BC Academic Integrity Day (BC AID) 2021: Recap

October 16, 2021

BC Acdemic Integrity Day 1 2021-10-15 at 10.25.42 AMThis virtual event was hosted by Douglas College, with presenters from across British Columbia on Friday, October 15, 2021. At one point, I counted 123 participants in the virtual meeting room.

Welcome to the BC Academic Integrity Day

BC Acdemic Integrity Day 2 2021-10-15 at 10.25.59 AMJanette Tilley, Associate Dean, Faculty of Language, Literature and Performing Arts, Douglas College, opened the event with a land acknowledgement.

Thor Borgford, Vice President Academic and Provost, Douglas College, offered welcoming remarks. He commented that although academic integrity has been important for a long time, things have changed over the past five years, and particularly during COVID-19. He noted that looking for solutions through enforcement is not the way to go, but instead it is important to promote academic integrity so students have skills they can take with them after graduation.

Tod Denham, Exams Department Supervisor, TRU and founding member of the BC Academic Integrity Network, spoke about the history of the BC Academic Integrity Network (BC-AIN). Talked about attending a number of academic integrity events, including the first Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity at the University of Calgary. From there they organized the first BC-AID at TRU in 2019, where BC-AIN was born. He offers appreciation to Douglas College for hosting this second BC-AID.

Janette Tilley introduced the other members of the organizing committee for the conference:

  • Tod Denham (TRU)
  • Jaclyn Stewart (UBC)
  • Ainsley Rouse (UBC)
  • Arlette Stewart (SFU)
  • Marian Anderberg (TRU)
  • Laura Prada (UBCO)
  • Sean Zwagerman (SFU)

Keynote: “Deepening the Relational Ecology of Academic Integrity”BC Acdemic Integrity Day 3 2021-10-15 at 10.59.12 AM

Brenda Morrison, Associate Professor. School of Criminology and Director, Centre for Restorative Justice, SFU gave a heartfelt and sincere keynote address about the principles of restorative practices, highlighting the difference between traditional policy and restorative approaches to addressing cases of misconduct. Dr. Morrison generously shared this link to her slides.

Panel: “Inclusion and Accessibility in Academic Integrity”

BC Acdemic Integrity Day 4 2021-10-15 at 12.10.08 PM

Anita Chaudhuri (UBCO) moderated an excellent panel on accessibility and inclusion in academic integrity with these panelists:

  • Mitchell Stoddard, Director, Centre for Accessible Learning, SFU
  • Holly Salmon, Coordinator and Instructor, Learning Centre, Douglas College
  • Laurie McNeill, Professor of Teaching, Dept, of English Language and Literatures, UBC
  • Lisvet Parra Montas, former Writing and AIM Consultant and student, UBC

Some key points shared during the panel for me were:

  • There continue to be many barriers for students including barriers to learning, as well as barriers to navigating higher education systems.
  • Discrimination, along with equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) are topics we must continue to address.
  • Universal design for learning (UDL) helps all students learn with integrity.
  • It is essential for us to listen to students and pay attention to their experiences.

After the panel, there was a lunch break.

Forum: Resource Sharing

After lunch Jackie Stewart (UBC) facilitated a session for participants to share resources related to academic integrity.

Laura Prada (UBCO) shared an academic integrity awareness campaign including resources for faculty members, a Zoom background and some tote bags they are giving away as prizes.

Maggie Ross (Langara College) shared a toolkit for faculty, Encouraging Academic Integrity Through a Preventative Framework, that was showcased on the ICAI blog. Maggie also shared a meme contest they have organized for and a badge they’ll wear to pledge integrity during Academic Integrity Week.

Arlette Stewart (SFU) shared a number of resources, including:

  • SFU’s assignment calculator for students
  • Information about an upcoming webinar on restorative practices in the classroom, Dr. Sheri Fabian, Director of the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines “Beyond the Classroom: How an incident of academic dishonesty kept someone out of prison” on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. PST. Here is the link to register.
  • And a couple of suggested syllabi statements from SFU, such as this one and this one.

Colleen Pawlychka from Douglas College shared her academic integrity resource and talked about how she teaches her students about academic integrity in her classes.

I shared that the University of Calgary is hosting a public webinar on October 29, “Contract Cheating in Canada: Exploring Legislative Options and also the forthcoming edited book Academic Integrity in Canada.

Laurie McNeill (UBC) shared Academic Integrity Faculty Resources

Jaclyn Stewart shared – Some suggested syllabus statements from UBC: https://teachingsupport.forestry.ubc.ca/files/2020/09/Approaches-to-Academic-Integrity-in-the-Syllabus_04-Sept-2020.pdf

Jennifer Kendall shared – HOWL (Habits of White Language) by Asao Inoue, saying it “could be a useful starting point for reflecting on our assessment practices and approaching academic integrity in a more inclusive way.”

Sandra Zappa-Hollman shared a link to this podcast with valuable episodes about citing, referencing, and paraphrasing.

Panel: “Responses to Contract Cheating”

BC Academic Integrity Day 5 2021-10-15 at 2.32.46 PM

Tod Denham (TRU) moderated a panel of experts from across higher education in British Columbia:

  • Jeff Longland, Project Lead and Solutions Architect, Learning Analytics Project, UBC
  • Sean Zwagerman, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, SFU
  • Will Gunton, Chair, Dept. Physics and Astronomy, Douglas College
  • Marian Anderberg. Director, Student Affairs, TRU

Key takeaways from this panel for me were:

  • There are ways to detect contract cheating, but this work requires resources (dedicated staff and time to do the work).
  • Commercial file-sharing and contract cheating companies are particularly problematic. A shoutout to this article by Thomas Lancaster and Codrin Cortarlan was shared.
  • Need to name contract cheating institutional policy documents.
  • Contract cheating has been increasing during the pandemic and it happens across a variety of courses.
  • Contract cheating is committed by both domestic and international students, but some contract cheating companies are specifically targeting international students, including offering a shadow curriculum in other languages, such as Mandarin, and offering contract cheating as a supplementary service.
  • Companies offering to complete entire online courses on behalf of students seem to be increasing.
  • A model of progressive discipline is common, though there have been more students being suspended for academic misconduct violations including contract cheating during the pandemic.
  • Structural change is needed, including policy revision, and casting an EDI lens on contract cheating. There are myths that need to be busted about who engages in contract cheating and why.
  • Shadow courses and contract cheating companies that have local storefronts are not uncommon in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
  • Administrators have been receiving an increasing number of anonymous tips about contact cheating. It is not known if these tips are coming from legitimate students or competing contract cheating suppliers.
  • Sean Zwagerman shared the Petition: Academic Integrity Letter to the Ministry 2021.
  • Catching students will not solve the larger contract cheating problem.

Forum: Future Work in Academic Integrity in BC

Tod Denham (TRU) facilitated a closing conversation about the future of the British Columbia Academic Integrity Network (BC AIN). Janette Tilley closed the event and thanked everyone for attending.

All in all, this was a fabulous virtual event that showcased how post-secondary institutions in British Columbia are promoting academic integrity across their province.

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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 Academic Integrity Research from Canada (October, 2021)

October 15, 2021

I think this might be a record for the number of academic integrity research outputs in Canada across different venues, all published in a single week: two articles, each published in a different journal, as well as two conference presentations. It’s one thing to have a series of research outputs from a single source, such as one issue of a journal or a set of conference proceedings, but what’s worth celebrating here is that these are from multiple, peer-reviewed sources.

Hu & Zhang (2021) and Liang et al. (2021) have papers in the proceedings from Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse International Students in Open and/or Online Learning Environments: A Research Symposium hosted by the University of Windsor in June:

Hu, J., & Zhang, C. (2021). ESL student plagiarism prevention challenges and institutional interventions. Paper presented at the Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse International Students in Open and/or Online Learning Environments: A Research Symposium (Online), University of Windsor, ON. https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1048&context=itos21

Liang, A., Maddison, T., & England, S. (2021). Proactive not punitive: Strategies to prevent plagiarism and promote international student success. Paper presented at the Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse International Students in Open and/or Online Learning Environments: A Research Symposium (Online), University of Windsor, ON. https://scholar.uwindsor.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1053&context=itos21

Josh Seeland and colleagues from Manitoba published this Classroom Note in the International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology (Taylor & Francis):

Seeland, J., Cliplef, L., Munn, C., & Dedrick, C. (2021). Mathematics and academic integrity: institutional support at a Canadian college. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2021.1981472

And last but not least, the latest article from the Contract Cheating in Canada: National Policy Analysis project that I’m leading has been published in the Canadian Journal for Educational Administration and Policy. This paper reports on our policy analysis of Ontario Universities.

Miron, J. B., McKenzie, A., Eaton, S. E., Stoesz, B. M., Thacker, E., Devereaux, L., . . . Rowbotham, K. (2021). Academic integrity policy analysis of publicly-funded universities in Ontario, Canada: A focus on contract cheating. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 197, 62-75. https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/cjeap/article/view/72082

In 2018 when I co-published with Rachael Edino a literature review about existing research from Canada on academic integrity, we reported that we’d found 56 sources published over 25 years. I am so proud to see how far we have come as a Canadian community to build our research and practice expertise and mobilize that knowledge via high quality peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

In case you’re wondering if academic integrity is a field of research, it absolutely is, with high quality scholarly outputs coming out every month, from scholars across the world. Of course, I highlight outputs from my compatriots because I am happy for them and proud of their work, and we are part of a global community of scholars, educators, and professionals across the world doing this work. (Hey, colleagues in Australia and the UK, are you reading this? We are catching up to you!)

Check out these recent publications and see what we’ve been doing in Canada. It’s pretty awesome.

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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.


Webinar: Contract Cheating in Canada: Exploring Legislative Options

October 4, 2021

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: URGENT AND EMERGING TOPICSJoin us for an introductory discussion about the commercial contract cheating industry (e.g., term paper mills, homework completion services, and paid imposters who take exams on behalf of students). One question people often ask is, “Why aren’t these services illegal?” The short answer is: Academic cheating services are not currently illegal in Canada, but they are in other countries. In this session we’ll provide an overview of which countries have successfully enacted legislation against predatory industry that profits from academic misconduct. We will provide an overview of the legal structures in Canada that might facilitate or present barriers to such legislation being enacted in this country. We do not promise answers or solutions to the complex issue of contract cheating, but instead provide an evidence-base for deeper discussion.

The intended audience for this session is primarily for those in Canada interested in contract cheating from the Canadian legal context. Participants from other regions are also welcome.

By the end of this session engaged participants will be able to: 

  • Describe what contract cheating is
  • Understand how legislation against contract cheating has been enacted in other countries
  • Discover legal aspects of contract cheating in Canada and beyond

Facilitators: Alicia Adlington &  Sarah Elaine Eaton, University of Calgary
Date: Friday, October 29, 2021
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (Note: This is Mountain Time. Please convert to your local time zone)
Location: Online via Zoom

Please note: Registration will close on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (MT) and a Zoom link for the webinar will be sent the morning of the workshop.

Register now

For more information, visit the website: https://taylorinstitute.ucalgary.ca/series-and-events/academic-integrity-urgent-emerging-topics

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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.


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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Share or Tweet this: Research update: Highlights from some current projects

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 article: Understanding the academic integrity policies of publicly funded universities in western Canada

December 23, 2020

Educational PolicyThe latest article in our project, Contract Cheating in Canada: National Policy Analysis has just been published!

Stoesz, B., & Eaton, S. E. (2020). Understanding the academic integrity policies of publicly funded universities in western Canada. Educational Policy. https://doi.org/10.1177/0895904820983032

Abstract

We examined 45 academic integrity policy documents from 24 publicly-funded universities in Canada’s four western provinces using a qualitative research design. We extracted data related to 5 core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy (i.e., access, detail, responsibility, approach, support). Most documents pointed to punitive approaches for academic misconduct and were based on the notion that academic misconduct results from a lack of morals. One university used the term “contract cheating,” although nearly all categorized the outsourcing of academic work as plagiarism. Details about educational resources and supports to increase student and staff understanding of academic integrity and prevention of academic misconduct were sparse. This study signals the continuing punitive nature of academic integrity policies in western Canadian universities, the reluctance to address contract cheating directly, and the need to revise policies with deeper consideration of educative approaches to academic integrity that support students and academic staff.

Keywords: academic integrity, Canada, contract cheating, educational supports, higher education, policy

This is an open access article and is free to read and download.

For more information about this article, or the national project, 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.


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