2023

Happy Holidays from the International Center for Academic Integrity! No matter where, or what, you are celebrating, odds are that you have a day or two off to recharge. I encourage you to take this time and completely turn off your academic integrity brain. In fact, taking a break is good for your health.

Instead of worrying about classes, try baking a new recipe. Or, if you are me, just watch other people bake on Netflix! Spend time with loved ones that fill your cup. If you are starting to feel the effects of burn out, try reaching out to a therapist. One thing is for certain, take this time to care for yourself. Need a list of ways to recharge? Try the below suggestions or add your own:

  • Build a gingerbread house
  • Assemble a puzzle
  • Try a new recipe
  • Bake something new
  • Try oragami
  • Meditate
  • Watch your favorite movie or TV show
  • Take a nap

How are you recharging? Share by tweeting @TweetCAI.

 

Words matter. I have carried this core belief from my past working life in English for academic purposes to my current career as an academic integrity administrator. How can we relate this belief to the education and training we offer incoming members of our campus communities? Can framing integrity as a matter of making choices rather than simply following rules improve the support we offer students? If so, how?

Working with colleagues from the Board on Academic Honesty in Arts, Sciences, & Engineering at the University of Rochester, we ran an experiment in Fall 2023 to address just such questions. Coming together across staff, faculty, and graduate student lines, we offered extra credit to students enrolled in first-year Biology and Psychology coursework for engaging in five online modules (adjusting to college life and relationships for those randomly assigned to our control group, and navigating difficult academic integrity situations for those randomly assigned to our intervention group). Thanks to our colleagues in Psychology, we used self-determination theory to design our study.2

In each module, we opened with a short explanation of that module’s theme (defining values, identifying barriers, overcoming barriers, and so on). We gave students the option3 to consider scenarios that illustrate the kind of stress and pressure that can lead to integrity breaches. We then gave students the option to review how others would advise they respond.4 Below are samples from intervention (integrity) group content that we ended up excluding from (1) and including in (2) our study:

Sample Scenario Response 1 (excluded)

This is a clear violation of academic honesty – using artificial intelligence goes directly against the rules of the course, and your deliberate attempt to mask that is a serious aggravating factor. If I ever found myself in such a situation, I would talk to the instructor, take ownership of my actions immediately, and accept any consequences.

Sample Scenario Response 2 (included)

This action seems to go against both the spirit and the letter of learning objectives set for the course. By taking this shortcut you are misrepresenting your own contributions to the course instructor. This seems especially unfortunate given all the effort they put in to being clear with you and your classmates about WHAT they expected from you in using artificial intelligence tools and WHY. In addition, it doesn’t sound like you are putting in the same amount of effort to learn as if you had completed the assignment honestly—so in the end, you are also cheating yourself.

Very simply, one of the main ideas behind self-determination theory is that to function well as human beings, each of us needs satisfaction and support in the following areas: autonomy (the extent to which we feel our perspectives and point of view are acknowledged and appreciated), competence (the extent to which we have experiences that challenge without overwhelming us, the extent to which we receive relevant feedback that enables us to meet these challenges), and relatedness (the extent to which we perceive others treat us with empathy, love and care).5 With that in mind, here are two more sample responses we excluded (3) and included (4) in our study:

Sample Scenario Response 3 (excluded)

You should follow through with your original plan: inform the TA of what you have witnessed, discreetly if possible, then go back to your seat and focus on finishing the exam by yourself. 

Sample Scenario Response 4 (included)

While you are not formally required to report suspected dishonesty at this institution, since your fellow test-taker’s actions are suspicious and distracting to you they are probably also suspicious and distracting to others. Plus, TAs and test proctors are there to help you—so you might want to consider letting them know what’s going on, as quietly as you need or want to, so that they can take it from there! 

Students completed questionnaires at three points (before starting modules, between modules two and three, and after finishing modules). Eventually, questionnaires will allow us to assess the potential impact modules may have had on students’ academic anxiety, sense of academic belonging, and intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation to uphold values of academic integrity.6

I say eventually because our experiment has only just run its course. Students completed their final questionnaires last week (December 12), and we have yet to analyze data. However, I can already see how intentionally reframing integrity as a matter of choice (autonomy) rather than of having to follow rules (compliance) has positively impacted the campus culture at Rochester.

One such improvement has been our outreach, including how we celebrated ICAI’s International Day of Action this year. (Flyers included with this blog post.)7 Another has been increased trust and collaboration built amongst members of our study team. Developing autonomy-supportive integrity content may not always be easy … yet as proven by our conversations and (very) long drafting sessions to develop scenario responses that support rather than frustrate students’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness, it can certainly be worthwhile. Heck, it can even be fun.

For colleagues at other institutions who want to refresh their integrity training but aren’t sure where to start, I strongly encourage you to explore taking a choice-based, autonomy-supportive approach. If you agree that words matter … which words will YOU choose?

AH Outreach Event Pic 1

AH Outreach Event Pic 2


 

References:

Anderman, E., Tilak, S., Perry, A. H., von Spiegel, J., & Black, A. (2022). Academic motivation and cheating: A psychological perspective. In D. A. Rettinger & T. Bertram Gallant (Eds.), Cheating Academic Integrity: Lessons from 30 Years of Research, pp. 65-98. Jossey-Bass.

International Center for Academic Integrity [ICAI] (2021). The Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity: https://academicintegrity.org/images/pdfs/20019_ICAI-Fundamental-Values_R12.pdf.

Niemiec, C. P. & Ryan, R. M. (2009). Autonomy, competence, and relatedness in the classroom: Applying self-determination theory to educational practice. Theory & Research in Education, 7(2), 133-144. https://doi.org/10.1177/1477878509104318.

 Footnotes:

(1) The colleagues with whom I collaborated are professors of Economics (Chair of the Board on Academic Honesty), Psychology (Board Member), and Biology (Board Member), respectively, as well as a grad student in Psychology. To be clear: Our title is a riff on classic joke structure. We did not walk into any bars or consume alcoholic beverages in the course of designing our study! J

(2) While I am not a self-determination theorist or a psychologist myself, I am lucky enough to work with one. For some helpful overviews of self-determination as it relates to motivation and integrity, see for example: Anderman et al. (2022), or Niemiec & Ryan (2009).

(3) While we encouraged and offered them this option, we did not require students to read or respond to any of the scenarios. This was a deliberate choice (no pun intended) on our part.

(4) For the first phase of our research, we developed the scenarios and scenario responses ourselves. For any future phases, we would at least consider using authentic peer-to-peer student responses from past study participants (as long as we obtained permission, of course).

(5) Again I want to emphasize: I am not a psychologist! Refer to sources from note 2, above.

(6) ICAI Fundamental Values: https://academicintegrity.org/images/pdfs/20019_ICAI-Fundamental-Values_R12.pdf.

(7) Flyer credits: Jasmine Ferris & Emma Rarich.

As a new blog editor for the ICAI’s Integrity Matters, I want to focus on inclusion in academic integrity at every level: including every voice among faculty, staff and students; including every aspect of academic integrity in teaching and learning in policies, procedures and practices; including the importance of integrity beyond academia in professional and social settings. I hope to encourage more global contributors to the ICAI blog from different contexts and roles, especially students, as well as global readers.

I’m reflecting today about my forthcoming presentation at the Conference on Academic and Research Integrity ACARI 2023 at Middlesex University Dubai, the first Asia -Middle East -Africa Conference on academic integrity. Great credit to the organizers as this pioneering event brings the spotlight to parts of the world where academic integrity communities are growing and starting to address important challenges. In this setting, I will be sharing my perspective on ‘Using Universal Design for Learning principles to improve inclusion in academic integrity policies, procedures and teaching’.

I am passionate about the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles in academic integrity. Designed by CAST (2018), UDL principles can be used to foster university-wide approaches to academic integrity that are inclusive and accessible to all students, thus making them meaningful for everyone. UDL can be used in different ways, for example I used them in the successful re-design of academic integrity policies, procedures and guidance, and also in the design of new teaching resources. I focus on the principle of ‘comprehension’ within the UDL ‘what’ of learning. This comprises four checkpoints:
UDL Principles for Comprehension
   UDL Guidelines for Comprehension (CAST, 2018)

So, going through these four checkpoints with an academic integrity policy, the first thing to check is that there is a link or reminder about something that a student already knows, as a reassuring and effective lead in for the policy. The next is to make it clear how different points fit together, for example, approaches to study that are part of ‘good academic practice’ and approaches to study that come under ‘academic conduct breaches’. Next, and very importantly, it is essential to guide information processing through the layout of the document, for example through consistent use of headings, numbering and use of bold font, with sufficient, not excessive detail, making it accessible for everyone to read. Finally, it is important to maximize the transfer of learning from this document by providing examples for students to apply their learning to and links for further information.

Similarly, these four checkpoints for comprehension of UDL can be applied to the design of teaching resources. Starting with activating background knowledge, a resource to teach academic integrity could begin with a reminder about library guidance or other prior training. Next, the resource could focus on highlighting patterns and relationships by presenting concepts within academic integrity, such as authorship and attribution. Moving on to guide information processing, a fully accessible layout is needed with appropriate use of color, numbering, bold font for easy navigation. Finally, opportunities for further discussion or examples to discuss can provide useful ways to maximize learning.

I’m looking forward to further discussion on inclusion in academic integrity! If you would be interested in writing a blog, please contact me: Mary Davis .

Readers of this blog know that I’ve weighed in from time to time to discuss integrity lapses in sports. I think these moments are interesting and relevant to our work for a number of reasons. First, they are very public moments in which integrity, or the lack of it, has been thrust into the center of popular culture. Secondly, they have a sort of logic that we see play out in higher education (more on this in a minute). Lastly, no matter how tweedy higher education gets, the reality is that many of our students, faculty, and leaders engage with the sports industry at some point in their lives (whether as players, coaches, fans, or as leaders of athletics programs that intersect with our mission at the university).

The most recent example comes to us from the University of Michigan, where the coaching staff of its highly successful football program has been accused of maintaining a long-running sign-stealing program. In its simplest form, a program employee allegedly traveled to opponents’ stadiums and attended games for the purpose of intercepting and decoding the signs that the coaching staff sends to the players on the field during a game. The Michigan staff then, allegedly, used that knowledge to predict which plays were being called in their matchups with those teams. You can read about it more in-depth here. Beyond being an obvious violation of sportsmanship and the spirit of fair competition, the specter of impropriety in a billion dollar industry is unwelcome at a moment that the economics of collegiate athletics are rapidly transforming the industry.

But why should higher education care? As I have written about in previous pieces, cheating in sports is not new or, apparently, slowing down. Perpetrators of these scandals are rarely punished severely, though this latest instance has already led to the suspension of Michigan’s high profile head coach, Jim Harbaugh, from the sidelines. More consequences may be forthcoming, but regardless, it isn’t immediately clear how it impacts the work we do.

I think we would do well to pay attention to these moments. They teach us the importance of draining our classrooms of the adversarial relationship that can exist between students and the faculty teaching them. At its heart, athletics is about competition and in that culture almost anything is justified if it produces a competitive advantage. We have seen this sentiment come to our classrooms. It is a well-documented concern that, as class sizes grow larger, faculty see more attempts to game the course for a better grade, often leading to academic misconduct incidents. These incidents occur because the student doesn’t see the faculty member as a teacher, but as an adversary. They see cheating not as a lapse in integrity, but as a way of getting ahead, “winning” the class, or maximizing their efficiency.

What can faculty and integrity professionals do? Mostly we can do more of what many of us are already doing: communicating the value of authentic engagement with academic work, building relationships with students, promoting academic integrity as a campus norm, and working with students to serve as peer mentors who share messages that disrupt this idea of a classroom as a competition and a faculty member as an adversary. I also think it’s just important to note that these scandals keep happening because that impulse is very human, especially when the stakes are high: whether winning the big game or acing the big test.

If you are anything like me, completing an ICAI program proposal submission form has been on your to-do list for the last month. There just hasn’t been time to make it happen. Perhaps it is life, work, or your own tendency towards perfectionism that has led to your procrastination. Personally, one of the only ways I have found it possible to overcome some of these obstacles is to think about the positives that would come from getting that task done. So, as that November 20, 2023, conference program proposal deadline quickly approaches, let’s explore all those good things that would come from presenting at this conference.

Contributions to the Field: ICAI membership is comprised of instructors, researchers, staff members, and organizational leaders who wrestle with the challenges of creating academic cultures that value academic integrity. If you do this work, rest assured that you have something to contribute to the field, and ICAI members want to hear about it. Do not feel like you need an idea that would change the world. Rather, think about how you approach concurrent conference sessions. Remind yourself that we are all just seeking a broader understanding of trends, experiences, practices, and ideas, that we can make work across the campuses we serve. Presenting at an ICAI conference helps us all to create stronger academic communities.

Building a Network: Presenting at an ICAI conference will help you to develop a stronger network of professionals whom you will be able to lean on in the future. As a conference presenter, you may be approached by colleagues to converse on topics related to your presentation. This creates invaluable connections with others who understand our nuanced and important field of work.

Experience: As I write this blog, I actually get a smile on my face thinking about this experience overall. First, it will be taking place in downtown Calgary, Alberta, Canada, at the Westin Hotel. Who doesn’t want to go there? Personally, I do not think there could be a more beautiful setting for a conference, just a couple of hours drive from the beautiful Rocky Mountain Range. I also tend to think about the sense of accomplishment and relief that follows completing a presentation. I get excited thinking about sharing this experience with other colleagues and the comradery that comes with co-presenting.  Finally, I think about the fact that each time I choose to move – to write, to speak, to be vulnerable – the easier and more enjoyable it becomes.

In the end, it’s safe to say the ideas that have been circulating in your brain about a potential ICAI program proposal do matter. Your future ICAI conference session matters to the field of educators, researchers, and administrators trying to tackle challenges we are currently facing as we work to help students learn. It also matters to ICAI, your future professional network, and you.

So, join me in tackling this to-do list item by reviewing our Call for Programs to learn more. Share your practice, research, or idea, then complete the program proposal form, and click the button below to submit your proposal before the deadline on November 20, 2023! If this still feels like too much, perhaps consider starting with an ICAI Poster Submission or volunteering to review other program proposals. Thanks so much for considering these options and we look forward to seeing you in Calgary in just a few months!

Submit A Proposal

Una búsqueda rápida en Google sobre inteligencia artificial (IA) arroja un preocupante porcentaje de resultados que se enfocan en “herramientas” para hacer las tareas dentro de los 5 primeros links a consultar. Esos que son prioritarios y que suelten tener más del 75% de las consultas. Sin mencionar el contenido vital de TikTok, Youtube, Instagram y cualquier otra red social disponible ofreciendo tips sobre cómo usar la AI sin que quienes van a evaluar las tareas se den cuenta. Muchas veces las tareas se consideran una carga inútil, un proceso tedioso que no tienen necesariamente uso práctico, una interrupción para otras actividades, sin mencionar problemas como estrés, exceso de actividades diarias y, por supuesto, la ausencia de control de las tareas, profesaras y profesores que no las revisan…  así que ¿por qué no usar el Chat GPT para que haga el trabajo tedioso?

Para quienes disfrutamos los avances tecnológicos, el Chat GPT y sus parientes representan un reto y no porque sea el enemigo; es un reto porque debemos conocerlo para sacarle provecho. La IA no es el enemigo; el único enemigo, como siempre, es la falta de ética. ¿Quiere decir que se puede animar el uso de la IA en clases? Sí, rotundamente. El uso ético de la IA es una necesidad diaria, porque retroceder e ignorar los avances de la ciencia y la tecnología nunca deben promoverse, menos en espacios universitarios.

En mi opinión, la regla más importante y a veces la única concreta a incluir en el syllabus es “siempre actuar con integridad académica”. Es imposible señalar todos los potenciales escenarios de deshonestidad, en particular cuando se trata de territorios grises y poco explorados como la IA. Es una regla clara que no admite excusas como “nunca nos dijeron que no debíamos usar el Chat GP”. Por que la IA no debería excluirse del salón.

Una de mis actividades favoritas en clase requiere de la IA, todas las semanas tenemos discusiones grupales donde establezco una pregunta o tópico a discutir en equipos. En una de esas semanas retomo una de esas preguntas y usamos el Chat GPT; proyecto la pantalla y voy formulando desde versiones sencillas de la pregunta a construcciones mas complejas que requieren más que solo señalar hechos. Y discutimos las respuestas del Chat. Entre más sencilla la pregunta, más acertada la respuesta. Pero cuando la misma requiere conocimiento construido, aspectos que son obligatorios en clase y que no necesariamente se incluyen en la pregunta, las respuestas pasan de genéricas a erradas. Y eso es de lo que hablamos, ¿la respuesta de la IA corresponde a lo que hemos visto en clase o no? Con todos los por qué posibles.

El Chat no asiste a clases, no sabe que en nuestras discusiones de debe sumar el conocimiento aprendido en cada semana. En esa actividad, mi clase suele ser más crítica con las respuestas que da el Chat que yo misma. Entienden qué elementos faltan, o aprenden a distinguir los errores y los aciertos, dando por qué en sus respuestas. Además, siempre está la parte en la que se le pide que incluya fuentes de consulta y citas; el detalle es que dentro del syllabus están las lecturas, información oficial, normas y otros que deben usar para construir argumentos. El chat es una fuente más de información y copiar y pagar sin fuentes es plagio y fraude; pero el chat no esta prohibido en mi clase, lo que si está prohibido es usar, para sus tareas, fuentes distintas a las que se les proporcionan. 

¿Tengo forma de controlarlo? Sí, el primer control es el reporte del trabajo en equipo que se debe adjuntar en cada tarea, con responsabilidades individuales y grupales. El segundo, es el Google Drive y sus registros de edición. Si llego a tener dudas sobre la construcción de la argumentación basta con revisar ese registro.

Para mi, lo más importante es que entiendan que las herramientas no sustituyen su propia argumentación y entendimiento de cada tema.

 

Dean, B. (2023, May 28). “We analized 4 million Google search results. Here's what we learned about organic clicl through rate”. Backlinkohttps://backlinko.com/google-ctr-stats


Thank you for being a member of ICAI. Not a member of ICAI yet? Check out the benefits of membership at https://academicintegrity.org/about/member-benefits and consider joining us by contacting . Be part of something great.”

It was a great joy to co-host the International Day of Action for Academic Integrity #IDoA2023 on October 18 with Rachel Gorjup, University of Toronto Mississauga. This is the first year with the new positive and educational title of the event (from the previous title of ‘International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating’) which enabled us to broaden the scope and interest in the event. Our carefully framed theme for this year of ‘Championing academic integrity in the age of AI’ also kept our focus firmly on promoting academic integrity all day, while acknowledging the current challenges with Artificial Intelligence.

Panel perspectives

One of the key ways we aimed to champion academic integrity this year was through our five student panels across the day. It was really inspiring to listen to student perspectives, experiences, knowledge and insights from students in 11 countries (New Zealand, Australia, UK, Nigeria, UAE, Turkey, Czechia, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala and Chile) who represented all levels of education from high school to undergraduate, Master’s and PhD. Our first student panel facilitated by Sheryll McIntosh from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, involved four PhD students discussing the burning questions surrounding use of AI in their studies such as short and long-term impacts, equity of access and accuracy of output. They shared their wisdom in debating where knowledge comes from, and thus the position of AI within knowledge which may be ‘inaccurate but convincing’. I was involved in the next panel with students from my university Oxford Brookes, UK, Claudia Gottwald and students from the University of Adelaide, Australia and Emilienne Akpan and students from the American University of Nigeria; we have all been collaborating for some months as an international network of student academic integrity champions. In this panel, the students debated whether AI can ethically be used to frame your thinking, the benefits of engaging with AI such as improving workflow and getting feedback or evaluation of a draft, the concerns about data privacy and the recommendation for the future introduction of custom AI tools within institutions. In the third panel which brought together members of the IDoA student planning group from Nigeria, Canada and Turkey co-hosted by IDoA co-chair Rachel Gorjup, Dr Jennie Miron from Humber College, Canada and myself, students discussed navigating social media responsibly and avoiding cheating traps. We discussed how custom writing companies may try to deceive and manipulate students into thinking they are providing legitimate help, or that students can gain positively from connecting with them. Students noted that they could be possible targets of these companies, needed to choose legitimate support from their institutions and realize that there is a difference between social media followers and people you really know, trust and are friends with. As Jennie asked: ‘Do you know anyone who has 1,000 friends?’
The following panel was led with great enthusiasm by Dr Zeenath Reza Khan from the University of Wollongong Dubai, with students from Dubai, Turkey and Czechia, including a remarkable range of high school, undergraduate, Master’s and PhD students debating the responsibilities around AI for students, faculty and institutions. Students demonstrated impressive awareness of AI issues and their own agency in approaches to AI. The final student panel was in Spanish (with translation available), led by Dr Lucila Puente from Tec de Monterrey with students from Mexico, Guatemala and Chile. In discussing two real-life scenarios, the students engaged energetically in the debate around ethical use of AI for studying and learning and presented practical ideas for their study and future work involving AI. This final student panel was particularly important in integrating a non-English medium session into the International Day of Action, giving voice and benefit to the highly motivated Latin American academic integrity community, and demonstrating the international reach of the day. This session gained the highest number of attendees over the day (189 participants), which shows the level of interest generated!

Dialogic discussions
In addition to the student panels, another popular and engaging session format was faculty dialogues. The first dialogue of the day came in the form of a ‘fireside chat’ between Dr Monica Ward and Eoin Crossen from Dublin City University, Ireland. Monica and Eoin discussed the benefits of interactive oral assessment as a positive response to concerns about unethical use of AI in assignments, particularly as a means of testing whether students ‘know their onions’! The next dialogue was between Dr Thomas Lancaster from Imperial College and Dr Irene Glendinning from Coventry University, long-standing contributors to this event whose conversations always offer very useful food for thought. Their lively discussion this time about academic integrity in 2023 included concerns about AI hallucinations, privacy and copyright, AI detection tools and the need to keep checking the accuracy of any AI generated output. The third conversation was between Dr Salim Razi and Burcu Özge Razi from Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey. Salim presented the anonymous multi-mediated writing model while Burcu discussed her MA research into a ‘wind of change’ model to approach AI positively and nurture academic development. The fourth conversation was between Emma Duke-Williams, University of Dundee and Dr Laura Lane, Brock University Canada who exchanged views about how academic integrity and AI are being currently handled in their institutions, concluding that academic integrity should not be taken over by AI. Their conversation provided a great example of the value of a comparative exchange between colleagues in different institutions and different countries. The last conversation between Dr Benjamin Liu, University of Auckland, New Zealand and Kim Pettigrew, University of New South Wales, Australia, moved to discuss the potential legal issues in use of AI by students. The main messages were to be more careful of AI platforms, look at privacy and copyright and recognize that ‘AI has unimaginable potential for all of us’.

Individual insights

That warning was also sounded in the first of the individual sessions of the day, by Prof Ann Rogerson from University of Wollongong, Australia. She argued that training for both staff and students to check terms and conditions with any technology is essential, yet tends to be forgotten. The next individual session was by Jamie Cawthra who presented the benefits of Menti discussions as an inclusive, accessible and flexible way to teach about academic integrity and appropriate use of AI, and engaged the audience very interactively through the Menti poll results. The third individual session was from Dr Liz Newton of London South Bank University, UK on staff collaboration to increase academic integrity and emphasized the sound advice to avoid ‘fishing trips for breaches’. The fourth individual session was delivered by Dr Brenda McDermott from University of Calgary, Canada in which she presented her innovative framework for evaluating different AI interfaces and highlighted that tools do not have responsibility, humans have the responsibility to judge and make decisions, so to use AI appropriately requires training humans and AI. She also introduced us to the collaborative practice of a ‘waterfall chat’ by asking a question where everyone enters their response at the same moment, creating a waterfall of answers. The fifth individual session was a very powerful talk by Dr Tricia Bertram Gallant, University of California San Diego calling on attendees to have the courage to change the way they teach, learn and assess in the era of AI, not just through incidental changes but significant transformation. The final individual session was given by Dr Jessica Kalra from the University of British Columbia, Canada who presented an engaging analogy of health care education in parallel to academic integrity education and the use of Universal Design for Learning to help build a positive and accessible culture of learning.

Round up

As co-hosts of a packed schedule across the day of nearly 15 hours, 18 sessions, 59 presenters in 15 countries of whom 32 were students, with 1,479 attendances across the day from 23 countries, Rachel and I finally wound up the day! We gave a summary of sessions and an important vote of thanks to all panelists, planning committee members, ICAI Board of Directors and the wonderfully engaged attendees. Recordings are now available via the IDoA website. We are already looking forward to next year! If you have suggestions, please get in touch .


Thank you for being a member of ICAI. Not a member of ICAI yet? Check out the benefits of membership at https://academicintegrity.org/about/member-benefits and consider joining us by contacting . Be part of something great. 

“And now, Margaret is here to talk about everyone’s favor topic, academic integrity.” This was the introduction I received at a recent meeting of senior administrators at my university.

There was nothing unusual in these words. Academic integrity is widely viewed by faculty, administrators, students and parents as a distasteful problem, something we would wish away if we could. I admit there are moments I wish this myself.

But after more than a decade overseeing academic integrity policy and case management in collaboration with wonderful colleagues, I have arrived at a more radical and more practical conclusion: The breakneck expansion of generative artificial intelligence offers a rare opportunity – and an ethical imperative - to radically transform the approach most American colleges and universities take to academic integrity.

This is not a one-size-fits all proposition. Rather, it is a call for institutions to evaluate the resources they devote to promoting academic integrity and whether they are using these resources as effectively as possible for what we at Syracuse University have dubbed Teaching and Learning in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

Why would such a (re)evaluation be necessary?  What would it look like?

Let’s consider the experience of a typical first-year college student who arrived on campus last month. Many such students are taking at least one course that relies exclusively on a single textbook. Said text likely excludes references entirely (think calculus or chemistry) or buries them in final pages before the index (e.g. sociology or psychology). In many courses without textbooks, first-semester students encounter assignments focusing on individual reflection and expression through journal or personal essay writing (no references needed), and yet other courses in which assignments involve analysis of a prescribed set of assigned readings and so do not require citation. All this said, there is a good chance that this same student will be assigned at least one research paper in which in-text citation, paraphrasing, summarizing and a reference list are standard requirements. Their professor may explain that these requirements are expected in academic writing. The professor may devote class time to discussion of appropriate use of sources and even introduce students to a required citation format, such MLA or APA.

From the perspective of a faculty member steeped in teaching and perhaps actively engaged in research, this should suffice.

But a student – especially a first-year student – may be mystified, especially in the era of artificial intelligence (AI). Even before generative AI landed in our inboxes and search engines last winter, many students were confused by faculty members’ seeming obsession with citation. All too often, students interpreted training in citation styles as evidence that faculty cared about formatting and punctuation in citation rather than the basic principle of conveying to a reader (or viewer or listener) that you, the author (presenter or reader) have drawn upon another person or entity’s ideas or creative work and providing sufficient detail to identify and review this source.

With the arrival of AI, even experienced college students are genuinely puzzled by the widely varied AIAI expectations they encounter not only across different courses taught by different faculty but also across assignments and exams in the same course.

“Hello Professor,” a student wrote in a recent email communication about academic integrity. “In my writing class this semester we learned about how AI can be a helpful tool when writing such as to help outline your thoughts… I take academic integrity very seriously, and I was not aware this use of AI” was prohibited in your course.

“I’ve used Grammarly for years,” another student told me. “Suddenly, GrammarlyGO [a generative AI tool] showed up inside my Grammarly account. It kind of ambushed me.”  

This puzzlement isn’t surprising. It’s all but impossible these days to open a browser without encountering an AI product on offer or one that’s already built in. So it should not come as any surprise that ICAI members and institutions are grappling with how to respond.

More or better enforcement is not a promising approach. As Turnitin acknowledges on its website: “Our AI writing detection model may not always be accurate (it may misidentify both human and AI-generated text) so it should not be used as the sole basis for adverse actions against a student. It takes further scrutiny and human judgment in conjunction with an organization's application of its specific academic policies to determine whether any academic misconduct has occurred.”

The risk of false negatives and false positives raise concerns about fairness in enforcement of academic integrity policies. But ethical concerns over false positives are especially troubling because detection systems and individual faculty may be more likely to misidentify simple or unsophisticated English as AI generated, according to a published analysis by Stanford faculty and graduate students. That could put international students who are not native English speakers and native speakers who attended less well-resourced high schools, including many first generation, low-income and under-represented minority students, at greater risk of being falsely reported.

To be clear, I am not calling for an end to reporting suspected academic integrity violations. Rather, I believe it is time to evaluate what share of our institutional resources are devoted to enforcement and what share to education – and for institutions with limited resources to consider whether they it makes sense to shift more toward education.

We need to make a case to students for the value of our academic culture. This means explaining that academic research is distinctive in that it prizes tracing the origin of the ideas that made new research possible almost as much as the new research findings themselves. This emphasis on past research and on potential future research made iPhones and COVID-19 vaccines available, as well as countless humanistic and social science discoveries. This focus on the research arc is what sets academic writing apart from news articles, social media, essays, inter-office memos, and blogs like this one, even though all these forms of writing are widespread in higher education, including among the reading and writing assignments college students encounter daily.

Suspected academic integrity violations hold up a mirror to what can be a cavernous gap between student and faculty understanding of academic expectations. The good news is that we already have the tool we need to explain these expectations to students: course-, assignment-, and exam- specific learning objectives. Academic expectations vary across courses and sometimes across assignments and exams within the same course because the learning objectives for those courses and assessments differ. Professor Z requires her students to use an AI tool to draft their first essay because the learning objective of this assignment entails evaluating bias in AI-generated writing. She prohibits her students from using AI tools to craft their second essay because it is designed to help students develop their voice as authors.

At Syracuse, our student academic support center and faculty center for teaching and learning began collaborating last spring to encourage faculty to clearly explain the nature and rationale of their academic integrity expectations to students and to encourage students to ask questions when expectations are unclear to them. This effort includes broadened syllabus language conveying students’ responsibility for inquiring about the permissibility of using AI tools and text and video advice to support faculty in considering when and how to incorporate, limit or prohibit use of AI tools in alignment with their course learning objectives. We have established a related faculty working group and are partnering with stakeholders across campus this academic year as we continue evaluating how we can best use our resources to support teaching and learning in the age of artificial intelligence.

References:

Liang, W., Yuksekgonul, M., Mao, Y., Wu, E., & Zou, J. (2023). GPT detectors are biased against non-native English writers. arXiv preprint arXiv:2304.02819.


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The final pillar for Giving Voice to Values (Gentile, 2012) is reasons and rationalizations. In academic integrity work, student rationalizations for academic misconduct are dominant in the decision-making process when students cheat (Stephens, 2017).  In general, people want to be “good” and will always rationalize their behavior by disengaging morally to avoid cognitive dissonance. If educators expect students to stand up for academic integrity, for example through a requirement that they report their peers for academic misconduct in an honor code, then they should train those students to identify and recognize when those rationalizations occur. Gentile (2012) argues that recognizing and naming the unethical argument reduces its power. At this point it is no longer an assumption; thus, students can choose to act against that assumption.

Some common arguments provided by Gentile (2012) include expected or standard practice, materiality, locus of loyalty, and locus of responsibility. Observe the standard practices of your own courses and your expectations for student work. Require citations, even for small assignments or when quoting from the textbook. The example you set normalizes student behaviors, making it abnormal to write anything without citations. Ask students to stand up for your class when they are doing assignments and give them a script. For example, in a computer science class you may be allowed to discuss a topic without sharing code. Give them an example of what is and is not permissible on that assignment. When a classmate asks for help, the student in question will then possess the language to help appropriately and to say no if their peer pressures them to give more help than is allowed.

For materiality, students are often forced in GPA dependency. Students must maintain a certain GPA to remain enrolled in school, receive certain financial aid (e.g., the HOPE Scholarship in Georgia), or maintain other statuses (e.g., Honors students). Students may hear their peers say, “If I do not receive a high grade on this assignment, I will not pass this class. Then I will have to drop out of school.” Most people have some form of empathy and compassion that might compel them to stay quiet when they see misconduct in this instance. Help your students flip this script. Have them question peers about whether one bad grade will realistically damage their academic careers, or if they are just stressed. Give students a list of resources to help their friends if they are on the brink of losing a scholarship instead of cheating.

This may all be born out of some sense, or locus, of loyalty. When students feel they owe their loyalty to their peers, they are not likely to speak up in support of academic integrity. In your class, help students be loyal to the knowledge they can gain when they apply themselves. Help them develop loyalty to the skills they will develop across the institution that will help them reach their dreams. Cultivate loyalty to the field of study and what it means to be a practitioner in that field. If you can build that loyalty, you help students overcome their excuses for not calling out a fellow student for academic misconduct.

Finally, there is the locus of responsibility. Students may see academic misconduct and trust that the instructor will catch it. Why should they intervene when it is not their job? It is vital that you help them understand that they are part of the campus culture. When they do not stand up for academic integrity, they associate themselves with a culture of cheating. They need the language to explain to classmates that they value the degrees they will earn. If they are getting the degrees without earning them, it will impact long-term employability. It is their job to push back against their peers in this instance, just as it is your responsibility to report academic misconduct according to your institution’s policy.

After four weeks and seven pillars, I hope you feel empowered to give your students the courage and opportunities to champion academic integrity. Like Giving Voice to Values, the final pillar of academic integrity is courage. Courage is triggered by different things for different people. Your students may show courage in voicing their values because the alternative is unbearable, because they have hope, or simply because they find academic integrity a service worth championing. Whatever this may be, you can help them get there.

How are you giving students opportunities to champion academic integrity? Share by commenting below or by posting on social media.

Resources:

Gentile, M. C. (2012). Giving voice to values: How to speak your mind when you know what’s right. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Stephens, J. M. (2017). How to cheat and not feel guilty: Cognitive dissonance and its amelioration in the domain of academic dishonesty. Theory Into Practice56(2), pp. 111-120. https://doi.org/10.1080/00405841.2017.1283571 


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This week, I am exploring the next two pillars of Gentile’s (2012) Giving Voice to Values: self-knowledge and voice. When people possess a more intimate knowledge of themselves, they can better uphold their desired self-image. This can help people focus on aligning their values with how they view themselves, making them more likely to speak and act on those values. Self-knowledge also provides an insight into people’s “voice” or their approach to standing up for personal values. It can put people in touch with the appropriate framework.

Borrowing from Dees & Crampton (1991)’s framework, we can understand idealists as those who act on their values no matter the cost, opportunists as those who focus on material well-being over values, and pragmatists as those who balance material welfare with values. Gentile argues that people need to view voicing vales as the pragmatic choice, and to do this we need “…to create our own narrative about who we are and how being this particular person enables us to act on our values, as well as what particular risks we face due to this identity” (Gentile, 2012, p. 113). Gentile provides self-assessment questions to begin this reflection process.

I use a free personality test to encourage students to think about how they build their identities. Then, we discuss their results. We review strengths, tying them in to serving as an Academic Honesty Panelist or a Peer Educator. Then we consider how these strengths will serve them as an ethical leader in future careers. We also review their weaknesses, discussing how they can be transformed into skills or how we can compensate for them in our decision making. We tie values to personality, navigating surprises and practicing standing up for ethical behavior.

 I have found that this is time well spent for students, as they reframe the idea of “‘voice’ as ‘dialogue,’ which includes a goodly dollop of ‘listening’…[because] by listening we sometimes identify the most effective ways to influence our audience” (Gentile, 2012, p. 138). By playing to their strengths, students can evaluate situations and consider how to best approach voicing their values.

Helping students find their voice with academic integrity requires a multifaceted approach. Students can watch mentors voice their opinions, so I would encourage you to watch what older students are doing and saying about academic integrity. Students are often intimidated by faculty and staff, but they listen to peers who have lived similar experiences.

Gentile (2012) recommends that readers view opinions and preferences from supervisors not as orders, but as suggestions. There are pedagogical techniques that can help you build this into your assessments. Plus, they follow suggestions from Lang (2013) and others for providing students autonomy and agency in their assessments, both of which promote academic integrity.

Students can also learn how to voice their values in both form and substance. While substance matters – we certainly want students to be versed in academic integrity – form can have the greatest impact. If a student is a charismatic leader, they may sway a group to turn in honest work or stop the class GroupMe from running wild. But not every student is comfortable putting their name on the line in front of others. We can help those students navigate through questioning and finding a one-on-one environment with lower stakes.

By any means, we must provide opportunities for students to do the right thing; it is increasingly important that they stand up for academic integrity on our campuses. Help them get involved and develop a strong support network with the International Day of Action for Academic Integrity on October 18!

Tell us how you are getting students involved with voicing their values by commenting below or finding us on social media!

Resources:

Dees, G. & Crampton, P. (1991). Shrewd bargaining on the moral frontier: Toward a theory of morality in practice. Business Ethics Quarterly, 1(2), pp. 135– 167. https://doi.org/10.2307/3857260

Gentile, M. C. (2012). Giving voice to values: How to speak your mind when you know what’s right. New Haven: Yale University Press.


Thank you for being a member of ICAI. Not a member of ICAI yet? Check out the benefits of membership at https://academicintegrity.org/about/member-benefits and consider joining us by contacting . Be part of something great.