Research update: Highlights from some current projects

February 9, 2021

It seems I have a lot of academic Integrity research projects on the go these days, so I thought I’d do a post about some of this exciting work and the amazing people I’ve been collaborating with.

Academic Integrity and Mental Well-Being

As part of my Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity role, I wanted to connect some of my research to the University of Calgary’s Campus Mental Health Strategy.

I’ve been working on with two terrific graduate students, Helen Pethrick and Kristal Turner on a new project, Academic Integrity and Mental Well-Being.

So far, we have one publication from this project. Exploring academic integrity and mental health during COVID-19: Rapid review was published in the Journal of Contemporary Education Theory & Research in December 2020.

Our second paper is under peer review, so stay tuned for details on that later.

Academic Integrity: Faculty Development Needs for Canadian Higher Education

This is the inaugural project associated with the D2L Innovation Guild. This project is the first of its kind in Canada. There has never before been a multi-institutional project, with representation from across multiple provinces, that has also partnered with industry in pursuit of a common unified goal with regards to academic integrity.

This collaborative, multi-institutional project included researchers from four Canadian provinces:

  • Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, Principal Investigator, University of Calgary
  • Katherine (Katie) Crossman, PhD, Co-Investigator and Study Coordinator, University of Calgary
  • Brenda M. Stoesz, PhD, Co-Investigator, University of Manitoba
  • Kim Garwood, PhD, Co-Investigator, University of Guelph
  • Amanda McKenzie, MA, Co-Investigator, University of Waterloo

We have publicly registered our project on the Open Science Framework. You can check out details about our project here.

You can check out our project brief, which is available as an open access report (Crossman et al., 2019). This project is now complete and we submitted our final reports to the D2L Innovation Guild Board on February 8, 2021.

Contract Cheating in Canada: National Policy Analysis

 This is an exciting project that I began developing in 2018. I wanted to create opportunities for Canadian researchers to do scholarly inquiry into contract cheating. I received mentorship from Dr. Tracey Bretag in the early stages of this project. She had led a team in Australia to conduct academic integrity policy research there. She coached me on how to conduct a similar project in Canada. As a result, I launched Contract Cheating in Canada: National Policy Analysis.

The specific objectives of this project are to:

  • Identify existing components of academic integrity policies and procedures related to contract cheating;
  • Identify gaps in existing academic integrity policies and procedures related to contract cheating;
  • Evaluate the policies and procedures against existing standards for post-secondary education policy (i.e., Australian Government: Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), 2017; Higher Education Academy [HEA], 2011) with a focus on supports that have been developed for students and other campus stakeholders (Bretag et al., 2011);
  • Compare supports available for undergraduate students and graduate students; and
  • Develop and communicate recommendations for policy reform.

This national project is sub-divided according to regions of Canada and types of post-secondary institutions (e.g., colleges and universities). Different teams have been involved with each of the smaller sub-projects, with individuals from a particular region studying the policies from their own regions.

We’ve already had some great publications out of this project, the most recent of which was published in Educational Policy.

Degrees of Deceit: A Study of Fake Degrees, Diploma Fraud and Counterfeit Credentials

I am working with Jamie Carmichael at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, on a project to better understand fake degrees and fraudulent credentials in Canadian higher education.

Check out our webinar recording about this work. Some very cool resources we have already produced out of this work include:

A slide deck from our webinar session.

Counterfeit Credentials: Top 13 Recommendations for Higher Education Professionals (Infographic)

Scholarships without Scruples (Infographic)

We are also working on an edited book on this topic. More details on that will be coming soon…

These aren’t all the projects I have on the go, just a few I wanted to highlight here. Feel free to get in touch about any of these projects. You know where to find me!

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This blog has had over 2 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 or anyone else.


New book Series: Ethics and Integrity in Educational Contexts

February 1, 2021

A97796_EIEC_Series_Banner_P2

I am pleased to announce a new book series, Ethics and Integrity in Educational Contexts by Springer.

About this series

The aim of this series is to provide an authoritative series of books on topics relating to ethics and integrity in educational contexts. Its scope includes ethics and integrity, defined in broad and inclusive terms, in educational contexts. It focuses on higher education, but also welcomes contributions that address ethics and integrity in primary and secondary education, non-formal educational contexts, professional education, etc. We welcome books that address traditional academic integrity topics such as plagiarism, exam cheating, and collusion.

In addition, we are particularly interested in topics that extend beyond questions of student conduct, such as

  • Quality assurance in education;
  • Research ethics and integrity;
  • Admissions fraud;
  • Fake and fraudulent credentials;
  • Publication ethics;
  • Educational technology ethics (e.g., surveillance tech, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, as they are used in education);
  • Biomedical ethics in educational contexts;
  • Ethics in varsity and school sports.

This series extends beyond traditional and narrow concepts of academic integrity to broader interpretations of applied ethics in education, including corruption and ethical questions relating to instruction, assessment, and educational leadership. It also seeks to promote social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The series provides a forum to address emerging, urgent, and even provocative topics related to ethics and integrity at all levels of education, from a variety of disciplinary and geographical perspectives.

Editorial Board

I am delighted to work with an international group scholars and experts as members of the Editorial Board:

Tomáš Foltýnek, Department of Informatics, Faculty of Business and Economics, Mendel University, Brno, Czechia

Irene Glendinning, Coventry University, Coventry, UK

Zeenath Reza Khan, University of Wollongong, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Rebecca Moore Howard, Syracuse University, New York, USA

Mark Israel, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Ceceilia Parnther, St. Johns’ University, New York, USA

Brenda M. Stoesz, The Center for Advancement of Teaching and Learning, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Forthcoming and New Books

The first book to launch the series will be Academic Integrity in Canada (Eaton & Christensen Hughes, eds., forthcoming). I will share more details about this first book when we are closer to publication, which should be in mid to late 2021.

Proposals for a number of other books to join the series are underway, with authors and editors from a variety of countries.

If you have an idea for a book to be included as part of this series, please contact me.

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This blog has had over 2 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 or anyone else.


Plagiarism in Engineering Programs: An Annotated Bibliography

January 13, 2021

Engineering Annotated Bib coverExcited to share this long-overdue annotated bibliography. We started working on this one a while ago and then COVID hit. We are excited to have completed this and be able to share this with you. We hope it will be particularly helpful for those studying academic integrity in STEM fields.

Eaton, S.E., Crossman, K., & Anselmo, L. (2021). Plagiarism in Engineering Programs: An Annotated Bibliography. Calgary, University of Calgary. http://hdl.handle.net/1880/112969

Purpose

This report documents research and related materials concerning plagiarism in STEM and engineering programs to inform and guide future work in the field. It provides an overview of the literature up to and including 2019 related to plagiarism in STEM and engineering programs.

Methods

Two research questions guided this literature review: 1. What scholarly, research, and professional literature explores and examines plagiarism in STEM and engineering programs? 2. What major themes emerge from scholarly and research literature about plagiarism in engineering? To this end, a methodical research of databases was undertaken, relevant research was compiled, and articles were summarized and categorized.

Results

Our review and search of the literature resulted in more than 30 sources, which we organized into 7 categories: (a) Background: AI in engineering; (b) student perceptions and attitudes; (c) faculty perceptions and attitudes; (d) cheating and collusion; (e) text-matching software and plagiarism detection; (f) international students and (g) interventions and reparations.

We found that plagiarism in STEM and engineering, as in other fields, is widespread among students and faculty, while policies and their implementation are often inconsistent. Calls for clearer guidelines and greater support for students and faculty resound as a consistent theme in the literature.

Implications

Plagiarism in STEM and engineering research has been slow to develop, but is a continuing field of growth. As more stakeholders become aware of the scope and complexities of plagiarism, many researchers are making recommendations for policy, policy implementation, and support through technology, education, and intervention programs.

Additional materials: 36 References

Keywords: Academic integrity, academic dishonesty, academic misconduct, plagiarism, cheating, engineering

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This blog has had over 2 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 article: Plagiarism: A Canadian Higher Education Case Study of Policy and Practice Gaps

January 8, 2021

AJER Screen ShotWe are excited to share this new article:

Eaton, S. E., Fernández Conde, C., Rothschuh, S., Guglielmin, M., & Otoo, B. K. (2020). Plagiarism: A Canadian higher education case study of policy and practice gaps. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 66(4), 471-488. Retrieved from https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/ajer/article/view/69204

This was a project that I undertook with some of our excellent graduate students at the Werklund School of Education. Our findings corroborated other studies that found faculty do not report academic misconduct, and adds to the body of evidence from Canada. Our findings showed that although pre-service teachers engage in academic misconduct, sometimes their instructors choose not to report them for it. Instead, faculty deal with such instances privately, as a “teachable moment”, without following institutional policy. This was a fascinating study to conduct and I am hoping it will be useful to other Canadian researchers, as well as others studying academic misconduct in teacher training programs.

Abstract

This mixed methods case study investigated faculty perspectives and practice around plagiarism in a Western Canadian faculty of education. Data sources included interviews, focus groups, and a survey. Findings showed that participants (N = 36) were disinclined to follow established procedures. Instead, they tended to deal with plagiarism in informal ways without reporting cases to administration, which resulted in a disconnect between policy and practice. The emotional impact of reporting plagiarism included frustration with the time required to document a case, and fear that reporting could have a negative effect on one’s employment. Recommendations include approaches that bridge the gap between policy and practice.

Key words: Academic integrity, plagiarism, Canada, higher education, faculty

Cette étude de cas à méthodes mixtes s’est penchée sur les perspectives et les pratiques du corps professoral relatives au plagiat dans une faculté d’éducation dans l’ouest du Canada. Les sources de données ont inclus les entrevues, les groupes de discussion et un sondage. Les résultats indiquent que les participants (N=36) étaient peu portés à suivre les procédures établies. Ils avaient plutôt tendance à employer des moyens informels pour traiter le plagiat, sans signaler les cas à l’administration, ce qui entrainait un écart entre la politique et la pratique. L’impact émotionnel découlant du signalement du plagiat comprenait le temps nécessaire à documenter un cas et la peur que le signalement puisse avoir une incidence négative sur son emploi. Les recommandations proposées incluent des approches visant à combler l’écart entre la politique et la pratique.

Mots clés : intégrité académique, plagiat, Canada, enseignement supérieur, faculté

Authors:

  • Sarah Elaine Eaton, University of Calgary
  • Cristina Fernández Conde, University of Calgary
  • Stefan Rothschuh, University of Calgary
  • Melanie Guglielmin, University of Calgary
  • Benedict Kojo Otoo, University of Calgary

Check out the entire issue here: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/ajer/issue/view/5241

For more information about this article please contact me directly.

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This blog has had over 2 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.


Upcoming Webinar: None of the above: Integrity concerns of standardized English proficiency tests with Soroush Sabbaghan and Ismaeil Fazel

January 4, 2021

Sabbaghan Fazel webinarThis session will bring to fore (or highlight) the oft-neglected discord between equity and integrity in high-stakes standardized language tests. The equity issues surrounding these so-called standardized language tests can potentially precipitate and predispose academic dishonesty. This presentation will discuss the ramifications of inherent inequities in high stakes language proficiency tests for academic integrity and will call for a more critical consideration of commercialized high stakes language tests. Redressing equity issues in language assessment can serve to promote academic integrity and reduce academic dishonesty.

Learning outcomes

  • Learn more about challenges to equity in high stakes language testing.
  • Recognize discords between equity and integrity in commercial standardized language tests
  • Review principles and best practices for equitable language assessment

About the presenters

Ismaeil Fazel - web sizeIsmaeil Fazel is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Education of Simon Fraser University. He has a PhD in TESL and a sub-specialization in Measurement and Evaluation from the University of British Columbia. His main research interests include English for Academic and Professional Purposes, academic discourse socialization, and language assessment. His publications have appeared in the Journal of English for Academic Purposes, English for Specific Purposes Journal, and TESL Canada Journal, among others.

Soroush Sabbaghan - web sizeSoroush Sabbaghan is a Senior Instructor at the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. He holds two PhDs, one in TESL and the other in Curriculum and Learning with a focus in Mathematics Education. His main research interests include language and mathematics education of bilingual and multilinguals, Language Learning and Technology, and ecological complexity discourses. He has publications in both Language and mathematics education journals and books.

Friday, 08 January 2021

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Calgary (Mountain) time

This session is open to the public and everyone is welcome. Registration required. Deadline to register is 07 Jan 2021.

More information and registration:

https://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/series-and-events/academic-integrity-urgent-emerging-topics

This webinar is part of our series, Academic Integrity: Urgent and Emerging Topics. This series addresses timely and emergent topics that are cutting edge, provocative or high profile in nature. The series is hosted by the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary.

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Share or Tweet this: Upcoming Webinar: None of the above: Integrity concerns of standardized English proficiency tests with Soroush Sabbaghan and Ismaeil Fazel

This blog has had over 2 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.


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