Recap: Academic Integrity and Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum

May 25, 2022

In this post I offer my recap of this landmark event. I have noted the names and speakers and highlights the Academic Integrity and Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum, held as a virtual event via Zoom, as I remember them. I take full responsibility for any errors or omissions. I was typing in real time as people were speaking, trying to capture the essence of what they were saying. As is my custom when I am documenting academic integrity matters in written form, I have redacted the names of particular companies or commercial entities that were referred to by name orally during the session.

Poster for Academic Integrity and Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum
Poster for Academic Integrity and Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum

Before the event I was reflecting that it was 30 years ago this year that I graduated from the institutional host for today’s event. I did a bit of digging in the Saint Mary’s University archives shortly before the event and found it was 30 years and 2 weeks to the day after I graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a BA (Honours) in English, I returned as an alumna to join today’s event.

Event Recap

I noted at one point that we had 87 participants in the virtual Zoom meeting in real time.

The event was opened and facilitated by Dr. Tatjana Takseva Professor and Chair of the Senate Committee on Academic Integrity. Chair of the Academic Integrity Appeals Board (Saint Mary’s University). She introduced herself and welcomed participants. Tatjana provided background information about the online forum. She was very kind and mentioned that she and the team at SMU had been collaborating with me over the past two years on academic integrity matters. She introduced the event with a land acknowledgement recognizing that Saint Mary’s University sits ancestral lands of Indigenous peoples.

Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, President, Saint Mary’s University, offered introductory remarks to open the forum. He addressed a number of points, and one that caught my attention was his attention to the influence of technology on academic integrity. He noted that in the past, sources might have been limited to what profs put on course outline, but today it is dramatically different for students. “Technology has shifted the landscape… And that has made attributing that information much more complex than ever before.” He also talked about “custom-built essays”,  the “commodification of knowledge” and the “commodification of gaming the system”. These points set the stage for an invigorating and provocative discussion.

Tatjana Takseva then spoke about the conditions imposed by the global pandemic and the “scope and ease with which students are able to access so-called ‘academic services’” and the aggressive marketing of these services. She reviewed the format for the event, noting that each discussant will briefly introduce themselves and offer comments on what works well with regards to academic integrity and contract cheating and highlight one or two challenges. The facilitated discussion followed, with discussants speaking in order.

Discussants and Highlights

Jennifer Godfrey Anderson, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)

Jennifer spoke about the fourth phase of our academic integrity policy research project. She spoke specifically to the results for Atlantic Canada. She noted that she was not representing MUN, but instead representing our project. Spoke about reviewing the policies of 13 publicly-funded universities. As a side note, we recently presented our results at a peer-reviewed conference and you can check out our slides, which are publicly available.)

David Creelman, Chair of the Department of Humanities and Languages. Chair of Appeals University of New Brunswick (UNB) Saint John

David spoke about hiring three students to review materials from across universities and came up with some resources, one of which was 5 ways to avoid academic misconduct and spoke in the first person which they thought would be more accessible to students.

James Cormier, Associate Professor. Academic Discipline Officer, St. Francis Xavier University (St. FXU)

James shared that at St. FX, they mainly remained open during the pandemic, with 75% of classes in person last year. He talked about how many faculty members are unclear about academic misconduct. They have an entirely faculty-run process for addressing misconduct.

Daniel Downes, Professor of Communication, University of New Brunswick (UNB), Saint John

Daniel talked about the importance of internalizing integrity so that “cheating becomes a non-issue” and having a student-centred approach.

Sarah Elaine Eaton, Associate Professor. Chair of Leadership, Policy, & Governance Specialization, Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary (U of C)

I started by saying, “I feel like I have been invited to Atlantic Canada’s Debutante Ball for Academic Integrity. The fact that this event is not only being hosted by my alma mater, but is led by a professor from the very department where I earned my Honours English degree is very special because I had excellent models of ethical decision-making and acting with integrity when I was an undergraduate student at SMU.”

I spoke about Integrity Hour as our online community of practice for Canadian higher education faculty members, administrators and staff. We have weekly participant-driven conversations on topics related to academic integrity and contract cheating.

I highlighted key challenges for academic integrity as relating to equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization and Indigenization.

Geoffrey Lee-Dadswell Associate Professor and Provost Committee on Academic Integrity, Cape Breton University (CBU)

Geoffrey spoke about how academic misconduct differs between STEM fields and the humanities. In STEM students are still “handing in handwritten work”. The process for “policing cheating” look different in STEM fields, so students go to homework help sites. He notes that <Company>  says the want to ‘help’ with policing. He shared a position paper they use at CBU regarding <Company>.

“Traditional assignments in STEM courses are largely pointless now…” because it is easy to get solutions online. The outcome has to be a change to assessment… “It needs to be about process, not product”. Talks about how students rarely look at feedback. Feedback loops are needed.

Bob Mann, MPA, LLB, University Secretariat and Manager Discipline and Appeals, Dalhousie University

Bob spoke about his role at the university, nothing that he is not an academic. His #1 recommendation is to find the right people to be involved in working on these issues. Not everyone is well suited to academic integrity work.

Bob shared how at Dalhousie they have faculty-level academic integrity officer who are accountable to their deans. He has seen that some individuals require more support than others.

He also gave a shoutout to the law school students at the university who do a lot of work to support and advocate for students in misconduct cases. This “helps our system work”.

Katarin MacLeod, Associate Professor, Chair of the Academic Integrity Committee, St. Francis Xavier University (St. FXU)

Katarin notes that she was the second speaker from St. FX, giving a shoutout to James Cormier who spoke earlier. Katarin noted that at their university they changed their committee name from “academic discipline” to “academic integrity”. This is an important distinction.

She noted that if misconduct matters needs to be reviewed by a committee, there are 4 faculty members meet to consider the evidence and issue a ruling. She shared an informal anecdote regarding the prevalence of contract cheating at St. FX, noting that about 7% of academic misconduct cases have been contract cheating. In some cases, they believe these are a direct result of the kind of assessments being given to students.

Katarin noted that at their university they have already had academic misconduct cases, specifically from the social sciences in which papers have been written by bots (i.e., artificial intelligence).

She noted that they have students complete an AI module. Staring this year, this module is mandatory. She noted that students coming from high school do not understand expectations for academic integrity. In their module will include references to two-eyed seeing. She caught my attention with this wisdom when she urged that it is not acceptable to have “a White settler approach to academic integrity”.

Claire Milton, University Secretary, Senior Legal Counsel, Privacy Officer, Saint Mary’s University (SMU)

Academic integrity has been under the purview of Senate and has been overseen by faculty members who have done “yeoman’s service”, and “off the side of the desk”. They are in the process of hiring an administrator to oversee the process.

Notes that she is a lawyer, but notes that traditional legal ways of solving problems may not work from a pedagogical and academic policy perspective.

Andrew Nurse, Professor of Canadian Studies, Mount Allison University (Mt. A)

Andrew noted that he works closely with Toni Roberts, who was also an invited discussant today. They support the idea of a broader response to academic misconduct.

Academic integrity is a topic that can be easily misconstrued. He is a historian by training and noted that the discourse focuses on the problem, observing that some see the solution as better policing, but that is not necessarily their position.

The data on academic dishonesty is “confused”, noting that that self-report data is especially problematic. As students if they have ever driven faster than the speed limit and if yes, do they consider themselves a criminal? Urges everyone to avoid a “moral panic”.

A focus on policing has resulted in longer and longer policies. He contended that adding contract cheating would add to an already lengthy policy.

Andrew emphasized that it is important to address academic integrity in class. He urged participants to consider how much time they spend  in class on integrity and ethical issues. He pointed out that he has observed that faculty often do not feel equipped and knowledgeable enough to have in-class discussions relating to academic integrity. He urged participants to consider a “cultural pedagogical shift” and concluded by speaking to the need to leverage resources that already exist.

Toni Roberts. Purdy Crawford Professor of Teaching and Learning, Mount Allison University (Mt. A)

Outlined three issues they were going to talk about:

Is this a widespread problem? Questioned whether the focus on academic misconduct during the pandemic might be over-stated.

Technology – Do plagiarism detectors work? WRT to online proctoring, students see this as an invasion of privacy. The surveillance approach may not be the way to go. Talks about services that will help students circumvent these technologies.

EDID and UDL – And the intersection of these. Toni asked: How does academic integrity enforce Western ideologies?

They concluded by advocating for educational and pedagogical approaches to support academic integrity, sharing that they offer a whole module on academic integrity in his courses. Toni closed by calling for an adaptation of assessments to promote integrity.

Andy Parnaby, Associate Professor and Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, Cape Breton University (CBU)

Andy opened his comments by saying, “Pedagogy and culture may win, in the end”. He spoke about their presidential task force on academic integrity, sharing some pro-active approaches they take at CBU, including:
Charter of academic citizenship.

  • Academic integrity handbook – Pressbook
  • Module
  • Distinguished awards for students for academic integrity

They have really stressed the aspirational and educational aspects of academic integrity.

Andy noted that an institution can’t get anything done unless you are “threading together” multiple different offices and units. They have been able to integrate and focus their efforts at CBU.

He noted a “sticky issue” as being online exams. He acknowledged tensions between those who favour surveillance technologies versus those who favour alternative assessments.

Nicolas Roulin, Associate Professor and Academic Integrity Officer, Saint Mary’s University (SMU)

Nicolas opened by sharing that he is in charge of addressing academic misconduct cases in the Faculty of Graduate Studies. He noted that at SMU, they have a balance between providing light sanctions for first offences, to help students focus on learning.

With regards to contract cheating, he noted that when they look at their cases, he believes they are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. He noted that not all instructors report cheating and then spoke to the factors that lead to student cheating. He noted that collaborating with <Company> is possible, but not always easy and can require an excessive amount of time.

Madine VanderPlaat, Professor. Academic Discipline Officer, Acting Associate Vice-President, Academic and Enrolment Management, Acting Registrar, Saint Mary’s University (SMU)

Madine spoke to the shifts at SMU that evolved over the past three years, nothing how they have moved from a committee approach to their new system. She spoke about how faculty submit a form to the registrar’s office and the case is managed by an academic integrity officer (AIO). They have a template for AIO responses, but also provide additional context for the particular case, which can be helpful. She observed that their new process works much better than their previous system.

Madine also spoke to equity issues, noting that the consequences for international students can have severe repercussions. She noted that cases of academic misconduct in the case of an international graduate student is “even more agonizing” and note the emotional labour involved in managing such cases.

Martin Wielemaker, Associate Professor, Associate Dean Strategic Initiatives, University of New Brunswick (UNB)

Martin opened by acknowledging three stakeholder groups to be considered: students, faculty, and administrators. He noted that at contract cheating is illegal in Australia. Administrators need to be involved in the conversation to effect legal changes down the road.

Martin noted that it is problematic that so many cases go unreported. This creates an issue with faculty members who don’t believe in the process or it is too much work for them, so they do not pursue it. He called for increased resources for faculty. He also spoke about the need to reduce the burden on faculty members to make it easier for them to report and also to support them with how to support academic integrity in the classroom.

General discussion and closing

After Martin spoke, we had about 30 minutes remaining and engaged in a general discussion about the issues raised, with discussants offering additional insights, references and resources.

Tatjana Takseva closed the forum by thanking everyone for attending.

Overall, I found this an energizing event. It is wonderful to see colleagues from Atlantic Canada come together to discuss these topics and contemplate how they would like to continue building their knowledge and professional capacity.

Related posts:

Academic Integrity & Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum – https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2022/05/10/academic-integrity-contract-cheating-atlantic-canada-higher-education-forum/

________________________________

Share or Tweet this: Recap: Academic Integrity and Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum – https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2022/05/25/re-cap-academic-integrity-and-contract-cheating-atlantic-canada-higher-education-forum/

This blog has had over 3 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


Exploring the Contemporary Intersections of Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity

May 17, 2022
Title slide from CSSHE 2022 panel discussion: AI & AI: Exploring the contemporary intersections of artificial intelligence and academic integrity (Kumar, Mindzak, Eaton & Morrison)

For more than a year there have been small teams of us across Canada studying the impact of artificial intelligence on academic integrity. Today I am pleased to be part of a panel discussion on this topic at the annual conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE), which is part of Congress 2022.

Our panel is led by Rahul Kumar (Brock University, Canada), together with Michael Mindzak (Brock University, Canada) and Ryan Morrison (George Brown College, Canada)

Here is the information about our panel:

Session G3: Panel: AI & AI: Exploring the Contemporary Intersections of Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity (Live, remote) 

Panel Chair: Rahul Kumar 

  • Rahul Kumar (Brock University): Ethical application with practical examples
  • Michael Mindzak (Brock University): Implications on labour 
  • Ryan Morrison (George Brown College): Large language models: An overview for educators 
  • Sarah Elaine Eaton (University of Calgary): Academic integrity and assessment 

We have developed a combined slide deck for our panel discussion today. You can download the entire slide deck from the link noted in the citation below:

Kumar, R., Mindzak, M., Morrison, R., & Eaton, S. E. (2022, May 17). AI & AI: Exploring the contemporary intersections of artificial intelligence and academic integrity [online]. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE). http://hdl.handle.net/1880/114647

Related posts:

New project: Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity: The Ethics of Teaching and Learning with Algorithmic Writing Technologies – https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2022/04/19/new-project-artificial-intelligence-and-academic-integrity-the-ethics-of-teaching-and-learning-with-algorithmic-writing-technologies/

Keywords: artificial intelligence, large language models, GPT-3, academic integrity, academic misconduct, plagiarism, higher education, teaching, learning, assessment

_________________________________

Share or Tweet this: Exploring the Contemporary Intersections of Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2022/05/17/exploring-the-contemporary-intersections-of-artificial-intelligence-and-academic-integrity/

This blog has had over 3 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


Academic Integrity & Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum

May 10, 2022

Our colleagues in Atlantic Canada have organized their first-ever event on academic integrity and contract cheating. If you can attend, please support them by registering and joining in. I have attached a poster you are welcome to circulate within your own networks. I have also included some of the content from the poster in this e-mail for convenience. I do not know the deadline to register, but I would encourage you to register as soon as possible so the organizers can plan accordingly. Please share this information with your networks.

Academic Integrity & Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time

Saint Mary’s University is hosting a virtual forum on academic integrity and contract cheating in the Atlantic Canadian region.

The forum will be led by members of academic staff with practical experience in the academic integrity process at their institutions. In addition to sharing knowledge and best practices, the conversation will address challenges and lessons learned from the pandemic and increased remote delivery of curriculum. The aim of the event is to begin to develop a shared framework of practice when it comes to increased student reliance on large-scale companies promoting and selling so-called ‘academic services’ to students.

To register for this event, please send an email to:

Marie Harding

marie.harding (at) smu.ca

An access link for the event will be sent to registered participants. 

For information about this event, please contact:

Dr. Tatjana Takševa 

Professor and Chairperson of the Saint Mary’s University Academic Senate

Tatjana.Taksev (at) smu.ca

_________________________________

Share or Tweet this: Academic Integrity & Contract Cheating: Atlantic Canada Higher Education Forum – https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2022/05/10/academic-integrity-contract-cheating-atlantic-canada-higher-education-forum/

This blog has had over 3 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


CFP: Transformative Approaches to Academic Integrity in Online Learning: Perspectives in Higher Education

April 22, 2022

Book Editor: Alysia Wright (University of Calgary, Canada)
Contact: Please send any related inquiries to aihigheredbook@ucalgary.ca

Update: Deadline for proposals extended to July 15, 2022

The nature of online learning is changing rapidly, necessitating agility and creativity among educators who strive to ensure academic integrity in their courses and programs. While the principles of academic integrity remain the same across modalities, the way that these principles are enacted vary according to delivery modes, learning technologies, disciplinary pedagogies and standards, and institutional contexts.

This call is intended to identify chapters for an edited book that will elucidate diverse perspectives and ways of promoting academic integrity in post-secondary online learning courses and programs. This book offers both scholarly and pedagogical examinations and discussions of transformative approaches to academic integrity in online learning, and submissions are welcomed from higher education professionals, practitioners, and scholars. We welcome a variety of contributions from case studies to preferred practices, historical inquiries, empirical studies, literature reviews, and conceptual papers. Chapters will include substantive references to credible sources.

Potential Topics:

Pedagogy and Course Design: Chapters on this topic explore course design strategies, frameworks, and pedagogies that improve academic integrity and reduce academic misconduct in online courses and programs.

Ethical and Moral Problems: Chapters on this topic address the moral and ethical problems of academic integrity in online learning, presenting novel solutions or considerations to ameliorate these problems in online courses and programs.

Use of Learning Technologies: Chapters on this topic investigate the selection, adoption, and use of learning technologies to promote academic integrity in online learning, such as the use of proctoring software and plagiarism-checking tools.

Community-building: Chapters on this topic focus the use of community-building, networking, and shared inquiry to promote academic integrity in online learning.

Academic Integrity Literacy: Chapters on this topic discuss approaches or strategies for increasing students’ understanding of academic integrity in online learning environments in diverse institutional contexts, including departmental and disciplinary norms and expectations.

Deadline to submit a proposal: If you are interested in submitting a book chapter, send a 500-word proposal by July 15, 2022. Submit your proposal via this form for review.

Chapter proposals should clearly indicate:

  • Proposed title (Maximum 12 words, including sub-title, if applicable)
  • Purpose statement
  • Methodology or submission type (i.e., empirical research, historical inquiry, literature review, etc.)
  • Overview of topic(s) to be addressed
  • Originality and significance of the work
  • Reference list (APA 7th edition) (Minimum of 3 references)
  • Full contributor information (name, institution, e-mail, social media handles, ORCid, alternative contact information) and brief bio (~50 words)
  • Names and contact information for up to 3 potential reviewers for peer-review Proposals will be reviewed for suitability using the following criteria:
  • Substance and quality of the proposal, including the proposed source material (i.e., references)
  • English language proficiency
  • Clarity and feasibility
  • Alignment with the proposed chapter topics

Note that chapters with excessive self-citations will not be favourably received. Decisions on chapter proposals will be made by September 1, 2022 (or before) and sent to the primary contributor as indicated on the proposal submission form. Accepted chapter proposals will be used to develop the full book proposal and contributors will be notified about deadlines for full chapter submissions upon acceptance of the book proposal. Full chapters are to be 5000-8000 words, including abstract, keywords, and references (APA, 7th ed.). Chapter drafts will undergo rigorous peer review. Deadline for full chapters will be mid-2023, with an exact deadline to be confirmed once the book proposal has been approved by the publisher.

About the book editor

Alysia Wright, PhD Candidate, is an Educational Development Consultant at the University of Calgary, Canada, where she also teaches at the Faculty of Social Work as a sessional instructor. She brings more than a decade of community and educational development experience to her teaching and consultation practice. Alysia is currently the academic lead for a three-year initiative to catalyze blended and online learning at the University of Calgary, which has included the development and delivery of faculty development initiatives with a focus on pedagogy, academic integrity, and intentional use of learning technologies to promote student-centered learning.

_________________________________

Share or Tweet this: CFP: Transformative Approaches to Academic Integrity in Online Learning: Perspectives in Higher Education – https://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2022/04/22/cfp-transformative-approaches-to-academic-integrity-in-online-learning-perspectives-in-higher-education/

This blog has had over 3 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


New project: Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity: The Ethics of Teaching and Learning with Algorithmic Writing Technologies

April 19, 2022

Today the University of Calgary announced the recipients of the 2022 Teaching and Learning Grants. I’m pleased to share that our project was among those awarded funding. Here are the details of our project:

Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity: The Ethics of Teaching and Learning with Algorithmic Writing Technologies

Research Team (all from the University of Calgary)

  • Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, Werklund School of Education, Principal Investigator
  • Robert Brennan, PhD, Schulich School of Engineering, Co-Investigator
  • Jason Wiens, PhD, Department of English, Faculty of Arts, Co-Investigator
  • Brenda McDermott, PhD, Student Accessibility Services, Co-Investigator
  • Helen Pethrick, MA, Project Manager
  • Beatriz Moya, PhD student, Werklund School of Education, Research Assistant
  • Jonathan Lesage, MSc student, Schulich School of Engineering, Research Assistant

Focus area (as aligned with University of Calgary research priority areas): Innovation and entrepreneurial thinking 

Grant type: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Grants

Project scope: This project will be conducted at the University of Calgary. Data will be collected from faculty and students, upon successful ethics approval of the project.

Funding amount: $40,000 CAD

Project duration: 2022-2025

Project status

This project just received funding and have submitted documentation to have the project set up in the university systems. We are waiting for that step to be approved. In the meantime, we are preparing our application to the Conjoint Faculties Research Ethics Board (CFREB) at the University of Calgary.

Please note: This is an internal University of Calgary grant. We are not able to include any external collaborators in this particular project.

_________________________________

Share or Tweet this: New project: Artificial Intelligence and Academic Integrity: The Ethics of Teaching and Learning with Algorithmic Writing Technologieshttps://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2022/04/19/new-project-artificial-intelligence-and-academic-integrity-the-ethics-of-teaching-and-learning-with-algorithmic-writing-technologies/

This blog has had over 3 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.


%d bloggers like this: