Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

The higher education is sector is talking about contract cheating. When a student replaces themselves with a third party for the purposes of assessment, they stand to gain qualifications that they don’t deserve. They are also devaluing the qualifications for everyone around them.

My session at the 2019 International Center for Academic Integrity annual conference - Contract Cheating in the Gig Economy - focused on how the contract cheating industry has been changing (for a copy of this presentation. The industry has become a complex beast, fueled by low-cost writing labour completing the assessments that we would expect students to complete.

When Robert Clarke and I first introduced the term contract cheating in 2006, we focused on how students were misusing outs...

ICAI just held its 27th annual conference. This was the 14th conference I’ve attended and one of the best I’ve attended in recent years. The diversity of attendees in terms of geography (participants from 6 continents!), institution type (For-Profits, NGOs, like-minded associations, Secondary Schools to Higher Education), and positions (students and professionals) enriched our thinking. The diversity in sessions enhanced our knowledge and understanding. And the proactive, collaborative and activist tone emboldened our belief that we can make a difference - with our collected efforts, we can make cheating the exception and integrity the norm.

For those who couldn’t attend, I wanted to share my key tak...

University of Wollongong in Dubai has been participating in the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating consistently since its inception more than three years ago.

Dr Zeenath Reza Khan, Assistant Professor and Head of Integrity in Academic and Beyond Research & Learning Forum at the university began researching in the area in 2005 and successfully completed a PhD thesis in 2014. When ICAI announced the first International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating, Dr Khan along with her cohort of student volunteers joined in and collectively spread the word on campus and had a great response to the “whiteboard declarations” (see Zeenath's twitter feed for examples!). In fact, by the...

This post is part of  my virtual or information “hoarding” series. As I clear out the tabs in my web browser, I will share with you what I learned and how it can enhance our thinking and practice of academic integrity.

Today, my post is focused on some research about teaching and learning. I am heartened to see growing research avenues that focus on improving teaching and learning, particularly in this era of the 21st century in which technological advances, changes to the educational system, societal needs and employer demands beg for a new kind of kn...

To help students understand when they may be breaking the rules and also to avoid getting scammed by “pay-to-pass” companies, the University of Calgary has developed a new web resource called “What you need to know about paying for academic support”. The resource highlights unscrupulous practices that these “pay-to-pass” (e.g. tutoring; file sharing) companies use to convince students to pay for their services and/or work for them. This post is focused on the behaviors students should look out for if they’re thinking about working for such companies:....

I remember the time when I first came across the issue of academic integrity. It was October 2010 at the IPPHEAE project (Impact of Policies for Plagiarism in Higher Education across Europe) kick-off meeting. Mendel University in Brno was invited to share its experience with the development of a plagiarism detection tool. At that meeting, I realized that the concept was much more complex than just plagiarism and that UK universities were dealing with issues that Czech universities were not even aware of.

The project identified huge gaps in institutional an...

I feel inundated every day with news, articles, and opinion pieces written on integrity, teaching and learning, or ethics. Directly or indirectly, these pieces all resonate with my view that academic integrity must be framed as a teaching and learning issue, not a student conduct problem. Yet I become overwhelmed because each piece may only stimulate a fragment of a thought, a germ of an idea, or a vague feeling that “I should bookmark this in case I need it for the future.”

I have so many bookmarks and so many tabs open that I feel like an information hoarder. Perhaps I could be the start of  new reality TV show - Virtual Hoarders - but instead of coming into my house to clean it out, they enter ...

I had the good fortune last week to attend the Association for American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) annual meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to “demonstrate why higher education is essential for students’ future employability and for democratic vitality”.  It seems clear to me that higher education can only demonstrate that it is essential to the private (individual) and public (societal) good if it attends to the integrity of its programs, curriculum, and assessments. So, I was excited to attend AAC&U in order to engage in such conversations with other attend...

This piece was co-authored with Erin Mosley of Emory University's Ethics Center.

The importance of integrity in higher education extends beyond the traditional boundaries of academic integrity. Taking a holistic approach, fostering integrity becomes a comprehensive aim, one that requires collaboration across campus. Integrity can serve as a motivating value for students and educators across their academic, personal, professional, and civic roles as members of a campus community. Embracing this comprehensive approach to integrity, Emory University launched the Emory Integrity Project (EIP), a joint initiative of the Emory Center for Ethics and Emory Campus Life, in 2016.

The EIP is a gra...

In last week's post, I argued that it is time that we discuss the burgeoning Editors-for-Hire industry, its impact on higher education, and the best strategies for responding. To be sure, it would be very easy to simply "outlaw" the practice and create punishments for our students if they use an editor, but as we have discovered within the contract cheating industry, the response must be more robust than that if it will have any chance of being effective. But to develop a more robust response, we must first discuss the issue, come to shared understandings and then develop our responses.

Thus, in this week's post, I posit 4 areas ripe for discussion and 2 standards we can use to guide our discussion of best...