Integrity Matters

An ICAI Blog providing the latest insights about academic integrity

 


 

It is the start of a new academic year in the northern hemisphere. As classes begin, faculty and students are coming back together to build new relationships and strengthen existing connections. Recently, I met with a student for their remediation program, and one of the things we discussed was their lack of willingness to communicate with faculty. This student had been found responsible for tampering with attendance records by signing into class and participating while not actually being in class. Where was this student? They were not skipping class because they did not wish to go; no, this student was sitting in a hospital room waiting for test results. This situation could have been avoided if the student had contacted the instructor to let them know that they were in the hospital.&n...

I recently read Nicole Campbell and Asil El Galad’s article: The hidden curriculum and its impacts on students and educators which refers to the ”unspoken lessons, messages, norms, values, and perspectives that students learn through their school experiences.” I couldn’t help but see the connections to academic integrity. We expect all students to know about academic integrity when they enter university or college, yet the fact remains – they don’t. It’s hidden.

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The Southeast ICAI conference is back! The Southeast Regional Consortium will be hosting a virtual conference with the theme this year is Connecting to Integrity. Every campus connection has the potential to increase the ethical decision-making capabilities of our students. Faculty help students navigate their courses by setting clear expectations. Students follow the behavior displayed by their peers who exemplify integrity. Staff connect students to resources that can help them complete their academic careers without compromising integrity. This symbiotic connection is maximized when students, faculty, and staff share an innate passion for integrity. This fall we are building on these connections to bring academic integrity to the forefront.

In the face of challenges ...

At the end of the academic year 2022-2023, I moderated a session called Detecting Contract Cheating: Human or Machine facilitated by Kane Murdoch, Head of Complaints, Appeals, and Misconduct at Macquerie University. The session was part of a week-long symposium sponsored by UC San Diego Academic Integrity. I must admit, when I volunteered to moderate I thought, “I don’t know anything about the topic. Why am I here? What am I doing?” Then, my thoughts settled. “I’m not here as the expert on the topic. Kane is.”

So, there I was listening to Kane about contract cheating. “What’s that now? What is he talking about? I don’t understand.” This is what most of us in higher education are feeling with generative artificial intelli...

(Editor's Note: This blogpost was created using Bard, ChatGPT-4, and Bing. The only content created by the human was my own responses as a panelist. I gave Bard the following prompt and then acted as the liaison between Bard, ChatGPT-4 and Bing, giving them each the answers from the others. As I gave Bard the answers from the panelists, it came up with the next question to ask. I did not edit the output of the three tools. I did have to remind Bard several times that it was a moderator, not a panelist and it also lied to me saying that it could moderate the panel in a GoogleChat and that it could open that chat up and invite the three of us into it! The prompt I gave Bard was: "You are a moderator of a panel with Bing, ChatGPT and me. You will ask me the questions for the panel. I w...

In a 2019 installment of the popular NPR podcast, “Hidden Brain,” Shankar Vedantam explores the cognitive challenge of making good decisions in the heat of the moment, or what he calls a “hot state.” We are poorly equipped, he says, to anticipate how we will act when thrust into difficult “emotional states.” The intensity of those experiences can be so pronounced that we quickly forget what we may have learned; as a result, we are predisposed to making the same mistakes in the future.

This phenomenon is analogous to the predicament of students who find themselves the subject of an academic integrity allegation. Once the process is over and charged emotio...

If you are an academic integrity professional, or academic integrity expert on your campus, you have likely experienced what I’ve experienced the last 9 months: repeated calls for help in responding to the release of GenAI tools like ChatGPT, Bing, Bard, Midjourney, and CoPilot. Maybe those calls came from your institutional leadership or maybe they came from the faculty, but they all likely sounded a lot like this – “how do we assure academic integrity when students can outsource their academic work to GenAI?”

It can be self-affirming when our institutional colleagues turn to us for advice. Finally! They’ve noticed that I have some expertise and can provide support during these challenging times. It’s nice to be appreciated, after all.

However, when the call...

Glass half full of water

Academic integrity is a fundamental principle in universities, ensuring fairness, honesty, and trust among students and faculty members. As an instructor of first-year students in a university perspectives course, I like to create a discussion of academic integrity. My primary focus is to define academic integrity by creating discussions around situations that may constitute violations and ask students for their opinion. One incident that transpired in my class a few years ago continues to spark discussions among my current students:

In a business math course that I taught, students have four tests during the semester. Each test has a two-day period reserved in a testing center for the student to drop in to complete their one-hour test. The dates are given at the beginning o...

Two people working at a desk.

About the orientation 

The orientation for students enrolled in online undergraduate programs at the University of Arkansas is a facilitated two-week course offered prior to their first semester. Various information and assessments are covered in the course to help students get orientated to the technology and the systems used at the university. Some of those assessments include preparing a weekly calendar, writing a short paper about ethics in the workplace, creating a success plan, etc. Students are not required to participate in this course.  

Lesson Structure and Assessments 

We can't discuss the orientation without mentioning our start student, Yvonne! She's a fictional character that we developed to give...

Two hands reaching toward each other.

About a year ago, I had a conversation with a colleague regarding academic integrity.  The catalyst for this conversation was a situation the colleague had experienced in class that day.  In her class, students were given weekly in-class quizzes for which the questions were available in advance.  As the students were taking the quiz, she noticed a student attempting to surreptitiously view answers on his phone.   Although my recollection of the situation has faded, I remember that she was devastated by this discovery.  The student was a “good student” who always participated in class and submitted assignments.  Whether or not to report the incident weighed heavily on the mind of my colleague and I know that I was not very helpful at that time in al...