Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

The mass transition to remote and online learning has certainly presented many challenges, not the least of which has been an increase in the opportunity for students to engage in academic dishonesty.   This has been made especially evident in service-level mathematics courses.  Applications such as Mathway and Symbolab have made it very easy for students to access step-by-step problem solutions while working on course assignments, including online exams.   In 2020, the number of questions posted to Chegg.com between April and August reportedly increased by nearly 200% over the same time-period in the previous year (Lancaster & Cotarlan, 2021).  While there are many ...

This week ushers in the first full week of summer. Many of us look forward to these days in the academic calendar to take some much needed annual leave, recharge, and to plan for the fall. Every summer, as I complete my budget request, I’m struck by the sheer number of possibilities when it comes to programming I could do. It’s an opportunity to show creativity and it’s one of my favorite aspects of doing integrity work for a university. One area that I always try to mix up and keep fresh involves the materials we put out across the university. These run the gamut from resources and handouts to promotional items meant for students. Today, I wanted to share two particular successes and why I think they have worked.

The first includes the story of my first foray into the wor...

One of the hard lessons we have had to learn (from the pandemic-related changes to our teaching and delivery of assessments) during the pandemic is that while we may have been moderately successful at enforcing compliance with academic integrity and misconduct policies, we have not been as successful at promoting a culture of integrity; when no one was looking, things went south quickly.

It comes as no surprise, then, that there seems to be an increased interest in restorative practices (RP) approaches to academic integrity. Besides providing effective tools to align academic integrity work with the aspirational goals related to civic education that we find reflected in postsecondary institutions’ mission and vision documents and often also in strategic plans, RP also operate ...

Are you concerned about possible increases in academic misconduct since the COVID-19 pandemic began? Are you an administrator or faculty member in higher education who might be interested in seeing, and helping to collect relevant data? We have been collecting data from students through an online survey since January, in two countries. We’re sharing some preliminary results below, and inviting you to join in the project. Rationale: Although anecdotal reports from organizations like the International Center for Academic Integrity and the European Network for Academic Integrity indicate that academic misconduct in institutions of higher education have increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, generalizable data is limited, and relevant data collected directly ...

Understanding that cheating is not worth the risk, may be a more effective means to deter many students from cheating than solely appealing to their morality or their need to abide by university regulations. This video discusses 5 common academic cheating methods and their short- and long-term consequences. It provides real-life examples of the negative outcomes of engaging in such behavior. With students increasingly being aggressively targeted directly by contract cheating firms, the video takes the approach that it is better to forewarn students than to hope they will not encounter such solicitations. The video, created by two university professors, is available on youtube, is commercial free, and uses an animated character to walk students through real-life news clips and research s...

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...