Academic Integrity

This is such a hot topic in academia because of the prevalence of technology that makes cheating hard to detect.  I have worked with many professors who struggle with plagiarism detection software because they are not always accurate and accusing a student of cheating is a serious undertaking. The university I worked at had all students sign an honor code each semester but this did little to prevent cheating. Insisting on academic honesty helps students learn to take greater responsibility for their learning and personal conduct, which is “real world” in every sense of the phrase. (Fang, 2012). I’ve watched faculty lose sleep over confronting academic cheating but they understood that ultimately it helps students grow. 

Oftentimes technology is  blamed for “causing” academic dishonesty because of the easy access students have to Wikipedia or the ability copy and paste from Google with a few clicks. Online courses in particular lend themselves to this type of cheating. (Fang, 2012). Technologies such as Respondus Lockdown Browser (Links to an external site.) or Turnitin (Links to an external site.) prevent & detect cheating. 

I love William Astore’s eloquent statement (Links to an external site.) about academic integrity: “… [I]ntegrity gains intensity and shines forth like a beacon on a lighthouse, helping us all to avoid wrecking ourselves on the shoals of our own collective shallowness.”

Fang, B.  (2012, Sept 5.) Addressing Academic Dishonesty in the Age of Ubiquitous Technology. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Please take my 5 question QUIZ called What Do You Know About Academic Integrity? I look forward to seeing your responses and also your feedback on this discussion post!

  • Student 1 Jan 31 at 6:24pm Hi KellyI enjoyed taking your quiz. I thought the scenario questions you posed on Academic Integrity were challenging, and  forced me to think about plagiarism beyond simple rule following. So your assessment promoted my learning while you also got a sense of what I had already absorbed.   I did kind of want to know whether I got the answers correct though, and I think it would have been  another learning opportunity for the user to explain the correct answers as they went through the test (though I suspect Crowdsignal is probably not sophisticated enough to allow you to do that!) Lucy in Minneapolis 
  • Student 2 Jan 31 at 11:15pm Kelly, I liked your quiz questions as they made me stop to think and reread the questions. You used some very real-world examples that students will most likely find themselves in at some point.I did not set up a quiz using Crowd Signal, but I have used some other platforms. I am not sure if it was possible, but I would find it much more informative to have my answers graded along with a brief explanation for the correct answers to each question.  Would you normally do this for your students?
  • Student 3 Feb 1 at 5:51pm . Hi Kelly – I agree with my classmates that your scenarios were very thought-provoking.  I am always thinking in gray areas and less in anything that is a clear ‘yes’ and ‘no’. As a result, my thinking on many of the answers was “maybe” or “it depends” and I could craft an argument on either side. The result is that not only should students be aware of the institutional expectations but that the professor be very clear in their guidelines. Ultimately I think the answer is that recrafting your own previous work, group work or simply talking through your thinking with a roommate are all acceptable as long as the final product is from the student. Ellen
  • Student 4 Feb 2 at 11:45am . Hi Kelly,Great topic! This is was a hot topic after some issues in my department last year, particularly peers working together on a quiz in online course. There are a lot of possible scenarios and grey areas here that can be difficult for students to interpret. Your relatable examples are a great direction for a quiz. My department implemented an academic integrity training/quiz into Canvas. Students have to complete it every semester and submit their certification of completion. However, I see a need to make it more clear in helping students understand the tricky scenarios. As my peers stated, having the feedback would be helpful. Knowing right away if the answer is right or wrong, then knowing why or why not. Even if they got it correct, might be helpful to get the feedback in case they were unsure. If implementing this into a course, I could see having student submit scenarios/questions. 
  • Student 5 Feb 2 at 7:48pm . Hi Kelly, Your quiz was a good review of what I learned from the readings about plagiarism. Some questions really challenged me! When I took your quiz, I found I agreed to many of the comments above about quiz questions and format. It would be great to have a score displayed after taking the quiz, or perhaps feedback for correct/incorrect answers. I feel you did a great job in the overall construction of the quiz and scenarios.