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 .