Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

The challenges of education today are presented with greater frequency and complexity, and when we talk about academic integrity, it is no exception. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, all online educational processes were accelerated, something we previously thought would take a lot longer to implement. And when we were convinced that we were on a good path towards building a culture of academic integrity in the classrooms, establishing regulations and policies, promoting assessment and learning strategies, our students discovered new ways to find “shortcuts” to carry out their activities and tests.

It is no secret how hard teachers and educational institutions have worked to find new ways to promote academic integrity and discourage dishonesty. Unfortunately, we ha...

If you've been on Twitter over the last few days, you may have seen the news about researchers and their unethical conduct. Here are some examples:

In a tongue-in-cheek piece of irony, dishonesty researcher Dan Ariely has been accused of lying in his research into the positive influence of honor statements at the start of insurance forms. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, "...the numbers in the study in question appear to have been fabricated." Dr. Ariely's response - that he does not remember how the data was collected and that he failed to test for irregularities - seems woefully inadequate. As The Chronicle...

In the summer of 2020-21 two undergraduate students examined the publicly available web content of five commonly used ‘Buy, sell, trade’ file-sharing websites as part of a supervised short-term research project. This research aimed to improve understanding of the characteristic features of such file-sharing services which in turn can create potential ethical challenges for students and have implications for higher education institutions.

 

Research Approach

To find the most popular file-sharing services used by students, the principal supervisor (CS) asked members of the Australian Nati...

How much cheating is happening at our institutions? Is it increasing as a result of recent changes to online learning? Are students changing the ways that they break the rules? What changes will be most effective in improving academic integrity? ICAI members understand the importance of having data that addresses these questions.

A team of researchers affiliated with ICAI has created a survey of students’ attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors regarding academic integrity. Building on research by ICAI founder Don McCabe, the new survey includes questions about students' cheating behaviors, the morality of cheating, their understanding of their peers’ attitudes, and perceptions about their institution’s responses to cheating. There will be a special focus on contract cheating an...

En muchas universidades ha comenzado un nuevo semestre, otro más en pandemia, pero diferente, pues ahora se han abierto esquemas híbridos y presenciales para el desarrollo de las clases. Esto, sin duda alguna, es motivante tanto para estudiantes como para profesores que buscan alcanzar el máximo aprovechamiento académico, y para lograrlo, la integridad académica juega un papel esencial.

Por esta razón, es importante que desde el primer día de clases se hable de este tema, no solo de las reglas, sino también de los beneficios de actuar con integridad. Recordar a los estudiantes por qué es fundamental cumplir con las actividades de manera ética y responsable, lo valioso que es crear lazos de confianza con sus profesores y compañeros; así como contribuir a su comunidad ...

As a current rising senior, I’ve been a college student prior to and during the pandemic. After working in my school’s academic honesty office, I’ve gained a further and unique perspective on academic integrity at my university. For many students around me, the pandemic and consequent switch to online learning blurred a lot of lines when it came to cheating. In a year where we relied on groupchats and verbal dialogue in class dwindled, our entire approach to learning and studying changed. So did our understanding of integrity. Personally, I’ve always believed it’s better to be safe than sorry. I didn’t toe lines when it came to things possibly breaking the honor code. Those around me, on the other hand, questioned how integrity evolved with remote learning, and how much they...

Recently, several articles about the number of cases referred to Offices of Academic Integrity have been released. The University of Wisconsin System has seen an increased number of cases in several of institutions. The Ohio State University case referrals have increased as well. This increase is not limited geographically. The University of Southern California, ...

As institutions gear up for another academic year, faculty are again tasked with setting up their courses for the upcoming semester. Whether your institution is fully online, continuing to operate in a hybrid/hyflex model, or returning fully in person, there is always room to discuss ethics and academic integrity. Looking at the current iteration of your course plans, consider these 5 topics:

Subject Mastery Motivation: Faculty are already designing assignments to help students master the course content, but students may not realize this. When they do not understand this purpose, or why it matters for their future coursework, they may find themselves motivated solely by grade acheivement. Plan to motivate your students by discussing why the assignments were ch...

Join the Southeast Regional Consortium for a free, virtual conference this fall! This year's conference theme is Transitioning Back - Planning to the Return to "Normal" and features two tracks for attendees. Join the Teaching and Learning Track to discuss connecting with faculty, integrating academic integrity curriculum into your courses, and student-centric approaches to academic misconduct. The Practitioners Track will review challenges, opportunities, and policy shifts from the last year. 

The conference is scheduled October 28 - October 29, and you can find more information here.

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Since March 2020 and the transition to remote learning, Conflict Resolution Services at Colorado State University experienced an exponential increase in referrals for students seeking support around academic integrity charges. Conflict Resolution staff do not serve as decision-makers in these cases but instead as a resource for students to confidentially seek support for understanding policies associated with academic misconduct, receive coaching for their student conduct hearing, and process their experience with being accused of violating the academic integrity policies.  

As someone who frequently meets with students and staff regarding academic integrity matters, I was invited to share some observations and recommendations for University faculty and staff.

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