Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

With summer in full swing and the COVD-19 pandemic hopefully in our collective rearview mirror, the upcoming fall semester may be the first “normal” semester most students, faculty, and staff have experienced since Fall 2019. With this return, colleges are sure to implement new public health policies that are designed to give us a sense of normalcy, but still attempt to keep everyone healthy and prevent outbreaks. These decisions and policies are sure to raise questions and cause disagreements. Previous public health recommendations and subsequent updates from the CDC regarding mask usage, social distancing, indoor vs. outdoor gatherings with vaccinated/unvaccinated individuals caused understandable public confusion and even accusations, from some, that the science and scientists th...

The first piece I ever wrote for the ICAI Blog was a longish rumination on the impact of the Houston Astros cheating scandal and what universities could learn from how it managed (and mismanaged) it. Only a few years have passed and Major League Baseball, America’s pastime and one of the most successful sports industries in the world, is again dealing with another crisis involving the integrity of the game and how it manages cheating.

What is Happening

For my non-sportsy colleagues: the current scandal involves the practice of a pitcher placing a substance on his hands or the baseball to increase traction when he throws the ball. By doing so, he is able...

COIN (Consortium for Online Integrity) is seeking members who have a specific interest in online academic integrity. COIN is a new regional group within the International Center for Academic Integrity.   The group’s mission is to build a community of accredited institutions engaged in online education, who are focused on promoting academic integrity in order to protect every student and the value of each degree, certification, license, and/or credential, and support the mission of the ICAI.

Membership in COIN represents your institution’s commitment to contribute to our mission and participate in our activities. In turn, membership entitles you to share in our resources, knowledge, and community of practice.

Eligibility for membership is limited to current ...

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...