Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) is an oversight organization serving higher education, globally.   The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) is a United States (U.S.) based, non-governmental agency with international membership.  Administration, faculty, staff and some students at schools, colleges and universities are made aware when “accreditation” is looming.  Typical “accreditation” in the U.S. may be regional (i.e. WSCUC, SACS, etc.) or discipline specific (i.e. AACSB [Business and Accounting], CCNE [Nursing], etc.).

A colleague (Phil Newton) recently published an article in Frontiers in Education that has received a lot of press. “Students worldwide pay to cheat” and “1 in 7 college students pay people to write essays” are just two example headlines. The issue at hand is something we call “contract cheating” (coined by Thomas Lancaster & Robert Clarke), which can be defined as students arranging for another to complete academic assessments that they then submit for academic credit. The press has ignored the nuances in Phil’s article, so Phil will be writing a blog post later this year as a follow-up to his study and the press that covered it.

As we wrap up Labor Day weekend, we also wrap up the summer. Many schools and campuses are back in session already, while others will begin in September. At this time of the year, it is a good time to reflect on the question - what is the main message we want to send to our students, our faculty, our administrators and ourselves? At UC San Diego, that message is "excel with integrity". At a highly competitive university like UC San Diego, it is important to remind the entire community that there can be no excellence without integrity.

Fake news.

This phrase is ubiquitous in traditional and contemporary media. It is, according to the Washington Post, regularly tweeted out by the US President and its use has spread globally as a weapon against not only free press but democracy. Just recently in Uganda, for example, a popular singer who has been an outspoken critic of political corruption in Uganda has been jailed by the President in a military facility but the President decries reports of the singer’s fate as “fake news”.

Is there a lot of cheating on our campus?  What’s a lot of cheating, anyway? Do students not know, or not care?  Is the internet making things worse? If you had asked these questions in the 1980’s, you might have received an answer, but it would have been at best an educated guess.  In 1990, Dr. Don McCabe started a career of groundbreaking research on academic integrity, which lasted until his retirement in 2014. It resulted in the creation of the leading assessment of academic integrity and hundreds of publications which answered questions like those above, and many others.  

Creating an effective and well-followed academic integrity policy at your institution does not have to be difficult, overly legalistic, or a chore to establish.  In the first post of a series on academic integrity policy, this details a process on how to establish the integrity values of your institution and a process to implement them with all stakeholders getting involved.

By: Vicky McNeilan | April 5, 2018

Abstract: This webinar will showcase the Academic Integrity Matters (AIM) program at the University of Minnesota, a restorative justice program for students intended to provide greater understanding of the impact of scholastic dishonesty through a facilitated dialog with University community members. This webinar will address the program inception, stakeholder persuasion, advertisement, volunteer recruitment, administrative management, facilitation, and evaluation.