January 2024

As Academic Integrity Unit Student Ambassadors at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), we aim to promote academic integrity and excellence across the UTM community. In this role, we actively engage in various campus events to spread the word on what it means to be an academically honest student, offer informative tips to help our peers avoid academic misconduct, and answer student inquiries. After learning about the ICAI’s 2023 IDoA Student Creativity Contest, our team knew that this would be a great opportunity to demonstrate our knowledge of academic integrity and create a valuable resource that could be shared with students worldwide.

The aim of our poster submission was to merge the technological aspect of artificial intelligence (AI) (seen in the chosen graphics) with the ICAI’s six fundamental values of academic integrity – honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage – and highlight how these values can be applied by students in the age of AI. The poster was created to educate our peers of all different age groups around the globe, empowering them to champion academic integrity within the evolving landscape of AI.
As Generative AI software becomes increasingly accessible to students, it presents both challenges and unique opportunities in the classrooms that we are all a part of. We often observe our peers turning to these tools for assistance with personal and academic tasks as they believe it is a quick and easy way to complete quality work. However, we have learned this is not always the case. Some of our peers fall into the trap of relying entirely on generative AI to complete assignments, neglecting proper citations and taking credit for the ideas generated. This type of AI use may lead to unfairness to students who value academic integrity and always ensure to put hard work into their assignments. We feel that now, more than ever, maintaining academic integrity, despite the temptation to rely on AI, is integral to our educational journey. We believe that understanding the core values of academic integrity can help navigate the use of AI so that it can aid you in your studies, but not harm your learning experience. As academic integrity student ambassadors, we aim to highlight how AI can be used ethically within our classrooms and encourage others to do the same within their own institutions.

In our poster, we included the slogan “you are in charge of your own success” with the intention of emphasizing to students that while AI tools are available, they do not ensure academic success. Instead, we want to convey that showcasing one’s own learning and exhibiting the fundamental values is what will contribute to your success in the long run. We believe that championing academic integrity helps to create a level playing field and enables students to have a fair chance to succeed based on their own learning and effort.

We are delighted to be chosen as this year’s winner for the ICAI’s IDoA Student Creativity Contest in the categories of Best Poster and Best Overall Winner. We look forward to continuing to make a positive change in the world and encourage our fellow students to join us in championing academic integrity in the age of AI.

Note: This blog post was authored by students. ICAI takes pride in highlighting student voices as students are a key stakeholder in higher education and the promotion of academic integrity. ICAI does not endorse or advocate for any position or statement made.

There are only seven weeks until the ICAI’s Annual Conference in Calgary! Some of the upcoming blogs will show the range of programs that attendees will have access to. This week, enjoy a look at several of the posters that you will be able to engage with!

We’ll start out with this poster from Greer Murphy out of the University of Rochester:

As integrity administrators, we may find ourselves combatting perceptions of our as synonymous with that of classroom ‘cops,’ our policies as needlessly punitive, and any post-responsibility measures we offer as controlling, finger-wagging, and too onerous. By framing academic integrity as a matter of choice, and developing training with autonomy support in mind, we can improve how we support and relate to students. Preliminary results of an intervention offered via five (5) online modules to first-year students enrolled in large lecture courses indicates a small but positive effect. Academic integrity autonomy from students in the treatment group shows a marginally significant positive trend, whereas trends in the control group have not been positive. Despite high standard deviations due to our smaller-than-anticipated sample size, we are confident positive trends will be statistically significant once we build a larger dataset. We are conducting similar experiments in new courses this semester and hope to double or triple our sample size by the end of term. Visit our poster to learn what autonomy-supportive approaches to integrity training look like and discuss how you could implement similar initiatives on your campus!

Next, let’s look at a study by Greer Murphy (University of Rochester) and Courtney Cullen (University of Georgia):

The United States lags behind its global peers in comprehensively researching the current state of academic integrity policy. Using five elements of exemplary policy articulated by Bretag et al. (2011), our study represents the first systematic review of policies in the United States. One hundred institutions from across the country were selected for the study. In addition, we purposefully included institutions from all 50 states and involved institutions from a range of Carnegie Classification and Minority Serving Institution designations. We will share preliminary findings about linguistic accessibility and approach with conference attendees and ICAI members at this session. How do institutions across the United States stack up? Stop by our poster to find out!

There will also be posters presented by students from the University of Georgia. Comfort Ninson & Michael Jacoppo will be previewing a program in development:

What happens when a student is suspended or dismissed due to academic dishonesty? Have you thought of the reasons for these sanctions?  Having these students return strong with a true reflection of new energy, readiness, remorsefulness, self-forgiveness, recovery from shame and prepared to be an ambassador for academic honesty is the foundation of this new program. Keep your eye open for an A.R.C.H program poster for more details.

Finally, Mary Boyett (a student from the University of Georgia), will be providing a look at Artificial Intelligence detector tools from the student perspective:

With the rise of artificial intelligence in our world, instructors are looking at software such as TurnItIn which labels themselves as generative AI detectors. Some institutions, though, have recently banned instructors from using these detection tools. For example, Vanderbilt University found cases of "false positives" which encouraged other universities -- including Northwestern University -- to disable TurnItIn AI detection. TurnItIn, however, has their own evidence to show that their false positive rate is not significant enough to completely disregard its effectiveness. Other institutions did not ban detector tools, but did advise against the use of AI detection while considering ethical ways for students to use AI in the classroom. 

The breadth of topics in the poster session varies, with a topic for every individual interested in academic integrity. Don't miss out on this opportunity to engage with academic integrity champions from around the world. Register today.


 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.

Over two decades ago, Prensky (2001) introduced the term 'digital natives' to describe individuals born into a world of technological marvels, naturally used to the advancements of the era, contrary to digital immigrants who adapt to these advancements. Digital immigrants found themselves standing in the wind created by these digital natives, and to thrive in this dynamic environment, immigrants must adapt to their language and welcome the winds of change.

While winds can be disruptive, they also carry the potential for growth, much like the seeds of flowers dispersed by the breeze. The blossoming of these seeds may take time, face obstacles, or land in less-than-ideal conditions. One such seed, ushered in by the wind of change, is the impactful presence of Artificial Intelligence in our education systems. Concerns have been raised about inappropriate use of AI by students, leading to plagiarism and cheating, which have been persisting for decades even before AI. The key is not to nurture these harmful practices, but to create conducive environments for the positive impacts of AI. 

 Wind of change image

(Note. All the elements above created by DALL-E2 with the prompts: ‘wind cartoon png’, ‘seed scattered with wind png’, ‘A girl holding a seed in her hands and looking it with love and caring in a realistic style’.)

As a student, encountering rules like 'the use of Artificial Intelligence in assignments is strictly prohibited' is disheartening. I see it as a seed carried by the winds of technological change, one that has the potential to bloom into something beautiful. However, for this growth to occur, I require the right conditions: transparent use of AI within ethical frameworks. I need to understand how AI can enrich my imagination, enhance my performance, and contribute to a critical stance. Numerous examples highlight the beneficial uses of AI, such as supporting engagement, improving writing, enhancing critical thinking, and supporting research. In essence, there are vibrant flower gardens where the seeds of Artificial Intelligence, brought by the wind of change, can flourish.

Being a student navigating the digital landscape, I have sown the seeds of change by delving into the realm of Artificial Intelligence for my Master's thesis with a focus on the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence in the process of academic writing. In this study, I have tailored an academic writing rubric by adapting Razı's (2023) work to get feedback for academic studies from AI. With this study, I aim to add the positive impacts as educational material to the "Facing Academic Integrity Threats" Erasmus+ project. In this way, I plan to disseminate a resource that can be utilized by peers, researchers, and educators to explore the impact of AI when utilized ethically in academic settings by dispelling the negative reputation surrounding AI in writing, showcasing its potential benefits for all stakeholders.

In essence, my goal is to cultivate the seed I have planted into a flourishing flower of responsible AI use. I believe my peers are also nurturing their seeds, collectively sowing gardens that will shape the ethical use of Artificial Intelligence for future generations of digital natives. Together, we will embrace the ethical horizon and hopefully witness the growth of AI as a valuable ally in our academic pursuits.

Wind of change image 2

(Note. Created by DALL-E2 with the prompt: ‘Young people sowing seeds, watering flowers at a garden in high technology environment in a realistic style.’)

References
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816
Razı, S. (2023). Emergency remote teaching adaptation of the anonymous multi-mediated writing model. System,113, 102981 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2023.102981

There was a new first for academic integrity recently when the pioneering new ACARI Conference was inaugurated to promote academic integrity in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Hosted by Middlesex University Dubai from December 17-19 2023, the event was co-founded by Dr Zeenath Reza Khan, Dr Salim Razi, Dr Shahid Soroya and Dr Muaawia Hamza, and chaired by Dr Sreejith Balasubramaniam. Getting a major new international event off the ground and joining up an academic and research community across huge regions to provide a voice for diverse speakers is a significant achievement that all those involved are undoubtedly and deservedly proud of. It was great to see speakers from countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Georgia, Iran, Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Morocco contributing to this event.

I participated and presented remotely on ‘Using Universal Design for Learning principles to improve inclusion in academic integrity policies, procedures and teaching’ (see my blog from December 11, 2023) in the ‘Academic Integrity and Students’ strand. I was fascinated to hear of very diverse approaches to academic integrity related to student sanctions, use of artificial intelligence and detection tools in the other sessions in the strand given by presenters from India and Pakistan.

As a remote attendee in a different time zone, I could not attend the whole conference, so will focus on a few highlights. Prof Ann Rogerson (University of Wollongong, Australia) gave a stirring keynote session on ‘The Importance of understanding transitions and disciplinary norms for assessment, research and educational integrity’. Something I really agreed with her about was the argument that students need support with transitions at every level, not just the high school to undergraduate stage, but also at further degree levels, especially for international students who come with different prior learning. She explained that at UoW, students need to complete a 4 hour academic integrity module in order to get access to their grades and that a low penalty of -5% for first minor breaches led to limited repeat transgressions. Again, an area of great interest!

I really enjoyed the panel discussions with speakers from institutions in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. One was entitled ‘Global Education, Local Values’ moderated by Dr Salim Razi from Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Turkey. The panel discussed the importance of institutional structures joining up to support learning about academic integrity, such as through the library, centres for academic success and quality assurance to ensure success. One member noted a gap between student and faculty beliefs about acceptable practice and the reasons given by students for transgressions such as feeling they are not able to say things better than experts and therefore needing to copy. These are familiar challenges!

I attended a great workshop by Dr Sonja Bjelobaba from University of Uppsala, Sweden on ‘Teacher Training in Ethics and Integrity for classrooms in the age of AI’ in which she used Menti to facilitate a very lively discussion among delegates on ethical decision making by students and staff regarding artificial intelligence. Is it ethical for staff to use AI to write feedback to students? This generated a lot of debate!

We are now preparing for the forthcoming ICAI 2024 Annual Conference – look out for blogs leading up to it!

It is the start of the new year. Since Boxing Day, you have likely been inundated with new things to try for the New Year, New You! Unlike those cosmetic products, diet pills, and work out devices, I am not going to ask you to make major changes in your practice today. Instead, I am going to tote the same old strategies to help reduce academic misconduct: communication. Communication should happen in your course syllabus, on every assignment, and to clarify why in the course of your pedagogy. Let's take a look back at some of the ways communication has been promoted through this blog:

  • Syllabi Design: though posted at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, clarifying course expectations around academic integrity continues to be critical in helping maintain academic integrity in the classroom. The syllabus is more than just a laundry list of due dates for students, its the contract for the course. (Also, if you have already started ungrading, keep it up!)

  • Setting Expectations: save yourself and your students the confusion of muddling through. Set clear expecations early and communicate those expectations often.

  • Don't reinvent the wheel: Check out the interventions provided by your institution. You do not need to create anything from scratch, let your administration do it for you! Use what already existst to educate your students on academic integrity.

  • Be consistent: Reporting academic misconduct is critical, but so is how you approach these conversations.

What strategies are you continuing this year? Tell us by tweeting @TweetCAI.