Academic Integrity: Resource for Teaching Assistants

September 16, 2019

JPEG - U Have Integrity Resource for TAs.jpgAs a Teaching Assistant (TA) it can be tricky to know what your responsibilities are if you suspect or observe academic misconduct. This resource is intended to help both TAs and course instructors about the roles and responsibilities teaching assistants play in upholding academic integrity at the University of Calgary.

Teaching assistants are responsible for acting with integrity, maintaining the privacy of all parties involved and reporting any suspected or actual cases of academic misconduct to the course instructor. TAs are not responsible for confronting student(s) who may be allegedly responsible for academic misconduct and nor are they responsible for imposing sanctions (discipline). It is the responsibility of the course instructor to follow the guidelines established by their faculty for responding to allegations of academic misconduct.

Open communication between course instructors and teaching assistants is key. Establishing expectations early in the term, before issues might arise can be very helpful for teaching assistants.

It is important for teaching assistants to know they are not alone when it comes to upholding academic integrity.

This one-page tip sheet is intended as a suggested guideline to help teaching assistants figure out what to do if they encounter or suspect a breach of academic integrity. This handout is not exhaustive and it may not cover all situations. This resource was developed specifically for teaching assistants at the University of Calgary and may not apply to TAs at other institutions.

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Sarah Elaine Eaton 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.


Multilingual essay mills – New article

August 6, 2019

Notos coverMy colleague, Roswita Dressler and I have just had a new paper published. It all started when I was at an academic integrity conference a couple of years back. I was sitting next to a colleague who works in a language other than English (LOTE). The colleague suggested that contract cheating (e.g. essay mills and other forms of outsourced academic work) was a problem of the English-speaking world, asserting that there simply wouldn’t be enough of a market in other languages.

I thought to myself, “Challenge accepted!” I recruited Roswita Dressler to help me undertake a small-scale pilot study. We both have a background in language teaching and between us, we have some level of proficiency in about four languages. We were also curious about the market for academic outsourcing for younger audiences, in elementary, middle and high school.

 

The questions that guided our project were:

  1. What evidence exists that online providers offer academic work in languages other than English?
  2. To what degree are K-12 students targeted by these online providers?

We framed our study specifically within the Canadian context.

Our results showed that not only do commercial contract cheating companies market to specifically to students in Canada, they target children as young as Grade six (approximately 11-12 years old). And yes, we found strong evidence that contract cheating happens in languages other than English (ten of them, in fact).

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on contract cheating published in Canada.

The Alberta Teachers Association is the publisher and copyright holder of this article. They have given us permission to post the article in our university’s digital repository. You can access a copy of it free of charge from here:

Eaton, S. E., & Dressler, R. (2019). Multilingual essay mills: Implications for second language teaching and learning. Notos, 14(2), 4-14. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110695

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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 is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


Contract cheating: A view from three Calgary post-secondary institutions

May 24, 2019

LSAC - (Cover slide) Rossi, Eaton, Toye & Chibry

So excited to be presenting with my colleagues, Silvia Rossi (Mount Royal University), Maragaret A. Toye (Bow Valley College) and Nancy Chibry (University of Calgary) next week at the Learning Specialists Association of Canada national conference in Olds, Alberta. I am excited that sessions on contract cheating are getting accepted at national conferences in Canada. To the best of my knowledge this will be the first time that contract cheating will be talked about at this particular conference.

Check out our slides on Slideshare:

Handouts:

How to cite this presentation (APA, 6th ed.):

Rossi, S., Eaton, S. E., Toye, M. A., & Chibry, N. (2019, May 27). Contract cheating: A view from three Calgary post-secondary institutions. Paper presented at the Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) National Conference, Olds, AB.

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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity: Archive of Sessions

May 7, 2019

CSAI logo copy

I am pleased to share this digital archive of materials and artefacts from the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, which took place April 17-18, 2019 at the University of Calgary

The program contains the full schedule from the 1.5-day event, along with information on the keynote and feature sessions; 23 peer-reviewed papers; 5 posters; and 3 interactive workshops. Unlike other programs that include only a schedule and brief description, our program also includes full abstracts for each presentation, making this a useful artefact from the conference that serves to document the topics discussed and the research occurring across Canada on various topics related to academic integrity.

The slide decks archived here are shared with the permission of the author(s). We have only posted those we received permission to share, so it is not a complete list as some authors opted not to share their slides.

We are grateful to everyone who presented and shared their knowledge at the symposium. We also offer our thanks to colleagues at the University of Calgary Library and Cultural Resources who took the time to post these materials in our institutional digital repository.

Program and Abstracts

Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity: Program and Abstracts. (2019). In S. E. Eaton, J. Lock, & M. Schroeder (Eds.). Calgary, Canada: University of Calgary. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110293

Pre-conference session

Bretag, T. (2019). Academic integrity and embracing diversity. Pre-conference keynote  presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110278

Keynote presentations

Bretag, T. (2019). Contract cheating research: Implications for Canadian universities. Keynote address presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110279

Bretag, T. (2019). Academic integrity: A global community of scholars. Keynote address  presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110280

Feature presentation

Lancaster, T. (2019). Social Media Enabled Contract Cheating. Feature session  presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. https://www.slideshare.net/ThomasLancaster/social-media-enabled-contract-cheating-canadian-symposium-on-academic-integrity-calgary-18-april-2019

Peer-reviewed presentations

Blackburn, J. (2019). A question of trust? Educator’s views of contract cheating. Paper presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/JamesBlackburn7/a-question-of-trust-educators-views-of-contract-cheating

Crossman, K., Paul, R., Behjat, L., Trifkovic, M., Fear, E., Eaton, S. E., & Yates, R. (2019). Engineering integrity: Using text-matching software in a graduate-level engineering course. Paper presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110670

Dressler, R. & Eaton, S.E. (2019). Multilingual essay mills: And other forms of contract cheating in languages other than English. Paper presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110327

McKenzie, A. (2019). Enhancing academic integrity through quality assurance. Paper presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110296

Openo, J. (2019). The international dimension of academic integrity: An integrative literature review. Paper presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110295

Workshops

Ridgley, A., Miron, J. B., & McKenzie, A. (2019). Building a regional academic integrity network: Profiling the growth and action of the Academic Integrity Council of Ontario. Paper presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110308

Singleton, P., & Ricksen, M. (2019). Your guide to recognizing various forms of plagiarism and gaining insights from technology. Workshop presented at the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity, Calgary, Canada. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/110294

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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 is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


Exploring the notion of academic integrity literacy

March 16, 2019

Word Art AI literacyThe other day I was talking with Dr. Tracey Bretag about her upcoming visit to Calgary for the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity. We were talking about the topics of her keynotes for the symposium and our conversation wandered around to contract cheating. I commented that contract cheating is poorly understood, in my opinion, by many faculty members and administrators in Canada. I commented that there are people on our campus who have never heard of it, or don’t believe it to be a widespread. I said that the importance of developing of academic integrity literacy was really important.

And there it was, a term that captures the idea of bringing together the values that underpin the values we are trying to teach our students on campus, with foundational skills we need our students to learn as part of academic literacy.

Weideman offers a comprehensive yet concise definition of academic literacy in this blog post. His definition includes skills such as understanding a variety of academic vocabulary in context, making distinctions between essential and non-essential information and knowing what counts as evidence (Wideman, n.d.). The skills Weideman describes are essential for success in numerous educational contexts.

I would add that academic integrity literacy necessarily goes beyond the development of skills to include an explicit understanding of the values that underpin integrity and a conscious commitment to upholding those values.

The International Center for Academic Integrity offers an excellent guide to explain these six Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity:

  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Fairness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Courage

What is the difference between academic integrity and academic misconduct?

This is a question that people ask me often.

Integrity advocates differentiate academic integrity from academic misconduct for a couple of reasons. First, misconduct casts a negative lens on the issue, where as a focus on integrity shifts the conversation to a more positive and supportive view. Second, misconduct focuses on unacceptable behaviours or actions that can result in penalties.

Ryerson University explains this key concept: It is the student’s responsibility to know what is expected of them in university.

Memorizing a list of behaviours or skills could seem like an easy way to understand these expectations, but the concept of integrity is more complex than that. It is about taking responsibility for one’s actions and understanding what is acceptable and what is not.

When Julia Christensen Hughes came to our campus in 2017 to talk about academic integrity, she reminded us integrity is rooted in personal code related to morals and values, but misconduct is a violation of laws and standards of practice. She emphasized that values drive behaviour.

Others have mentioned the notion of academic integrity literacy before me. Karanauskienė and colleagues mentioned the term in their paper at a 2018 conference and in another short paper in 2018, as well. However, to the best of my knowledge, no one has yet offered up a concise definition of the term, so let me offer this one:

Definition: Academic integrity literacy is an inseparable combination of values, behaviours, ethical decision-making and skills necessary for academic success.

This is a preliminary definition and we need to talk about and develop further, but it is a place to start.

Here’s a quick video I put together for visual interest:

I’ll wrap up this post by sharing that I’ve just signed a book deal to explore into academic integrity more deeply. I’ll keep you posted on that in future posts, and you can be sure I’ll be digging into this notion as I write.

References

Christensen Hughes, J. (2017, November 24). Understanding academic misconduct: Creating robust cultures of integrity. Paper presented at the University of Calgary, Calgary.

International Center for Academic Integrity. (2014). The fundamental values of academic integrity (2nd ed.). https://academicintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Fundamental-Values-2014.pdf

Karanauskienė, D., Česnaitienė, V. J., Emeljanovas, A. n., Miežienė, B., & Mejeryte-Narkeviciene, K. (2018). Educating academic integrity: Obscure forms of academic misconduct at the institutions of higher education. Paper presented at the International Academic Conference, Dresden.

Karanauskienė, D., Česnaitienė, V. J., Miežienė, B., & Emeljanovas, A. n. (2018). Differences in understanding academic integrity: A Lithuanian case. Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, 3(17), 6-7. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329964165_Cheating_and_Plagiarism_in_Higher_Education_Higher_Education_in_Russia_and_Beyond_HERB.

Ryerson University. (n.d.). What is integrity and misconduct. Retrieved from https://www.ryerson.ca/academicintegrity/students/what-is-integrity-and-misconduct/

Weideman, A. (n.d.). What is academic literacy? [Blog post].  Retrieved from https://albertweideman.com/what-is-academic-literacy/

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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 is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


News story: Canadians can’t bribe their way into university

March 14, 2019

Jonathan Muma of City News Calgary stopped by campus today to talk with me about the college admissions scandal happening in the United States. The FBI investigation has led to 50 people being charged including celebrities Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman.

Many advocates of integrity and social justice have been actively discussing the scandal on social media. One key message is that parents, coaches and others in positions of authority are responsible for setting an example of integrity for young people to follow. Instead, in this case, parents and coaches have been exposed as frauds and conspirators. It begs the question: If young people can’t look up to their parents and their coaches, who can they look up to?

Not only it the entire situation a breach of institutional integrity and ethics in higher education, when we dig even deeper we can compare these stories to previous ones about African American mothers receiving jail time for trying to get their children an advantage.

This is not only a story about the corruption among the wealthy, it is also a story about white privilege and entitlement.

In the story I comment about how Canada and the US differ, but at the same time, I would add that Canada is not immune to social issues such as white privilege, entitlement or those with more money thinking they get to play by different rules. If there is one key takeaway from the college admissions scandal it is this: morality, integrity and ethics matter even before students enrol in university.

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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 is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.


Academic Integrity (AI) Tutorials in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: A National Overview

March 11, 2019

I’ve been working on a national research project with my colleagues, Jenny Miron and Laura McBrearity, at Humber College to look at what programming and supports Canadian post-secondary institutions provide to students to help them learn about academic integrity. We reviewed the websites of public higher education institutions across the country to better understand how academic integrity information is shared with students and faculty across campuses. We recently presented our findings at the conference of the International Center for Academic Integrity in New Orleans. Here’s a quick overview of our session:

Miron, J. B., Eaton, S. E., & McBrearity, L. (2019). Academic Integrity (AI) Tutorials in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions: A National Overview. Paper presented at the International Center for Academic Integrity, New Orleans, LA.

The team at Humber College created this excellent visual infographic highlighting our methods (search strategies), lessons learned and key findings:

JPG (small) - Miron, Eaton & McBrearity - 2019 Final Infographic copy

We have not published the full findings yet, though we plan to do so soon. Because there is so little research available about what kind of support (e.g. education, tutorials, modules) offer on academic integrity to Canadian post-secondary students, we wanted to make these preliminary results available now.

You can download a high quality version of this infographic here:

Miron, J. B., Eaton, S. E., & McBrearity, L. (2019). Searching Public Websites within Canadian Higher Education: Academic Integrity Tutorials [Infographic]. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1880/109916

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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 is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the Werklund School of Education or the University of Calgary.

 


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