Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

Motivating students to engage in college writing and understand principles of academic integrity can be challenging. Doing so when the language of instruction is a foreign one can be even more challenging. And doing all that during a pandemic is – tough. Following curfews, lockdowns, and a move to online classes, motivation has waned, frustration has soared. Yet, this year of Covid-induced struggles has shown that some techniques can help promote academic integrity and discourage contract cheating.

Existing techniques to discourage and address breaches of integrity such as plagiarism and collusion remain effective, but less so when it comes to ghost-writing. Academic dishonesty can be curbed by helping students feel they do not need to, and should not, cheat because their prof...

Since 1992, the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) has worked with academic communities around the globe to promote a culture of academic integrity and discourage academic misconduct.  Since ICAI’s founding, contract cheating, defined below, has emerged as a world-wide concern. 

“The term contract cheating describes the form of academic dishonesty where students get academic work completed on their behalf, which they then submit for academic credit as if they had created it themselves.” (contractcheating.com)

Members and leaders of ICAI work on the front lines with students, instructors, and educational institutions to uphold the integrity of the degrees and certi...

At the International Center for Academic Integrity Conference 2021, I delivered a presentation entitled “Developing an Academic Integrity Research Module for Undergraduate Students”. This detailed my experiences developing and delivering a new academic integrity module for students at Imperial College London.

I’ve advocated for a long time that we need to think of students as our academic integrity partners, not just as people we lecture to about what is right and wrong and how to avoid plagiarism. So, to me, encouraging students to not just champion academic integrity but also to actively conduct research, seems like a natural progression.

The new module I developed ran in its pilot form in Autumn (Fall) 2020. For the first year, it was open only to students on a ...

Happy Finals season to all of our readers far and wide! We hope that you have enjoyed reading the Integrity Matters Blog over the last academic year. Today, I want to share with you the process for curating and developing the blog posts you read each week.

This blog is a collaborative effort. It would not survive without the hard work of the editing team. We currently have five rotating editors that review and write blogs to ensure that you receive new content each and every week. Some days, like today, one person serves as both the editor and author of the blog. Other days, we ask outside experts to share thoughts, ideas, and opinions on topics related to academic integrity. Once the editor receives a blog post, they review it. Provided the post is not a marketing or promotiona...

Like many institutions around the U.S. and Canada, my university has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of academic dishonesty incidents involving social messaging apps (GroupMe and WhatsApp) this year. Fortunately, our institutional leadership took this seriously and formed a task force comprised of colleagues from different vantage points at the university. Our goal was straightforward: produce recommendations for addressing (1) how to deter mass academic dishonesty incidents facilitated by social messaging apps,  (2) how to reduce the impact to a course when they occur, and (3) to use this opportunity to further promote academic integrity on our campus.

The group was comprised of representatives from:

Student Government Leadership Faculty C...
New Open-Access Writing Textbook graphic

Mindful Technical Writing: An Introduction to the Fundamentals is an open textbook we co-authored specifically to support student success in co-requisite pairings of developmental writing and introduction to technical writing; however, the text’s modular design is flexible enough for use in a variety of college-level writing course applications. The book is available for no-cost download: to access it from the Open Textbook Library, follow this link. The book is housed in the OER Commons as well, and available through t...

Laptop photo

If we have attended school at some level, we all have taken exams.  Most of my experience with testing had me focusing on the content and the outcome and not the environment.  So what is all of this “hype” about proctoring and academic integrity anyway?  As a director of a university testing center, my focus has shifted from an exam taker to an exam protector.  What are the most critical functions of proctoring and what are the challenges of proctoring either in person or when using an online platform?

There are five things that I feel every student, faculty member, and administrator should know when it comes to proctoring and academic integrity.

Don’t “hate” on the proctor! Try to put yourself into the shoes of the person that has be...

Last year, amid the pandemic, reports emerged that some thirty candidates in the Georgia State Trooper academy were accused of cheating on an online exam. It resonated across the nation because it mirrored the behavior many saw taking place at our universities and colleges. The stakes were much higher, though. The candidates were disciplined severely, many being dismissed from the program and the director and deputy directors of the Georgia Public Safety Commission both resigned. In addition, because the cheating occurred on a test involving the writing of speeding tickets and the cadets had si...

The area of math assessment is a rapidly evolving one, and the way educators think about academic integrity in this area needs to evolve with it. Apps which not only solve math problems, but show the steps taken towards the solution, are readily available to students. Meanwhile, “study help” websites allow students writing tests and exams outside of their schools to outsource questions in fast turn-around times.

Are current academic integrity policies equipped to deal with this aspect of remote learning? At which point does the use of these technologies represent cognitive offloading (Dawson, 2021)? In considering ways to address this, what are the effects on the stress levels of students (Eaton & Turner, 2020)?

Join the multidisciplinary Learning Commons team fo...

During the COVID-19 pandemic I have evolved from being an academic integrity advocate to being an academic integrity activist. I have learned that being an activist does not require being an antagonist. Some activism is big, bold, and public and other kinds are quiet, discreet, and cooperative. Standing up for what matters is important no matter how you do it.

In a book chapter I am writing with Dr. Natasha Kenny for Academic Integrity in Canada (forthcoming, 2021), we discuss how academic integrity work is often invisible. It involves conversations with individuals, small groups, and big committees. These conversations can be unscheduled and informal or they can be formal and demand a ton of preparation, including reports and slide decks. All too often, these...