Academic integrity in the 21st century: a teaching and learning imperative. Jossey-Bass 

Bertram Gallant, T. (2016). Leveraging institutional integrity for the betterment of education. In Bretag, T. (Ed.). Handbook of academic integrity. Springer.

Eaton, S.E. (2021). Plagiarism in higher education. Libraries Unlimited.

Mellar, H., Peytcheva-Forsyth, R., Kocdar, S., Karadeniz, A., & Yovkova, B. (2018). Addressing cheating in e-assessment using student authentication and authorship checking systems: teachers’ perspectives, International Journal for Educational Integrity, 14(2), 1-21.

Quality Assurance Agency. (2020). Contracting to cheat in higher education: how to address essay mills and contract cheating. https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/guidance/contracting-to-cheat-in-higher-education-2nd-edition.pdf