Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

In August 2019, the University at Buffalo (UB) rolled out new academic integrity policies and procedures for both undergraduate and graduate students. Undertaken in an effort to improve how we handled cases, the larger impetus was to begin a culture change around how students think about academic integrity. Will it work? With one semester under our belts, it may be too early to tell, but here are three highlights that I think are helping to move the needle.

Structure

At UB, the Office of Academic Integrity is housed in Academic Affairs and as the director, I report directly to the Vice Provost. This structure provided the necessary clout as I reached...

Recent advances in cheating detection have made it possible to detect a great many more academic integrity violations in higher education than in past times (see here; here; and here). However, one thing has persistently failed to advance, and that is the type of assignment and grading used in higher education. In...

On behalf of the rest of the ICAI Content Committee and Blog Editorial Board, I want to thank you for reading Integrity Matters!, an ICAI Blog, this year.

It has been a year packed full of attention on academic integrity, from "Operations Varsity Blues" in the United States to anti-contract cheating laws being debated or passed in Australia and the UK. The new Canadian Perspectives on Academic Integrity journal was launched, lead by Sarah Eaton (University of Calgary) and Brandy Leigh Usick (University of Manitoba). We held our 4th International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating, with the largest number of participating institutions ever.

To be sure, we have experienc...

A new article by Kowaleski, Sutherland, and Vetter (2019) examines the teachability of ethics in business. Looking at data from financial analysts, the authors concluded that investment advisers passing the licensing exam--Series 66--with “more rules and ethics coverage are one-fourth less likely to commit misconduct.” 

The article looked at the changes made to Series 66 in 2010. Prior to the 2010 changes, ethics based questions received 80% weight, whereas questions on ethics and rules post-2010 were weighted equally to technical questions (2...

So you want a new academic integrity policy!  Below is the (very) short version of what considerations to take and how to get a procedure that is widely considered, implemented, and is derived from the values of the institution at large.

First things first, you need to take a look at the current policy at your institution.  Some are more robust than others, where it can range from departmental discretion to a full, institution-wide council and support structure.

A few things to consider for your current policy before you start adjusting it:

Does it need translation?  Is the...

As an academic librarian, I often explore academic integrity issues, including topics like avoiding plagiarism and evaluating sources, with students and campus partners. These explorations and conversations often cover a wide range of topics and take many different forms, from sharing resources and tips to help a student more confidently cite their sources in workshops to deeper classroom discussions about what it means to ethically engage in scholarship. But for the past few years, I have also been focused heavily on issues surrounding misinformation. This focus has involved everything from examining intersections between information and media literacy to exploring the historical evolution of misinformation to considering how source evaluation and fact-c...

In 1997, Sally Scott asked “how much is enough” in her article “Accommodating College Students with Learning Disabilities: How Much is Enough?” Noting the need to strike a balance between the student’s needs and the academic integrity of the course, Scott argued for a creation of a dynamic nondiscriminatory standard that, it must be recognized, is both applicable in a given moment, but is also subject to revision and re-articulation as new needs and challenges arise. Her advice remains more relevant than ever. Given that 5-8% of students, regardless of the institution’s size, utilize an office of disability services in the US, and given that this rate only seems to be rising (at my school, the rate is clo...

We all face the same problem, and it’s a fairly intractable one. Incoming students don’t know enough about our local honor codes, the policies governing thresholds and processes regarding cheating or plagiarism, or why all of the above is important – but they also do not care about any of those things at precisely the only moment we have their attention; namely, as they undergo orientations and on boarding at their institutions.

In late October, we joined the Southeast Regional Conference to discuss how often institutions gamely try to use orientation to educate anyway. This cou...

The University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education is launching a Master of Education Interdisciplinary four course topic (certificate or diploma) in academic integrity. The Master of Education Program is a fully accredited graduate program with a unique laddered structure in which students earn a credential after every four courses they complete. In the first two steps of the program, students choose from a selection of four-course topics. Those who wish to continue with a full Master of Education (MEd) degree can then complete additional research courses and a capstone project to complete their degree.

Here is an overview of the entire MEd Interdisciplinary program:
...