October 2020

Los retos de la integridad académica en la educación a distancia son posibles de vencer y esto se demostró en el 8.° Congreso de Integridad Académica “Conecta y transforma con integridad” llevado a cabo el pasado 24 y 25 de septiembre, que unió a más de 550 personas de 11 países, quienes de manera entusiasta, y con gran apertura, escucharon las conferencias a través de la pantalla y participaron interactivamente entre ellos.

Conferencistas de gran trayectoria en el tema de integridad académica y representantes de universidades de reconocido prestigio como Thomas Lancaster, de Imperial College London; Irene Gendinning, de Coventry University (Londres); Sarah E. Eaton, de University of Calgary (Canadá) y  Rowena Harper, de Edith Cowen University (Australia) nos compartieron diversas estrategias para detectar trabajos que han sido “comprados” por estudiantes así como algunas prácticas que sirven para promover las ventajas de un aprendizaje libre de trampa y sin atajos que permita a los estudiantes dar lo mejor de sí,  y que al mismo tiempo se reconozca a la integridad académica como un camino de éxito para su vida académica y profesional.

Conectar e interactuar con los estudiantes parece ser fácil, sin embargo, el lograr involucrarlos y evaluarlos, requiere de estrategia y creatividad, así lo expresaron Alejandra Calderón, de la Universidad Panamericana (México) y el Dr. Douglas Harrison, de University of Maryland (Estados Unidos) al mostrarnos a través de sus ponencias las diferentes plataformas y herramientas tecnológicas que pueden ser utilizadas en el aula para hacer la enseñanza más dinámica y la evaluación más justa.

Jennifer Wright, de University of South Florida (Estados Unidos) señaló lo importante e imprescindible de involucrar a los estudiantes para lograr un programa de integridad de éxito.

Para comprender y apoyar a los estudiantes, hay que conocer la psicología del por qué hacen trampa, así lo expresó en su charla el Dr. David Rettinger, de University of Mary Washington (Estados Unidos).

El Dr. Paul Sopcak y Courtney Cullen, de MacEwan University (Canadá) y University of Georgia (Estados Unidos) respectivamente, coincidieron en que las trampas en el estudio y la deshonestidad académica no definen a un estudiante, sino que, podrían representar oportunidades para continuar con su formación académica. Por ello, recomendaron gestionarlas a través de la  justicia restaurativa, para así, llevar a los estudiantes a la reflexión y crecimiento tanto académico como personal.

La Mtra. Antonieta Martínez, de la Universidad Panamericana (México); la Dra. Sandra Gudiño, del Tec de Monterrey (México)y el Ing. Jean Guerrero, de la Universidad de Monterrey (México) nos compartieron los resultados de investigaciones para considerar la integridad académica como una tarea urgente, así como también los aspectos éticos y educativos de las evaluaciones en el nuevo entorno digital como responsabilidad compartida para construir una cultura de integridad académica.

Siguiendo con el objetivo de incentivar a otras universidades a construir redes colaborativas, Amanda Mckenzie, de University of Waterloo (Canadá) platicó su experiencia y los elementos necesarios para hacerlo, así como también el Rector José Antonio Herrera, de la Universidad Vasco de Quiroga (México), quien expresó los esfuerzos que se realizan en el Estado de Michoacán por implementar el tema de la integridad académica entre las universidades que forman parte de la Red Juntos por Michoacán.

Durante un momento del programa se reconoció emotivamente el trabajo tan exhaustivo de uno de los pilares de la integridad académica en el mundo, la Dra. Tracey Bretag, de University of South Australia; con quién sin duda alguna, muchos de los conferencistas y también en la Universidad de Monterrey estamos muy agradecidos por su apoyo y acompañamiento para fortalecer este importante tema en México y Latinoamérica.

Sin duda alguna, el 8.° Congreso de Integridad Académica fue de mucho aprendizaje y esperamos coincidir nuevamente en la novena edición de este congreso en 2021. En tanto, seguiremos trabajando y continuando en sumar esfuerzos para continuar permeando la cultura de integridad académica.

The (2010) article The Shadow Scholar by the infernal Ed Dante jolted many academics into awareness of ghostwriting in academia. Soon proclaimed as one of the most widely-read pieces in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s history, the article made it impossible to ignore the issue. However, little dialog was occurring – at least in N. America, and with apparently few exceptions in the UK, it seemed hardly to be taking place globally either.

I became entrenched in the topic in 2012 through an international student I knew who was enrolled in a UK postgraduate program. Sadly, she had contracted out her MA thesis and shared with me – after the fact – all the communication and dimensions of the custom writing industry, still in relative infancy. Such exposure and further research into the market made me develop and share at the ICAI Texas conference (2013) “The ‘Promise’ of Ghostwriting – Unique Voices & Service Sophistication.” The session was not swarming with delegates – as was the case in sessions focused on plagiarism – leading one attendee who was later to become a distinguished researcher on the topic declare: “this is one of the most important presentations happening at this conference and there’s only a few of us here!” Growing pains aside, few really wanted to know this ‘baby’.

However, a critical mass had clearly begun to incubate and an idea beginning to take shape at a later ICAI conference (Vancouver, 2015). Outside the formal conference sessions, an informal discussion at an added end-of-day meeting was meant to explore political advocacy – developing a hub to move Ontario legislation forward on the growing essay mill problem – and later hopefully serve as a model for other geographic areas. Attendance was by invitation, with some participants having a legal background while others simply maintained a strong desire not to stay idle on “the contract cheating problem.” That day, a couple of ICAI Board members working intently with a handful of others shared possible legal options by informing us of The Contract Cheating Advocacy Project.

Back then, the fact that so many colleagues were utterly ignorant of student outsourcing of academic work, the dimensions of the commercial industry and the ramifications to the education sector made those of us attending that ad hoc meeting recognize the critical need for concerted efforts.

Labor & the IDoA

The 1st IDoA (2016) saw the creation of a tool kit to assist first registrants to the initiative – 22 in total. Showcasing of individual IDoA success stories over the next two years and the subsequent ‘adoption’ of the initiative by ‘parent figures’ (a planning committee) saw the numbers in the 4th IDoA (2019) more than quintuple to 117! This past year’s addition of an international Student Steering Committee to the Planning Committee has harnessed youthful insight, critical to the initiative’s further development and leadership. This 5th IDoA hopes to reach 200+.

While global challenges in the form of pandemics may be daunting in different ways, they cannot thwart our continued effort. This year, the impact of our virtual messages on the IDoA will hopefully be even stronger during our Live Feed as we come together to discuss and share our overall integrity messages as a global community.

At the end of the day – or the 20 hours – we will surely prove the adage: it takes a village – because we are a village!

Join our growing global community on 21 October; keep nurturing the child that allows us to speak up and out against contract cheating.

There is no doubt that 2020 has been a year of turmoil and challenges. Now more than ever we need to unite as communities of learning to support and ensure that our efforts in creating and cultivating quality learning environments, grounded in the values of academic integrity, are preserved and strengthened. The International Day of Action (IDoA) against Contract Cheating on October 21/2020 is one way to connect worldwide against this growing threat.

Contract cheating is the outsourcing of academic work to a third party. This outsourced work is then submitted for a grade or mark. It is on the rise and it is happening around the world. The day of action provides us a platform to speak up and out against this act of academic dishonesty. On October 21st we encourage you to plan events that spotlight the issue of contract cheating at your organizations — for facts about contract cheating, and ideas on activities you might plan at your organizations please visit the ICAI website at https://www.academicintegrity.org/day-against-contract-cheating/. You can also join others around the world by participating in the live feed event entitled Twenty Live in 20 – Global Conversations about Contract Cheating. Listen and connect with others around the world about their efforts, ideas, and initiatives that tackle contract cheating.

Details about the various planned speakers for Twenty in 20 will be posted on the ICAI website. Follow us on our social media accounts — Instagram @academicintegritymatters Twitter https://twitter.com/TweetCAI Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AcademicIntegrityfeed and like, retweet, repost — use our IDoA 2020 hashtags #myownwork #excelwithintegrity. Post your own message about why integrity matters or why you don’t contract cheat. Encourage your students to submit their creative work to the international student contest https://www.academicintegrity.org/day-against-contract-cheating/ and educate external stakeholders by engaging your local news outlets with press releases.

Our global voice is important. Together we can inspire others to realize the importance of preserving integrity in our learning settings. Join us on October 21st to SPEAK UP AND OUT AGAINST CONTRACT CHEATING.

The Aggie Honor System Office sought to create content that shed light on what academic integrity is. Working with Academic Affairs, faculty, and student leaders, the AHSO created two videos that the TAMU community could use as they thought about and explored their personal integrity and academic integrity. These videos aim to help promote awareness of some common missteps students make on their academic journey. Engaging students on their preferred platforms, and in limited lengths may just get their attention. You can watch the videos, and tell us what you think by commenting below.

Student Rules and the Honor Council:


The Aggie Code of Honor in 30 Seconds:


For Immediate Release
5 October 2020

ICAI Media Contact: Kevin Robinson

University System of Maryland Contact: Mike Lurie
Phone: 301.445.2719 | Email:

BALTIMORE, Md. — Following an agreement between the University System of Maryland (USM) and the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), USM became the first system-wide member of ICAI. This partnership brings the expertise and the benefits of a world-wide group of academic integrity experts to raise the profile of academic integrity efforts across all 12 institutions in the system.

“We are delighted to be the very first system member of ICAI,” said Dr. Joann A. Boughman, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for USM. “We have been working with our institutions as they do the important work of creating cultures of academic integrity that reflect their respective academic contexts and traditions. Partnering with ICAI will allow us to go to the next level in terms of leadership development, data collection, and more.”

The agreement, which took effect in late summer, creates a host of benefits for the USM, including access to the online resources as well as custom webinars developed specifically at the System level to engage USM institutions collectively. Selected faculty, staff, and administrators from each campus also will receive discounts to engage in ICAI’s online courses and its regional and annual conferences.

“We are excited to partner with USM and demonstrate the value of a system-wide approach to academic integrity,” said Camilla Roberts, PhD, ICAI President and Director of the Honor and Integrity System at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan.

The two organizations are already off to a strong start. On October 2, ICAI conducted a system-wide webinar introducing the concepts and practices of academic integrity, titled Responding to Academic Integrity Concerns: What Can Faculty Do. In addition, planning is already underway for USM and University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), a fully online institution within the system, to co-host the virtual ICAI Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on February 3-4, 2021.

“With the advent of COVID-19, many universities are looking much more closely at how the online environment can promote academic integrity as institutions support the academic success of faculty and students in that setting,” said Roberts. “UMGC in particular has been a forerunner in promoting academic integrity in online learning.”
The ICAI partnership with USM is a homecoming of sorts. In 1992, Donald McCabe, PhD, a professor at Rutgers University, hosted a conference to discuss the results of his 1990 survey of academic integrity at 31 schools. Six volunteers, including McCabe and Gary Pavela of the University of Maryland, College Park, founded the Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) in October 1992, which was incorporated in the state of Maryland. McCabe became the first President and the other volunteers formed the Board of Directors. The first official Center for Academic Integrity Conference was held in March 1993 at the University of Maryland, College Park.

This group pioneered the concept of academic integrity when they examined levels of cheating in colleges. Their work created the academic integrity field. The Center, now ICAI, focused on combating cheating at the college level in those early years. The field has evolved since then and now focuses on how to create environments that foster a proactive culture of academic integrity, both at the course level and across the whole of an institution.

James Orr, PhD, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Strategic Enrollment at the University of Memphis, will be coordinating the USM partnership on behalf of ICAI. “Enhancing academic integrity is about enhancing trust—trust that faculty will be fair and impartial, that students will not cheat, and that a university degree conveys actual achievement,” he said. “ICAI is committed to helping USM and its 12 institutions build that trust with the communities they serve.”


Spring 2020 brought many changes to higher education. With the switch to remote learning, not only did faculty have to contend with delivering quality content in the online environment, but monitoring academic integrity changed. Whereas before large lecture classes could take proctored exams in person, now these same exams had to occur online, possibly without any sort of proctor. Previously, to try to prevent plagiarized essays, instructors could ask students to write the first drafts during the in-class period, to eventually be compared to the final submission. Now these same drafts were written outside of class and submitted online, without the same supervision.

These academic integrity tips and tricks that faculty teaching face-to-face have gathered and implemented for the span of their teaching careers were no longer available to them. Faculty and the administration had to become creative – both looking to their colleagues who have taught online and to one another for advice.

With the Fall 2020 semester, faculty have had more time to prepare for the remote environment and some might be teaching a few in-person classes, but for most campuses “normal” has not returned. The academic integrity lessons and strategies learned throughout the spring and summer are still applicable.

For this reason, the 2020 ICAI Southeast Regional Sharing Conference will focus on Integrity in the Time of COVID-19. This free virtual conference, hosted by the University of South Florida, will be an opportunity for higher education faculty, staff who support integrity, high school teachers, and both graduate and undergraduate students to meet and discuss academic integrity. The synchronous online presentations, only 15 minutes long, are to emphasize the sharing of practices, examples, and case studies. These are not research presentations.

We think a wide variety of presentations by different audiences would be a fit for this conference:

  • Staff and Administrators
    • integrity policies and honor codes
    • ​​​​​​​policy adjustments made for the switch to remote learning
    • establishing a culture of integrity amongst students
    • onboarding and training of incoming students
    • remediation efforts for students caught cheating
  • Faculty, Instructors, and Teachers
    • assignments and strategies to prevent cheating
    • adjusting assignments with academic integrity in mind for the remote and/or online environment
    • technology used to uncover cheating (plagiarism detection, proctoring software)
    • plagiarism, self-plagiarism, unintentional plagiarism
    • contract cheating (papers for hire)
    • exposing students’ new cheating techniques (including Chegg, GroupMe, etc)
    • ethics of reporting/non-reporting students once caught
  • Students
    • creating a peer culture of integrity
    • reporting on students who cheat (and/or the ethics around reporting)
    • ways student organizations, clubs, government, and individuals can alter campus culture on integrity

To submit a proposal: https://usf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b76XSwBvMNeIoId  (proposals are due by Oct. 19)

To register for the conference without presenting: https://usf.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cSyA7YJ6InYoqe9

This conference is an opportunity to add to your CV during the pandemic, gain insights and actionable ideas from your colleagues, and network with individuals who care about integrity as much as you do…all for free! We look forward to seeing you there.

Lead Author: Dr. Ashley Reese. Secondary Author: Dr. Kevin Yee.

Dr. Kevin Yee is Assistant Dean of Teaching and Learning in Undergraduate Studies at the University of South Florida. In this role, he functions as the university’s academic integrity officer. He also serves as the director of USF’s teaching center, the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence.