2022

¿Qué es ser docente hoy en día? Hablar de la labor docente puede ser algo que todos creemos muy obvio, pero que no todo mundo entiende. La mayoría de los niños van a la escuela y conocen por primera vez a esta figura de autoridad, de confianza y de enseñanza, que los acompaña durante todo su crecimiento. Entendemos que un docente es aquella figura que está llena de conocimientos, y que a través de diferentes estrategias y metodologías didácticas, es capaz de hacerlos llegar de una manera clara, sencilla y de acuerdo al nivel del estudiante. Sin embargo, un docente va más allá de solo enseñar. Su objetivo también implica la formación de personas íntegras, puesto que el profesional de la educación trabaja con ellas. Según J.I. Goodlad:

“Si las escuelas sólo tienen como propósito enseñar, no las necesitamos en realidad; esa tarea también la pueden realizar [cada vez mejor] con tanta o más eficiencia otros centros basados en ordenadores y diversas tecnologías avanzadas […]; ahora bien, si las escuelas tienen objetivos más amplios [cultivar la responsabilidad, el espíritu crítico, las actitudes democráticas y el carácter], entonces resultan del todo necesarios unos profesores bien seleccionados y preparados para el ámbito moral.“

Con esto afirmamos que la formación ética, tanto para los educandos como para los educadores, es necesaria, y es que todo acto de enseñanza es intrínsecamente ético. Es por ello que el docente debe ser ético para sí mismo y para los demás.

Hablar de una deontología docente significa hablar del “estudio del carácter o modo de ser del profesional de la docencia”. F. Bárcena dice: “El profesional –cultivando su carácter y asumiendo un compromiso en la tarea desempeñada–, ni deja de ser eficaz ni precisa de códigos de conducta para cumplir con su deber”. ¿Es necesario un código de conducta para la labor docente? El docente, si bien no debe de limitarse a un código de ética docente, sí tendría que conocerlo y adoptarlo como una guía dentro de su quehacer diario, tanto para su vida diaria como para su trabajo dentro del aula. A continuación comparto un breve decálogo que tiene como objetivo orientar al docente en el aula para mantener un comportamiento ético que favorezca la integridad tanto de él mismo como de sus alumnos:

Decálogo:

  1. El educador debe establecer una relación de confianza con los alumnos, que les ayude al desarrollo de su autoestima y al respeto con los demás.
  2. Tratar a todos los alumnos por igual, sin discriminar por motivo de raza, sexo, color, religión, intereses políticos, entre otros.
  3. Respeto hacia la dignidad del alumno. No adoctrinar ideológicamente.
  4. Tener total disposición hacia el discente, con el objetivo de despertarles el máximo interés por el aprendizaje y su autodesarrollo.
  5. Guardar el secreto profesional.
  6. Lograr que todos lleguen a tener una formación integral que les permita una positiva integración en la sociedad.
  7. Respetar las cuestiones relativas a los valores familiares, evitando confrontaciones, siendo respetuosos del pluralismo escolar.
  8. Favorecer la cooperación entre familias y maestros, estableciendo una relación de confianza.
  9. Dedicarse al trabajo docente con plena conciencia del servicio que se presta a la sociedad, haciendo las cosas bien y enfocándose al alumno como principal motor de esta profesión.
  10. Mantener una actitud crítica permanente hacia la labor docente y actuación personal y profesional, en aras de un perfeccionamiento constante, viviendo de manera ética no sólo dentro sino fuera del aula.

La integridad académica está directamente realcionada con la formación ética de las personas. No hay integridad sin ética y es por ello esencial que en las escuelas se tome aún más importancia la formación ética en los docentes. Promoverlo ayudará a continuar modelos educativos cuyo enfoque siga siendo el desarrollo humano de las personas. 

Referencias:

TAYLOR, C. & THIEBAUT, C. (1994). La ética de la autenticidad. Barcelona Bellaterra Barcelona: Paidós Ibérica I.C.E. de la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.

CARDONA, C. (1990). Ética del quehacer educativo. Madrid: Ediciones Rialp.

PELÁEZ, M. (1991). Ética, profesión y virtud. Madrid: Rialp

ALTAREJOS, F. (1998). Ética docente: elementos para una deontología profesional. Barcelona: Editorial Ariel.

When I came to the University of Georgia as an international student from Germany in 2010, I had not heard about the concept of academic integrity or an academic honesty policy before. The only thing I had heard from a friend who had studied abroad in the United States before me was: “Be careful. The Americans are much more serious about cheating than we are.”

Of course, we were not allowed to cheat in school and university in Germany, and the consequences could have been as severe as they can be at American institutions, but I don’t remember ever having had an explicit conversation with a German teacher or professor about how to be academically honest. There was no academic honesty policy, no Office of Academic Honesty, and no official institutional process for dealing with academic misconduct at my university—at least not that I was aware of—and I never had any formal education about cheating and how to avoid it beyond learning how to correctly cite sources. It was just expected to know how appropriate academic conduct looks like.

In hindsight, I’m not even sure whether all professional students and researchers in Germany know how to avoid academic misconduct. In 2011, the topic of plagiarism got widespread attention in German society when it was found that then Minister of Defense Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg had copied large sections of his dissertation from other sources without citing them. The scandal led to zu Guttenberg’s resignationthe revocation of his degree, and a wave of plagiarism accusations toward other high-profile politicians. In the following years, more people lost their doctorates and their positions—among them, of all people, Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan.

I’m not trying to suggest there are no standards of academic integrity in Germany. There are. My point is that I just had a vague idea what they were and that my knowledge about them came from hearsay, and not from being formally educated. When I came to the U.S., the concept of academic integrity was completely new to me, I was surprised that the university had an explicit and very detailed Academic Honesty Policy, and I learned to appreciate the institutional process for resolving matters of academic misconduct when I taught undergraduate students.

My experience does not seem to be uncommon though. Researchers in Australia, the United States, and Canada have found that international students may be much less likely to have sufficient knowledge and understanding about academic integrity than their domestic counterparts, have much lower confidence in being able to avoid academic misconduct, and are much more likely to commit academic integrity violations (Bertram Gallant, Binkin, & Donohue, 2015; Bretag et al., 2014; Chen & Van Ullen, 2011). These findings were reflected by what I had observed myself while working at UGA’s Office of Academic Honesty. A few weeks ago, I attended an academic integrity violation meeting between an international student and an American professor. It was hard to watch. The student visibly struggled with understanding the language and understanding what they were accused of, why it was wrong to do what they had done, and why there must be consequences. I did not know whether they knew about the university’s academic honesty policy, what the culture of academic honesty was in their home country or at their alma mater, or whether such a culture existed at all in their home country, but it made me think about whether they were thrown into a system that they did not understand. They obviously needed help with navigating the landscape of academic integrity while studying abroad in the U.S. A few weeks later, I conducted an interview with an international student about an online learning module we had created for educating students about the university’s Academic Honesty Policy. The student told me that the module was a godsend for them because they had not learned much about academic honesty in their home country and they had no idea the university even had a policy. Working through the module, they said, made them much more comfortable with being a student in the U.S. and much more confident that they won’t commit academic misconduct.

What I learned through my own experience and my work at UGA’s Office of Academic Honesty is that international students need extra attention when being instructed about academic integrity and academic honesty policies at their American institution, and they need even more support from their institutions than their domestic counterparts (Fatemi & Saito, 2020). We cannot presume that international students come with the same understandings of academic integrity than American, Australian, or Canadian students do, and we cannot even expect that they bring the same appreciation for it. Understanding and appreciation for academic integrity needs to be built. By helping international students understand and appreciate academic integrity and the processes of resolving matters of academic dishonesty as they exist at American institutions, we can make a contribution to strengthening academic integrity across the globe. These students might take their newfound understandings about academic integrity back to their home countries and possibly educate others about it. They might become school teachers or instructors at institutions of higher learning, and they might want to establish a culture of academic integrity in their own communities.

References

Bertram Gallant, T., Binkin, N., & Donohue, M. (2015). Students at risk for being reported for cheating. Journal of Academic Ethics, 13(3), 217-228. doi:10.1007/s10805-015-9235-5

Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., McGowan, U., East, J., . . . James, C. (2014). ‘Teach us how to do it properly!’ An Australian academic integrity student survey. Studies in Higher Education, 39(7), 1150-1169. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.777406

Chen, Y.-H., & Van Ullen, M. K. (2011). Helping international students succeed academically through research process and plagiarism workshops. College & Research Libraries, 72(3), 209-235.

Fatemi, G., & Saito, E. (2020). Unintentional plagiarism and academic integrity: The challenges and needs of postgraduate international students in Australia. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 44(10), 1305-1319. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2019.1683521

If you listen to conversations around support and processes it is surprizing how often the phrase ‘cheat sheet’ is used. What appears to be intended by using the term ‘cheat sheet’ is to represent something that is a quick reference guide or list of shortcuts to make a system, process, or action more streamlined and easier to understand. There are websites devoted to collections of quick reference guides, and one is unfortunately called www.cheat-sheets.org but states that its’ purpose is to provide “All cheat sheets, round-ups, quick reference cards, quick reference guides and quick reference sheets in one page.” However, by using the term ‘cheat sheet’ to refer to a seemingly innocuous list or diagram we are tacitly endorsing the use of the word cheat, and that ‘cheating’ in this instance is acceptable, and ‘cheating’ in other situations is not.

While we are reliant on an individual clearly understanding that there is a vast difference between a ‘quick reference guide’ and cheating in an academic or educational integrity context, this distinction is not as readily apparent to everyone. Children listen to our use of language and would hear the use of ‘cheat sheet’ but not understanding how to separate a reference summary from educational cheating materials promoted by sites selling or sharing academic content.

This understanding is further complicated when companies create games that promote cheating to get ahead. Alarmingly, the Monopoly ‘Cheaters Edition’ rewards cheating where “rules encourage players to express their inner cheater to own it all while they buy, sell, dream, and scheme. Fake a die roll, steal some bills from the bank, and even skip out on rent. Complete a cheat to get a reward, but fail a cheat and pay the consequences” (https://monopoly.hasbro.com/en-gb/product/monopoly-game-cheaters-edition:020C27CB-55DA-442A-B73B-B5C3CED8FCDA ). This promotion of cheating and cheating behaviors to win establishes some dangerous lessons that could impact perceptions and perspectives of what is and is not appropriate in educational and societal situations, particularly when it is promoted as being suitable for ages 8+. Education about integrity needs to occur at every age and stage, and not only in the classroom.

Now I take every opportunity to clarify to my colleagues and friends that I do not endorse or support the use of the term ‘cheat sheet’ in any circumstances. I understand the intent when they are using it, but there are better ways such as using ‘quick reference guide’ that emphasize the usability and avoid the endorsement of the word ‘cheat’. I am striving hard to educate others as to the dangers associated with using the term and interrupt internal meetings to clarify this at every opportunity. So, listen in and see how and when the term is used, and take the opportunity to convert it to another teachable moment about academic integrity and that the fact that cheating is not acceptable.

What steps are you taking to avoid endorsing cheating? Tell us @TweetCAI.

Es ya desde enero del 2014 que la Universidad Panamericana (UP) trabaja en distintos esfuerzos para promover la integridad académica dentro de sus aulas. La integridad académica ha sido primordial para la UP debido a su filosofía educativa, que está fundamentada en el humanismo cristiano y que tiene entre sus principios institucionales la tarea de brindar una formación ética y de inculcar el valor del trabajo bien hecho. 

El camino ha sido largo y los logros no se han dado de un día para otro. El Talent, Centro de Profesores1 de la UP, del cual formo parte, ha hecho una gran labor para impulsar la integridad académica en la universidad. Desde los primeros años de la iniciativa sobre integridad académica, implementamos el uso de herramientas de similitud de textos para ayudar a los docentes a prevenir el plagio. También comenzamos a impartir talleres para profesores con diversos temas2; por ejemplo, sobre cómo retroalimentar trabajos académicos, herramientas de similitud de texto, escritura creativa, estrategias en línea para promover la honestidad y el empleo del aprendizaje basado en casos para concientizar a los estudiantes respecto a la integridad académica, por mencionar algunos.     

En muchos de estos talleres, he tenido la oportunidad de dialogar con algunos de los profesores sobre los retos, los aprendizajes y las propuestas de integridad académica dentro de sus clases. De manera sintética, puedo decir que esta experiencia ha sido enriquecedora para dar sustento y defender en mi universidad la perspectiva que propuso Bertram Gallant y Drinan en el 20083, la cual hace énfasis en que los profesores formen la integridad académica de los estudiantes a partir de la enseñanza y del aprendizaje, y no de la reprimenda o de la sanción. A continuación comparto algunas citas de los comentarios que varios de estos profesores me han hecho4

Reflexiones docentes sobre integridad académica

En la mayoría de los talleres, los profesores han comentado sobre casos de deshonestidad académica en sus clases y usualmente comparten propuestas o ideas para solucionar estos casos. Por ejemplo, en una actividad, tres profesores hablaron sobre cómo la tecnología influye en que algunos estudiantes busquen nuevas formas de hacer trampa, tales como el uso de páginas web que no aparecen en buscadores tradicionales o la traducción de textos para ocultar el plagio. Para abordar la problemática, los profesores plantearon una solución transversal basada en la enseñanza y el aprendizaje: 

Se observa que las estrategias para resolver este problema deben ser muy profundas y transversales. Por ejemplo, una concientización constante y en diversas materias, acerca de los efectos nocivos de esta práctica (en términos académicos y profesionales). La participación de la institución es central en el cambio de paradigma pedagógico para hacer coincidir la formación y los hábitos de los estudiantes, frente a las necesidades del nuevo paradigma educativo. Se tiene que hacer un seguimiento constante de todas las estructuras posibles (escuela, familia, individuo). 

También es común que los docentes mencionen al plagio como una de las acciones deshonestas más comunes entre sus estudiantes. Cabe aquí citar el comentario de un profesor que explica cómo, en su materia de Periodismo Audiovisual, algunos alumnos copian noticias sin citarlas. En equipo con otros docentes, este profesor concluyó que es importante enseñarle a los estudiantes sobre citación, así como hacerlos parte en los distintos procesos de construcción de una clase y crear espacios para escuchar tanto sus opiniones como sus propuestas en torno a cuestiones relacionadas con la integridad académica. Presento a continuación sus ideas: 

  • Asegurarse que los alumnos tengan el conocimiento de cómo citar correctamente fuentes, como medios de comunicación, redes sociales, autores, fuentes bibliográficas y hemerográficas. 
  • Hacer parte del proceso a los alumnos; convencerlos de que reflexionen sobre qué calidad vamos a entregar y que hagan ellos mismos su propia evaluación de calidad. Les digo, “Ok, solamente asegúrense de que la evaluación sea justa y que esté bien planteada”. 
  • Generar en el estudiante pasión por el periodismo creativo; que demuestre que le gusta, que le apasiona y no solo hacerlo repetitivo.

Algunos docentes también me han compartido que, en ciertas ocasiones, los estudiantes sí intentan escribir y citar de manera pertinente, pero no lo consiguen. En otros caos, los alumnos se copian entre ellos sin fijarse en los detalles, lo cual permite que los profesores detecten más fácilmente estas faltas a la integridad académica. Estas son algunas propuestas que han pensado los docentes respecto a estos retos:  

  • Que se diseñen campañas de concientización a nivel institucional, sobre la importancia de la originalidad y del trabajo bien hecho.  
  • Que se elaboren e implementen talleres de investigación para los estudiantes de primer semestre, de las distintas licenciaturas de la universidad. 
  • Que, ante las faltas de integridad académica, se sancione pertinentemente, de acuerdo con la naturaleza de cada falta cometida por el alumno.  

También puede ser que la complejidad de una materia sea un factor para la deshonestidad. Por presentar un ejemplo, una profesora de la Facultad de Derecho me explicó que los alumnos muchas veces no muestran interés por la parte teórica de algunas materias y que ese fenómeno puede empujarlos a cometer trampa. En ese sentido, esta profesora me comentó que elabora actividades significativas para los estudiantes, con el fin de que aprendan las cuestiones técnicas de su materia. 

Con la finalidad de [...] promover en mis alumnos el interés por aprender y aplicar las cuestiones teóricas de [...] un juicio, se les solicitó que elaboraran un TikTok que permitiera ver ejemplos (aplicación de cada uno de los tipos de pruebas). Para evaluar la actividad se les compartió una rúbrica con los puntos importantes del proyecto.

A partir de las reflexiones de estos profesores, me doy cuenta del avance que se ha logrado en la Universidad Panamericana. Entre las lecciones aprendidas, me parece que se ha creado una mayor consciencia entre el cuerpo académico sobre la importancia de la integridad académica. He visto cómo cada vez más profesores y estudiantes “se suben al barco” de la integridad y del hacer lo correcto ante cualquier situación. Sin embargo, creo que todavía estamos algo lejos de terminar y de alcanzar una cultura de integridad académica; pero de seis años para acá, es claro cómo el tema se habla “entre los pasillos” y también noto la preocupación creciente de los profesores en este tema. Seguimos avanzando, estableciendo distintos esfuerzos; aprendiendo y analizando la mejor forma de permear la integridad académica en nuestra casa de estudios

 

Referencias:

  1. El Talent, que antes se llamaba Centro de Innovación Educativa, busca formar y potenciar el talento de los profesores de la Panamericana.  
  2. Desde finales del 2014 a la fecha, cada semestre impartimos al menos un taller relacionado con integridad académica.
  3. Gallant, T. B. y Drinan, P. (2008). Toward a model of academic integrity institutionalization: Informing practice in postsecondary education. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 38(2), 25-43.
  4. Se le pidió permiso a cada uno de los docentes para publicar sus opiniones y todos sus nombres han sido borrados para proteger su privacidad.

During our 2022 virtual conference, ICAI was thrilled to bring back the annual awards to recognize individuals and institutions who have gone above and beyond in the work of academic integrity.  During the awards ceremony in which we also celebrated the 30th anniversary of ICAI, we recognized the nominees and the winners of five different awards.

The Waldvogel Exemplar of Integrity Award recognizes one individual for demonstrating courage and perseverance in championing the ideals of academic integrity in the face of opposition and adversity. It is intended for an individual who has demonstrated the sixth fundamental value - courage - to champion the ideals of academic integrity in building a culture of integrity.

This year we had two nominees for the Waldvogel Exemplar of Integrity Award:

The first nominee was LaShonda Anthony from George Mason University.  One nominator said, “Dr. Anthony always tried to look out for the best interest of the students in the honor code process, while always maintaining a fair and equitable process. Even, before COVID, Dr. Anthony managed a mountain of a caseload, with minimal staff. However, since COVID her ability to not only motivate her staff but to get in the trenches with her staff to stay on top of our caseload was nothing short of a miracle.” Another nominator stated, “LaShonda is the leader of this often overlooked work that is so important for our students as they navigate college and learn their own ethics for what's next.”

The second nominee was Jessie Townsend from the University of South Carolina.  One of the nominating letters stated, “During the last academic year, Jessie demonstrated courage and perseverance in the face of opposition and adversity when his supervisor departed the institution, and the office received the highest amount of referrals ever. Jessie continued to adjudicate his cases with diligence and grace. In addition to assuming some of his supervisor’s responsibilities, Jessie managed to continue to facilitate our newest initiative, a certificate program with our Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE).”  Another stated, “Members of ICAI are familiar with the unfair assumption that its members are administrative sticklers. Jessie proves we are the opposite in the way he champions the ideals of academic integrity, the ways that he subscribes to our founders’ ideas that academic integrity takes a village, and that building a culture of integrity requires a foundation of compassion, understanding, and commitment to voicing our common goal of student success.”

This year the Waldvogel Exemplar of Integrity Award was awarded to Jessie Townsend from the University of South Carolina. A final statement from one of his nominators was “In his meeting with students regarding possible Honor Code violations, he checked in on their mental health and well-being. The number of thank you emails he received was rewarding, with one student commenting that her Honor Code hearing administrator was the first person to ask her how she was really doing.”

The Tricia Bertram Gallant Award for Outstanding Service is named for Dr. Bertram Gallant who has consistently gone above and beyond while working toward a culture of integrity across the globe. This award recognizes and honors academic and practitioner members of ICAI who have during the previous academic year provided outstanding service to their institution or to the community regarding academic integrity.

This year we had five nominations for the Tricia Bertram Gallant Award for Outstanding Service. 

The first was Emilienne Akpan from the American University of Nigeria. One of her nominators wrote, “On interdepartmental collaborations, in the past, the writing center partnered with the faculty in the English department for research writing seminars for graduate students. As a member of the AUN Academic Integrity Council, Mrs. Akpan has worked diligently with Judicial Affairs to promote the culture of academic integrity on campus.”

The second nominee was Artem Artyukhov from NAQA-Ukraine. A nominator wrote, “Dr. Artyukhov actively participated in the development of academic integrity culture at the national level by organizing joint activities of the National Agency Ethics Committee and the sub commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine on academic integrity to develop regulatory documentation for academic integrity assurance of higher education, provided training for accreditation experts on academic integrity, and worked with the National Agency working group to draft a national law on academic integrity.” His nominator also made mention that he uses gamification with students, using minecraft to promote academic integrity.

The third nominee was Courtney Cullen from the University for Georgia. Her nominator said, “She initiated a year-long virtual Faculty Listening Tour of 21 UGA departments in 2020 with a comprehensive report to the Educational Affairs Committee in March 2021.  Courtney also proposed a complete re-write of our institution’s academic integrity policy, to make it more readable and to include a new remediation program, and successfully navigated legal and faculty affairs and multiple committee meetings culminating in the new policy’s approval by University Council less than a month ago.”

The fourth nominee was Amanda McKenzie from the University of Waterloo.  Her nominator wrote, “she has been a key member for executing the ICAI contract with the American Councils to build up Ukraine’s system of quality assurance and academic integrity. She has conducted numerous full day (virtual) workshops for the project, as well as coordinated the project behind the scenes.”  Another said, “every year Amanda mobilizes individuals from across the country to develop an engaging program, deliver interactive activities during the Canadian Consortium day. I have often heard my compatriots declare that the Canadian Consortium Day is their favourite part of the ICAI conference.”

The fifth nominee was Laurie McNeill from the University of British Columbia. A nominator said, “Over the past years, but in the last year specifically, she has gone above and beyond to work towards building a culture of integrity at the University of British Columbia. Her scholarship and practice have planted the seeds for institutional change and her mentorship and service work have been vital to implementation.”  They also said, “Dr. McNeill was the Principal Investigator for “Our Cheating Hearts”, a project supported by UBC’s Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund (2017-2020) that looked at how to foster an educative approach to academic integrity on campus and incorporate academic integrity into the curriculum. This project resulted in the creation of resources for faculty around academic integrity but also a shift in approach and awareness.”

The awards committee felt that all five nominees definitely have done outstanding work over the past year, but wanted like to recognize three as award winners. The award winners for the Tricia Bertram Gallant Outstanding Service Award were Artem Artyukhov, Amanda McKenzie, and Laurie McNeill.

The ICAI Student of Merit Award is given to a current student (either pre-college, undergraduate, or graduate student) who has demonstrated passion and motivation towards creating a culture of academic integrity.

The first nominee for the student of merit award was Tushita Tandon from the University of California, San Diego. One nominator wrote that when classes switched to remote, Tushita saw that she had a little extra time and bandwidth and wanted to brainstorm with me other ways that we could promote integrity on campus. She understood that the move to remote and the stress of current events would make maintaining integrity even more challenging for her peers. She was eager to find any creative ways we could to assist our community in staying connected to core integrity values.  Another nominator wrote, “If you could ask Tushita why she, a cognitive science major with a specialization in neuroscience, chooses to spend 10-20 hours of her weeks with the Academic Integrity Office, she would likely tell you quite simply “because integrity matters”.

The second nominee was César González Lozano from University of Monterrey.  One nominator said of César, “I admire him because he stands for what he believes and says. He defends the honor, truth and the learning of integrity among students.”  Another said, “One of his main attributes is the empathy and connection he has with students who commit an act of academic dishonesty, either when listening to them in a hearing or when he adopts the role of peer educator of a student who is going to have a hearing before the Honor Council, because he does not only explains the process and accompanies them during it, but also helps them reflect on their actions and advises on how to be better and what strategies they can have to improve their academic performance, achieving a change of attitude in the students with whom he talks.”

The third nominee was Grace VerWeire from the University of Buffalo.  One nominator said, “Grace has had a unique impact on the student body by personally inspiring academic excellence in her peers, role modelling courage and honesty, and volunteering to create and implement new initiatives that will certainly outlast her time on campus.”  They continue by saying, “Grace recently changed her major to Law and has shown a potent and steadfast commitment to ethics in many realms. Her interest in studying law comes from a profound commitment to universal justice, inspired by her lived experiences and the hardships of those close to her. She knits the values of her ambassadorship with her outside life, speaking out with care and determination when she sees her peers and colleagues being led down the path to academic dishonesty – just recently, Grace thwarted an entire class from using a group chat to share test answers, and she reflects on that experience with pride and satisfaction.”

These three students give me much hope for our future in building a culture of academic integrity.  The award for the Student of Merit went to Tushita Tandon from the University of California, San Diego

The ICAI Culture of Integrity Award recognizes one campus or institution for their outstanding ability to create a culture of integrity during the previous academic year.  The Culture of Integrity award is intended for institutions who have had success with a program or initiative to create or mold a culture of integrity among the constituents of their own institution.

The first nominee for the culture of integrity award was The University of South Carolina.  The nominator stated, “our office’s approach to addressing academic misconduct during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and online learning was to cultivate a culture of integrity by ensuring that it was a campus effort. This was achieved in numerous ways with the central goal of prioritizing proactive measures rather than focusing on reactive measures for academic integrity.”  They also stated, “In the summer of 2021, our office revised the University’s Honor Code to proactively combat the issues of contract cheating and study sites.  Lastly, Since the start of the Spring 2021 semester, our office has facilitated 13 virtual sessions for our certificate of completion program through the Center for Teaching Excellence. The certificate, Fostering Proactive Learning Environments (FPLE), has served to effectively train faculty on proactive academic integrity strategies aligned with pedagogical approaches and addressing behaviors of academic misconduct.”

The second nominee was University of Monterrey (UDEM).  The nominator stated, “We particularly highlight UDEM efforts to work day by day to accomplish its mission of strengthening the culture of academic integrity in the university community in an intentional, holistic and sustained strategy through its Center for Integrity and in turn achieve three objectives: to have an honest campus free of corruption, to maintain synergy with educational institutions and civil organizations in favor of integrity and legality, and to conduct research in this area as well as offer courses and consultancies to promote upright behavior through its ethics institute.”  A fellow institution said of UDEM, “UDEM has collaborated in a biannual publication that seeks to promote the topic of academic integrity in educational institutions in Latin America. And the members of the UDEM Integrity Center are genuinely concerned about students and how to ensure that they experience the university with academic integrity. This Center has sought to promote the values of academic integrity through an Honor Code, campaigns and activities for students, and training programs for professors.”

The third nominee was Penn State University.  A nominee said, “the University has had, for many years, local cultures of integrity that have been formed and maintained by administrators and educators who have published, presented, and led within their local integrity communities. The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic made obvious the need for a more cohesive culture of integrity. University leadership established a committee charged with providing guidance to both educators and students across the Penn State community. Those efforts led to many wonderful resources, new modes for collaborative efforts, and a sincere interest in a cohesive culture of integrity, from which have grown a new web of initiatives which stretch across the university and now serve as the enhanced foundation for our cohesive culture of integrity.”  Two specific initiatives are the University Academic Integrity Leadership Community and the Academic Integrity Digital Workflow Application.

These institutions are all role models for how we can all build a culture of integrity. The winner of the Culture of Integrity award was University of Monterrey (UDEM).

The ICAI Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes and honors academic and practitioner members of ICAI who have made significant contributions to academic integrity over their lifetimes. Award recipients represent the most influential individuals in academic integrity. It is the highest honor to be given by ICAI. The Lifetime Achievement Award is intended for individuals with at least 10 years of documented accomplishments in academic integrity and who have had a significant impact on a large number of individuals and organizations.

The recipient of the ICAI lifetime achievement award for this year has had over forty years of experience in higher education encouraging integrity throughout his work.  He was involved in the initial development of the Academic Integrity Policy back in 2012 at his current institution.  The committee’s work led to the development of a policy that has been embraced by faculty, staff, and students, on UA’s campus, and it is still in place today. Additionally, key elements of the policy have been discussed and utilized by other universities.  Five years later, he assessed faculty buy-in to the policy.

Though his tenure, he has published multiple times in academic integrity and ethics while also being a common presenter at ICAI conferences.   His nominator states, “he has relentlessly advocated to keep academic integrity at the forefront of campus-wide discussions throughout his career.” It goes on to say, “his commitment to this issue has impacted our campus at all levels and his work will felt for years to come.” Another nominator states, “this individual’s commitment to academic integrity is evident through his research, teaching, and service to his college and other colleges and universities.”

It is with great respect for decades of service to higher education and academic integrity that the ICAI lifetime achievement award was awarded to Timothy Paul Cronan of the University of Arkansas.

I want to thank everyone who took part in the nomination process.  We are excited to have these annual awards back to be able to truly honor those individuals and institutions doing superb work.

Plagiarism remains at the forefront of academic misconduct and academic integrity conversations. Unfortunately, the behavior is often described differently by institution and discipline. With so many policies on plagiarism, it can be challenging to find resources that best address the behaviors. Over the last year, I have worked with incredible authors, including ICAI members and scholars Courtney Cullen, Sarah Elaine Eaton, Jen Simonds, and Salim Razi. These and several other authors helped develop a student success resource, offering standard definitions of academic integrity and various forms of academic misconduct, such as plagiarism. The objective was simple: to work together to create a definition and guidance that capture misconduct more universally while supporting student success. Books such as David Rettinger and Tricia Bertram Gallant’s Cheating Academic Integrity: Lessons Learned from 30 years of Research (Jossey Bass), and Sarah Elaine Eaton’s book Plagiarism, tackling tough topics in Academic Integrity (ABC-CLIO) speak to this with more nuance. In addition, there are growing collaborative efforts to develop common, easily accessible language for students and faculty to promote academic integrity, prevent plagiarism, and increase student success. One such international example includes research lead by Martine Peters through a collaborative grant, the Social Sciences and Humanites Research Council SSHRC Partnership on University Plagiarism Prevention (PUPP).

After reviewing plagiarism tutorials to understand more about available resources, I found commonality and opportunity that help to make sense of the available information. I began by searching plagiarism tutorials. To understand the content, I sought accessible resources with eight considerations:

  1. Is the resource open access? (No log-in or cost required to view)
  2. Does the resource define plagiarism?
  3. Does the resource specify context? (Plagiarism type, university or organization affiliation, college or university policy)
  4. Does the resource reference consequences in policy or law?
  5. Does the resource offer suggestions on preventing plagiarism?
  6. Does the resource offer examples of plagiarism or clear examples?
  7. Does the resource note or link to additional resources on the topic?
  8. Is the resource in alignment with the fundamental principles of Academic Integrity?

I limited the resource list by checking for up-to-date links (and up-to-date resource links). The good news? There are fantastic resources available-- too many resources to share here. The resulting list is based on google search placement, strategically including domain identifiers that broaden to be inclusive as a brief blog post might allow.

Below is a sampling of the resultant links by characteristics that may be helpful. While many of the links meet multiple categories, this list intends to provide examples at a glance. I encourage you to visit related websites at your institutions and use this list to refine further the information you receive and share about plagiarism. All sites are live and adhere to the requirements above as of March 2022.

Library Guides

Librarians are the heroes of this post. College and University Library guides (LibGuides) are an excellent source of information on plagiarism. With links to school policies, definitions, and examples, LibGuides are a comprehensive, open-access source of information for students and faculty. Librarians are sought after, trusted sources of information on plagiarism. There are too many great examples to include in this post, but I encourage you to thank your librarian and visit the LibGuide resources.

Plagiarism Tutorials and Games

Tutorials are interactive tools that require engagement from student participants. Tutorials offer definitions of plagiarism and dive deeply into institutional expectations on the topic. Gamification elements offer an additional measure of engagement. Many institutions combine plagiarism with academic misconduct policy tutorials more generally. The selected tutorials are specific to plagiarism and are examples that demonstrate active learning in context.

Certificates and Tests

Check your understanding of plagiarism and appropriate citation practices by completing these assessments. The examples listed here offer participants a certificate of completion. The best part is that these are entirely free to use and do not require a log-in!

Video Tutorials

Video is a popular way for students to quickly take in information to prevent plagiarism. Many lib guides also link to videos. Here are a few that may be of interest:

3rd party tutorials

The majority of tutorial examples are associated with educational institutions. Despite this, students regularly view external, easily accessible content. Therefore, the examples included in this list do not represent any endorsement.

In closing, here are a few things I have noticed while searching.

Tech check: More and more institutions use Learning Management Systems (LMS) to house academic integrity tutorials. While this is very helpful for tracking information, a consideration is that it is not publicly accessible when log-ins are required.

Librarians lead the way: Libraries are likely to house plagiarism tutorials. Partnership with libraries goes a long way in understanding plagiarism expectations.

Partner with students: There are few examples of student-generated content in tutorial form, despite the incredible work of peer educators and integrity board members. Partnerships are an excellent opportunity to tap into student expertise, relevance, and perspective.

Check links. As with all resources that include live links, regular checks to ensure that links are working correctly and map appropriately are necessary.

Beware of information overload. Be mindful of the vast array of materials available. Students may feel overwhelmed with the amount of information shared. Instead, consider being strategic, scaffolding new opportunities for students to refine their understanding of plagiarism.

Have an example of a great tutorial? Share it in the comments, and we can compile a list!

 

*This resource is fully interactive and includes a pdf version, though individuals seeking a certificate must log in using institutional credentials

In thinking about your policy, some questions may come to mind:

  • When was your academic misconduct policy last revised?
  • Who was involved in the revision process?
  • How many stages of reviewing took place?
  • What new elements were introduced that were not previously considered in the earlier version?
  • Were the changes related to process?
  • Were they focused on updating language to make it more accessible?
  • Were they to modernize the policy?
  • How often should we review academic misconduct policies?
  • What makes for revisions that are well informed?
  • What makes for revisions that are well received by the campus community?
  • How do you create buy-in from stakeholders when considering revisions?

Whether your policy was revised quite some time ago, perhaps within the last year, or maybe you are going through the revision process right now, I encourage you to think about your approach to completing these revisions.

Over the last two years, I have thought a lot about what goes into an academic integrity policy. Not only are we currently exploring revisions to the Honor Code for Emory College of Arts & Sciences, but this was the topic for an article that I co-authored with Christian Moriarty (St. Petersburg College) for the special edition of the Journal of College and Character titled: “Justice and Consistency in Academic Integrity: Philosophical and Practical Considerations in Policy Making.”

In our research, we developed a framework to analyze how the values of justice and consistency collide in the way we shape our academic integrity policies.

Consistency is the value of dependability, reliability, stability, even uniformity. The more consistent our process is, and consistent the outcome from the process is, the more all stakeholders can rely upon stability and trust in the system, the more likely it will be respected and followed.

Justice is the value of evenhandedness, righteousness, reasonableness, and getting a fair shake. The more just our process, through such things as proportionate punishments that align with the violation, through students and faculty alike being heard, through community values being considered, through recognition of bias and privilege and reducing their harms, we arrive at a more just result.

Often, these two values are in conflict with one another, and concessions must be made in policy formulation, but to what end? As professionals and practitioners in the academic integrity bubble, we must dance the fine line of the two to ensure our policies are not imbalanced.

In practice, I have been able to consider how the values of justice and consistency weigh into the policy that we are working to revise. In exploring these two values, it led me to think about how we use language in our current policy. Using accessible language can lead to a process that is more approachable and break down barriers for students. While our revisions will not be substantive changes that reshape how we resolve instances of academic misconduct, it did create an opportunity to think carefully about the language we use in our policy to further embed the value of justice in our policy and our process.  

I encourage you to join us in exploring the common features and key stakeholders, how they support (or distract) from a policy’s ability to embody the values of justice and consistency, and directing the conversation towards solutions to these challenges and their limitations. As we present our research on Tuesday, March 8 at 3:00pm, we hope to bring awareness to the importance of reviewing academic integrity policies in the context of our respective institution’s values to improve them for the students impacted by them.

The recent unprovoked invasion by Russia into Ukraine has caused members of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) to take a moment to reflect on the work that our Ukrainian colleagues have been doing to enhance the culture of integrity within their institutions and communities. 

Through workshops and webinars across Ukraine, members of ICAI have spent the past several years in collaboration with the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance in Ukraine to educate leaders about integrity within the institution of higher education as well as their communities. Many discussions have revolved around the six fundamental values of academic integrity (and integrity in general): honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage.  It is the final value, courage, that we hope our colleagues maintain during this difficult time. 

This courage has inspired ICAI to stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian academic community by supporting the letter from the National Agency for Higher Education Quality Assurance in Ukraine to Ministers of Education and E4 organizations of the European Higher Education Area (Ministers responsible for the education of European Higher Education Area states, European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, European Students’ Union, European University Association, and European Association of Institutions in Higher Education) to suspend Russia’s involvement in the European Higher Education Area, Russian institutions’ memberships in the EUA and the EURASHE, and halt all collaboration with Russia’s higher education and scientific institutions. 

ICAI remains dedicated to promoting ethical communities globally; therefore, we must not be silent about the current destruction and devastation in Ukraine.  Please join us in honoring the courage of our Ukrainian colleagues and friends by supporting them as they face the dire circumstances in their homeland. 

 

Camilla J. Roberts, ICAI President

Imagine yourself outside, in the summer, tending to your garden. You may be pruning back a rose bush, rotating the soil, adding fertilizer, planting seeds, or watering. You tend to each plant with the specific type of care, soil and water levels it needs. You perhaps even enjoy a casual conversation with your favorite plant, spending a bit of extra time with it.

You do this because you know that flowers can’t bloom and plants can’t grow without essential elements. You might even do this because you enjoy seeing things come to life, grow and flourish. Perhaps you do it because gardening provides you with a working meditation, and while you’re cultivating the garden, you are cultivating your mind.

Academic Integrity is not dissimilar to our garden plants. It requires a constant gardener to tend to it, to give it the environment that it needs to flourish, grow and root deep into the soil of the organization. When Moss Kanter (1988) wrote “When a thousand flowers bloom”, she argued that social innovations are naturally “uncertain, fragile, political and imperialistic” (p. 172). So, in order for the innovation to root within an organization, the environment must be intentionally structured and prepared to welcome the innovation. Without such intentional agency of people at all levels of the organization, a social innovation like academic integrity will likely fail to root into the depths of the organization’s soil.

This idea of rooting an innovation within the depths of an organization provides the theoretical foundation for the creation and implementation of ICAI’s Academic Integrity Rating System (AIRS). AIRS, originally created in celebration of ICAI’s 20th Anniversary in 2012, has been recently updated to reflect what we have learned over the last 10 years about how we can root academic integrity and change organizational culture. 

The intent of AIRS is to provide colleges and universities with the essential elements needed to root academic integrity into their soil and to allow it to flourish and grow. In other words, the essential elements for creating a culture of integrity, which is a known requirement for reducing cheating and enhancing integrity (McCabe & Trevino, 2002).

What are these essential elements? In this new version of AIRS, we group the essential elements under 7 components: 

  1. Administrative Leadership & Support
  2. Faculty Engagement & Support
  3. Staff Engagement & Support
  4. Student Engagement & Support
  5. Education & Communication
  6. Policies & Procedures
  7. Research & Evaluation

Think of each component as akin to the essential elements needed for a healthy garden: the water, temperature, soil, bed, fertilizer, winter care, and summer care. Within each component, there are indicators - evidence of the progress of rooting academic integrity into the organization’s soil. Think of the indicators as akin to the signs that your plant is healthy: the depth of the roots, root health, the number of blooms, the vibrancy of colors, the length of the bloom, the quantity of fruit or vegetables produced from the plant, and so on. Each component has indicators of course, but not all have the same number given the power or ability of a component to cultivate academic integrity varies. 




These seven components and their indicators tell us what needs to be in place to create that culture of integrity, a state of the organization in which integrity is so normalized and routine that it is “just the way we do things around here”. AIRS then helps institutions determine how rooted each indicator, and thereby each component, is within their organizational culture. It does this by providing descriptions of what the indicator looks at each phase of change as in the example in the table. Under the Faculty Engagement & Support component, is the Knowledge & Awareness indicator at the Starting Gate, or is it at the Emerging, Developing or Transforming stage?

AIRS

To return to our garden analogy, the Starting Gate would be akin to you determining you’d like a garden and you’re getting ready to build and fill it. At the Emerging stage, you would have planted some seeds and you’re now seeing some sprouts and sprigs growing up from the ground. At the Developing stage, your garden would be full with plants, but still requiring a lot of care to ensure they keep flourishing, and maybe there is not yet as many blooms, fruits or vegetables as you expect are possible. And finally, your garden at the Transforming stage would be established and healthy, producing plenty of blooms, fruits and vegetables, and while it still needs constant care and attention, it has taken on a life of its own and can withstand the occasional threats or pests as long as those threats and pests are not allowed to spread or persist.

AIRS is a rubric - a self-assessment tool - that enables institutions to dig into their academic integrity activities to see what they are doing well (causes for celebration) and where there are areas for improvement (target points for resources and efforts). AIRS is also a great conversation starter; a quick self-assessment by a key administrator can identify questions they want to ask or people they want to contribute. AIRS should be used at multiple points in time, for example when an institution is just beginning its work to truly assess the institutionalization of academic integrity and then again later when there has been concerted effort and the institution wants to assess its progress.

The updated AIRS will be released later this year after some beta testing of the instrument by ICAI members. If you would like to learn more about AIRS, I invite you to join us on March 10th at 11:00 am EST for our session at the 2022 ICAI Conference. Click here for more information on the ICAI Conference and to register. If you are unable to attend the session, but would like to learn more about AIRS and participate in the beta testing, please fill out this form.

References

McCabe, D. L., & Trevino, L. K. (2002). Academe, 88(1), 37-41.

Moss Kanter, R. (1988). When a thousand flowers bloom: Structural, collective and social conditions for innovation in organization. Research in Organizational Behavior, eds. Staw BM and Cummings LL, 10, 169-211.

In the last few years, academic integrity and misconduct have become hot topics at colleges and universities around the world. There has been coverage in the academic industry press and the broader media including the New York Times, Financial Times, and major US network news. ICAI remains at the forefront of research and practice in academic integrity and as part of our mission, we have developed the most comprehensive survey on academic integrity available for students.

As described on this blog in August, the survey is an updated version of the seminal work by ICAI founder Dr. Donald McCabe and the revision continues to bear his name and influence. It contains sections on key variables that will be of interest to both researchers and institutions like:

  • A comprehensive inventory of misconduct behaviors, including specific items directed at measuring contract cheating
  • A set of items about how students perceive the academic integrity climate at their school
  • Measures about students beliefs about cheating, including how morally wrong it is, and how easily it can be justified
  • Measures of students’ attitudes toward school that can influence their academic misconduct behavior.

The survey was validated with over 2500 student participants at institutions that include a large US research university, two smaller universities in the US, including one that is predominantly minority-serving, and a large minority-serving community college in Canada. This provided a sample of diverse undergraduate and graduate students to help ensure that the measures in the survey are reliable and valid.

Results of the validation study were strong, indicating that each measure is both internally consistent and related to the other measures in the way that theory would predict. This is the first time in the long history of ICAI that these measures have undergone rigorous psychometric testing. The testing yielded some interesting new findings: for example, we were able to validate that cheating behaviors are generally correlated, so that a student who engages in one is more likely to engage in others. Beyond that, though, the data revealed that there are clusters of associated misconduct behaviors. Contract cheating, misuse of sources, inappropriate collaboration, and fraud all seem to have key aspects in common.

Now for the exciting part! The manuscript summarizing these findings has been submitted for peer review in the expectation that these measures will be freely available for scholars to use in their research. A preview of the results will be presented at the Annual Conference in March 2022 as well.

ICAI has also made the survey available to members as an assessment tool. As we said in August, we would like to “ provide institutions with actionable data to enact meaningful change.” Participating institutions will be able to make comparisons over time and with the other institutions in the survey. ICAI will also be able to speak authoritatively about the state of academic integrity worldwide based on these data.

Non-member institutions can participate in the North American benchmarking study at no cost by joining ICAI. Versions of the survey are available in English (optimized separately for the US and Canadian contexts) and Latin American Spanish. Fee waivers are available to institutions in need. To learn more about the survey, the partner manual is available online here. If your institution might like to participate, contact to learn more. If you are ready to sign your school up, complete the partner portal, which asks about your institution’s survey needs.