2023

The ICAI annual conference is just around the corner! As I have been planning which sessions to attend and looking forward to connecting with peers from across the globe, I cannot help but to reflect on how previous conferences have impacted my own practice by helping develop programs, initiatives, and providing support. Here are three ways the ICAI conferences have influenced my office:

  1. Online Academic Integrity Modules
    In 2019, at the New Orleans conference, Jennifer Wright from the University of Central Florida presented on their new online module. This interactive module helped students understand step-by-step positions that the student and the instructor found themselves in. It also explained the expectations of the university. The module appeared engaging and thought provoking for students – instead of just a rules based program it could help prime students to make moral decisions. After the conference, my office met privately with Ms. Wright to understand more of the modules ins and outs. We adapted this storytelling format for our own policy and programs, creating three scenarios of academic misconduct and following Ms. Wright’s recommendation to make it just cheesy enough to keep students engaged. 
  1. Remediation Programming
    The new remediation program at our institution was inspired by several different conferences and presentations. At the 2020 conference in Portland, Kelly Ahuna and Loretta Frankovitch gave a presentation on how the University at Buffalo was approaching remediation after students were found in violation. Then, at the virtual conference in 2022, Sharon Dzik and Katie Koopmeiners presented on Academic Integrity Matters (AIM), a program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Using information from both of these presentations, including meetings with the presenters and further communication, we styled our own program for students at our institution. One where students can restrict their records by engaging in restorative justice practices to re-enter the university community.
  1. Student Training
    Student training for our academic honesty panelists, student ambassadors, and remediation peer educators have been influenced by many presentations over the past four years. Blaire Wilson and Jason Ciejka from Emory have led sessions, Tricia Bertram Gallant and her students have developed presentations, the list could continue for a very long time. Every nugget of wisdom that can be adapted and transformed to fit our institutional context, we attempt to incorporate.

In short, the conference provides a glimpse into the a future where academic integrity is culturally embedded into our institutions. By learning from each other, we can make our programs stronger. Further, by building connections and bridges between institutions, we can find ways to help students in every institutional context.

I hope to see you – virtually or in person – in Indianapolis. If I don’t get that chance, I hope to at least connect and continue building a culture of honesty.

Artificial intelligence1 has existed in the academic integrity space for several years, but the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has caused the term to become synonymous with student academic misconduct. In fact, it has been banned from New York City and Seattle public schools. Teachers and higher education instructors seemingly face limited options for assessments, they can either get creative with more “authentic assessments” or remove most opportunities to cheat by ensuring all graded assessments are completed in person. This leaves online courses – especially asynchronous courses – at a disadvantage. 

I would liken this to a moral panic. That is not to say there are not some legitimate concerns, but one must ask how practitioners and instructors did not see this coming. We have issues with students using online translation tools in foreign language courses and paraphrase mixers in writing intensive courses. Contract cheating is equally insidious, though perhaps more cost-prohibitive. In other words, dealing with ChatGPT will soon become just another day at the office. Already, private individuals have developed AI-generated text, such as GPTZeroAI Writing Check, CrossPlag, and OpenAI itself. Before we know it, plagiarism detection2 providers, like TurnItIn, will have their own AI-writing checks. 

The one positive from having ChatGPT in the national and international news has been the increased focus on academic integrity. Faculty are talking about it in online forums (e.g., Reddit’s r/Professors, Twitter), administrations are considering updates to their often underutilized academic integrity policies and providing guides to faculty through their teaching & learning centers (e.g., University of GeorgiaUniversity of Washington), regulatory bodies (e.g. TEQSA) are outlining the risks of artificial intelligence, and even students are sharing their opinions online and by writing in their student newspapers (e.g., GeorgetownWashington University in St. LouisTulane). [My only concern is that this is a lengthy sentence.]

For practitioners, this is an opportunity to continue dialogue around integrity. We should use this opportunity to shine a light focus is on the policies that may need an update. Use this global discourse to encourage the development of a culture of integrity on your campuses.

Tell ICAI, is Artificial Intelligence a friend, foe, or neither by tweeting @TweetCAI or posting on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

Notes:

  1. ChatGPT is not artificial intelligence, but instead is a natural language processor. However, artificial intelligence is commonly used to describe ChatGPT, so that is how it will be described in this piece.
  2. Plagiarism detection is not what occurs with these programs. They are more accurately referred to as text-matching software. Again, plagiarism detection is the common term, and will be used here.

This week, I am reviewing a recent article from Educational Research Review. The full citation can be found here:

Co, M. J., Kerbage, S. H., Willetts, G., Garvey, L., Bhattacharya, A., Croy, G., and Mitchel, B. (2023). Students coping with change in higher education: An overview. Educational Research Review, 38(1), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2023.100508

Using a systematic literature review process, the authors look at student coping and coping strategies within higher education. In reviewing this article, I see several parallels to academic integrity, though I admit that I am extrapolating data from the article and applying it to the academic integrity field.

Student Coping

The authors define student coping through four main elements: anxiety, self-efficacy, engagement, and resilience.

Anxiety: stressors can cause positive anxiety to turn negative, and negative anxiety reduces self-efficacy and resilience. Negative anxiety can come from the pressure to receive good grades, financial instability, demands from others, etc. Several of these stressors, such as extrinsic motivation for good grades, are linked to increases in academic misconduct (Anderman & Midgley, 2004; Murdock et al., 2001).

Self-Efficacy: high self-efficacy is linked to greater student resilience. In academic integrity, we know that high self-efficacy also results in lower rates of cheating (Murdock et al., 2001; Nora & Zhang, 2010).

Engagement: the authors note that when students are less engaged, coping is more challenging. It also limits students’ entrenchment into institutional culture. We can see this as students buying in to cultures of academic integrity.

Resilience: “A resilient student can learn from a demanding situation through their ability to transform challenges into opportunities” (p 3). The authors tie the previous three elements into resilience when coping. We see this in academic integrity when students do not believe they can overcome a challenge (lack self-efficacy), but experience pressure for high grades (anxiety) and lack engagement and deep learning of the materials. They may fear that they have no ability to succeed on their own, so they may look for a shortcut to help them reach their target at any cost rather than adapting to the collegiate environment and learning from mistakes.

Interventions

In the literature reviewed, the authors note interventions that attempt changes at both the cohort and curriculum levels. Changes at the cohort level often involved targeted programs to help students develop self-efficacy and reduce anxiety, thereby improving their resilience and engaging them in their campus communities, which improves the student’s ability to cope. At the curriculum level, the authors discuss change by addressing active learning interventions that increase student engagement, which enhances coping. When looking on interventions based on social cognitive theories, such as microteaching and peer tutoring, it can also increase student self-efficacy. In developing this engagement and self-efficacy, Co et al. (2023) state: "an educational culture of trustworthiness and readiness to care (also related components to engagement and reduced anxiety) was a catalyst for students’ developing resilience, and hence enhanced their capacity to cope” (p. 9).

When designing interventions for academic integrity, are we developing student self-efficacy? Are we making students feel like they are part of an academically honest student body? How are faculty and staff approaching grades, particularly the need for high grades to maintain scholarships and post-baccalaureate aspirations? What supports do institutions have for student success and mental health? All of these questions may offer insight into student academic misconduct, but from a change framework instead of a morality framework.

The role of change

Change is complex, and students undergo change both in and out of the classroom. When institutions adapt to students undergoing transformative change, they may help students develop better coping capacity. Similarly, when students are unable to cope with change, they may be more inclined to commit academic misconduct. Change is not always planned; for instance, students may undergo change after being reported for academic misconduct. If they can cope with this change, they may grow into more academically honest students. Leveraging capacity to cope during change may be an opportunity for academic integrity practitioners.

Where to go from here

The role of change in student academic behaviors has not been studied. If you have any graduate students or academic integrity researchers looking for a project, this may be an interesting avenue to study. If you start the project, let me know! I would love to be involved with this research.

Tell us what research you are reading by tweeting @TweetCAI or by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

References

Anderman, E. M., & Midgley, C. (2004). Changes in self-reported academic cheating across the transition from middle school to high school. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 29(4), 499–517. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2004.02.002

Co, M. J., Kerbage, S. H., Willetts, G., Garvey, L., Bhattacharya, A., Croy, G., and Mitchel, B. (2023). Students coping with change in higher education: An overview. Educational Research Review, 38(1), 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2023.100508

Murdock, T. B., Hale, N. M., & Weber, M. J. (2001). Predictors of cheating among early adolescents: Academic and social motivations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 26(1), 96-115. https://doi.org/10.1006/ceps.2000.1046  

Nora, W. L. Y., & Zhang, K. C. (2010). Motives of cheating among secondary students: the role of self-efficacy and peer influence. Asia Pacific Educational Review, 11, 573–584. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12564-010-9104-2

La Integridad Académica es uno de los pilares formativos de la UC, por lo que busca que la comunidad universitaria avance en la construcción de una cultura basada en los valores de honestidad, veracidad, confianza, justicia, respeto y responsabilidad.

Como ya se ha comentado en este mismo blog, uno de los esfuerzos fue potenciar la Integridad Académica, implementando un protocolo para gestionar los casos identificados como potenciales faltas.  Incorporándose la elaboración de una carta que permita al estudiante realizar un ejercicio reflexivo y una entrevista personal del estudiante con el Comité.

En este artículo nos centraremos en compartir prácticas para el desarrollo de entrevistas con estudiantes en el contexto de faltas a la Integridad Académica, en la búsqueda por fortalecer un enfoque formativo.

Como toda propuesta, puede ser adaptada/modificada manteniendo una estructura general que permita al estudiante realizar el análisis metacognitivo en torno a los elementos que puede aprender a manejar distinto para que esta falta u otras no vuelvan a ocurrir en su proceso de formación.

Se recomienda llevar a cabo instancias capacitadoras de la misma a miembros de los Equipos Entrevistadores, buscando practicar, con acento en el clima necesario para sostener una conversación vivida tanto por el estudiante como por el Comité como difícil y seria, en un contexto emocional que permita la reflexión y los aprendizajes en los estudiantes universitarios.

Al momento de realizar la notificación al estudiante, sugerimos solicitarle que redacte una carta explicando lo sucedido y entregue tanto los antecedentes como sus reflexiones al respecto, dados los antecedentes, el Equipo evaluará si procede la Entrevista.

La Entrevista es una instancia formativa opcional; sin embargo, se insta a los Comités a considerarla dentro sus procesos por permitir mayor cercanía con el estudiante, que permite dar una retroalimentación que promueva una profunda reflexión, central para el foco formativo del proceso.

Como se ha mencionado el clima de la entrevista es un aspecto crítico, pues concilia aspectos que en ocasiones se encuentran en tensión: el contexto formal y serio y el establecimiento de un espacio de confianza y respeto mutuo.

Para ello se promueve que la entrevista considere transversalmente: (1) un espacio formal de encuentro con el Comité; (2) un espacio de confianza y respeto; (3) Escucha activa del estudiante.

La entrevista propone 4 momentos que pasaremos a describir en etapas, pero que pueden superponerse y ser trabajadas recursivamente.

Establecimiento del clima de la entrevista

Es importante que el Comité confirme que el estudiante tiene claras las razones de la entrevista, es imprescindible que la información sea transmitida de manera fiel a lo reportado por el/la profesor/a, sin agregar apreciaciones o interpretaciones.

Se presenta el objetivo de la entrevista, esto permite generar el espacio de diálogo confidencial necesario.  Señalándole, sus derechos, (solicitar revisión y apelación del caso) y sus deberes (responder por los canales institucionales y los plazos establecidos por el Comité) y la relevancia del cumplimiento de los compromisos definidos.

Desarrollo de la entrevista.

Iniciar con preguntas generales, permite personalizar la entrevista y reducir los niveles de ansiedad obstaculizadora.  Preguntas como, ¿En qué año de la carrera estás? ¿Participas en actividades extracurriculares? ¿Qué es lo que más te gusta de la universidad? ¿Qué es lo que se te ha hecho más difícil? ¿Qué cursos te gustan más? ¿Cuáles encuentras más complejos?

Luego, es importante profundizar en la situación que activó el protocolo de gestión de faltas a la Integridad Académica. Para ello se pueden realizar preguntas del tipo:

  • Desde tu perspectiva ¿Podrías contarnos qué ocurrió́?
    • ¿Estás de acuerdo estás con que cometiste una falta a la Integridad Académica?
  • ¿Cuál crees tú que sería la falta? ¿Por qué?
  • ¿Qué te llevó a realizar la falta? ¿Qué pensabas en ese momento?
  • ¿Hubo más personas afectadas? ¿Cómo se afectaron?
  • ¿Qué piensas ahora de lo ocurrido? ¿Tienes alguna reflexión que quisieras comentar?
  • ¿Hay consecuencias para tu aprendizaje por haber incurrido en esta acción?
  • ¿Crees que habrá consecuencias para ti, como futuro o futura profesional, por haber cometido esta acción?
  • ¿Te encuentras enfrentando alguna situación difícil en tu vida personal que te gustaría comentar en esta instancia?

Finalmente, se busca promover en el estudiante compromisos que permitan evitar acciones que activen nuevamente el sistema de gestión de faltas, para ello se pueden realizar preguntas del tipo: ¿Necesitas ayuda para que no vuelvas a caer en una situación como esta? ¿Sabes dónde buscar esa ayuda?, ¿Qué consecuencias consideras que serían las más adecuadas para resolver este caso y que la situación no se repita? ¿Qué compromiso puedes proponer frente a la Integridad Académica?

Retroalimentación.

Es muy importante que el Comité complejice lo ocurrido a mediano y largo plazo.  Permitiendo al estudiante comprender por qué falta cometida tiene consecuencias personales y profesionales, cómo y por qué atenta a los valores de honestidad, veracidad, confianza, justicia, respeto y responsabilidad que busca la Universidad.  Explicitar las implicancias cualitativas que tiene para el aprendizaje cometer una falta a la Integridad Académica y cómo esto afecta el tipo de profesional que quiere ser en el futuro y finalmente instar a reflexionar respecto a la imagen que quiere proyectar con sus pares y profesores, futuros colegas y/o jefes.

Comunicar pasos a seguir.

Finalmente, el Comité debe explicar al estudiante cuáles serán los pasos a seguir luego de la entrevista, incluyendo etapas y plazos, notificándosele la asignación de consecuencias formativas y una carta de compromiso para ser firmada.

Llevar a cabo entrevistas con los estudiantes que han incurrido en faltas a la Integridad Académica, puede permitir acompañar al estudiantado a un análisis más profundo respecto a las consecuencias que tiene sobre sí mismo en su formación profesional, pero también en la Institución conductas reñidas con la honestidad, este análisis es el que podría provocar aprendizajes formativos importantes.,

Por otra parte, los comentarios y reflexiones de los estudiantes irán entregando información valiosa respecto de cómo prevenir las conductas deshonestas y cómo promover las estrategias o recursos necesarios para disminuir su uso.