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 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.


Workshop: Exploring Racism and Academic Integrity through a Circle Process

October 16, 2020

ATESL 2020I’m excited to partner with colleagues from Norquest College and the Alberta Council on Academic Integrity to present this workshop at the Alberta Teachers’ of English as a Second Language (ATESL) 2020 E- Conference: Seeds of Possibility: Curiosity, Drive, and Innovation.

Workshop Description

In this session participants will explore and experience the Circle of Courage and circle process by engaging in a dialogue on anti-racism and racism related to academic misconduct.

The Circle of Courage (Brendtro, Brokenleg, & Van Bockern, 2005) is a model of resilience and positive development based on Indigenous values of Belonging, Mastery, Independence and Generosity. Applied together with a circle process, this way of approaching the relational space in classrooms helps create the conditions for students and instructors to engage more authentically and openly in difficult complex topics. As a holistic approach to discussion this a way to spur conversation about the dynamic faced by English as additional language learners.

Keywords: Academic integrity; Restorative Justice; Restorative Practices; Circle Process; Racism

Reference:

Brendtro, L., Brokenleg, M., & Bockern, V. (2005). The circle of courage and positive psychology. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 14(3). 130-136.

Workshop Materials

You can download our workshop materials for free from here: http://hdl.handle.net/1880/112689

Presenter bios

Sheryl Boisvert, B.Ed, CPA, CGA is currently a full-time instructor at NorQuest College. Though she has performed a variety of roles since 2001, Sheryl has found being an instructor to be the most fulfilling.  She has always believed that students gain a better understanding of the material they learn when they can go beyond textbook theory and put concepts into practice.

Nazanin Teymouri, MBA, is as an instructor at NorQuest College in the Faculty of Business, Environment, and Technology. Currently her time at the college is split between teaching and co-leading research initiatives on academic integrity. With a background in communication and business, her focus is on analysis, cultural understanding, and collaboration aimed at bettering the learning environment.

Jamie Ahksistowaki Medicine Crane is Blackfoot from Kainai and Piikani, an activist, advocate, educator, and multi-disciplinary artist. Shes very passionate in education and is currently working with NorQuest College as a curriculum developer- in regards to Indigenous education, history and perspectives, building faculty capacity, supporting curriculum development and Indigenization strategy.

Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary. She is a long-standing member of ATESL. Her research focuses on academic integrity.

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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.


Canadian Schools Have Been Preparing for a Pandemic for Years

May 26, 2020

The media makes it seem like schools and teachers around the world have been scrambling to ensure teaching and learning continuity for students. Meanwhile, in Canada, school district administrators, principals and teachers, went into their archives to find the plans that were developed for just such an emergency. You see, way back in 2003 Canada was hit hard by SARS. We learned a great deal from it and somewhere in our collective psyche, we knew it wasn’t going to be the only pandemic. As a result, school districts and boards across Canada began asking themselves, how do we prepare for a pandemic? No one had any clear answers, but they developed plans, just in case. Here are a sampling of just a few of these pandemic planning guides produced across Canada, many of them from school districts or boards. I have included the year of publication, so you can see how far back we have been publishing guidance for school administrators and teachers about how to prepare for a pandemic — These guides date back to 2005 and there were more I could not retrieve because the websites are now defunct.

All the documents I’ve shared in this post had live links to the plans at the time I wrote this post.

British Columbia

Pandemic Response Framework: and Pandemic Planning Guidelines for School Districts, British Columbia Ministry of Education (2009)

Pandemic Response Plan, School District No. 78 (Fraser-Cascade), British Columbia (BC) – 2009 

British Columbia Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan: Guidelines for Planning, Response and Recovery (2005)

Alberta

Pandemic Response Plan – Horizon School Division (2009)

Saskatchewan

A Guide for School Board Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (2015)

Manitoba

Pandemic Influenza: Preparedness Guidelines for Manitoba School Divisions and Schools (K-12) (2007)

Ontario

Pandemic Action Plan, Northwest Catholic District School Board (2009)

Renfrew County & District Pandemic Influenza Plan: A Planning Guide for Housing, Residential and Social Service Providers (2006)

Toronto Pandemic Influenza Plan: Appendix 1.2 — A Planning Guide for Schools (2007)

Atlantic Canada

Two educators from Nova Scotia, Howard & Howard (2012) published a great article on elementary school teachers’ experience with H1N1.

Canada’s doctors published years ago about how to ensure Canada’s children were safe during a pandemic (see Langley, 2006).

And Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam? Well, she has been leading research teams on publications about pandemics in Canada since 2005, too.

So don’t believe the hype. In true Canadian style, we have been quietly and modestly preparing for this for years… So, when Canadian schools and universities make decisions about what they’re going to do for the fall 2020 semester and beyond, trust us when we say that we may not have all the answers, but we sure have been thinking about all this for a long time.

Related posts:

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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.


Alberta Council on Academic Integrity: Spring 2020 Meeting

February 18, 2020

I am excited to share that the Alberta Council on Academic Integrity is planning its spring 2020 meeting!

The council was created in 2019 following the Canadian Symposium on Academic Integrity. We are comprised of a group of like-minded individuals committed to supporting academic integrity in Alberta. The council hosted its inaugural meeting in August 2019 at the University of Calgary, followed by a second meeting in October at Norquest College.

Our work is aligned with other provincial groups such as the Academic Integrity Council of Ontario (AICO), the Manitoba Academic Integrity Network (MAIN), and the BC Academic Integrity Day.

Steering Committee

There are a number of individuals committed to guiding the work of the council as it develops in its first few years. (Members listed alphabetically by institution):

  • Margaret Toye, Bow Valley College
  • Melanie (Mel) Hamilton, Lethbridge College
  • Marg Olfert, Mount Royal University
  • Nazanin Teymouri, Norquest College
  • Sheryl Boisvert, Norquest College
  • Cheryl Kier, Athabasca University
  • Sarah Elaine Eaton, University of Calgary

Lethbridge College will host the spring meeting on April 24, 2020. This will be an important meeting as we will seek approval on our council’s charter, which was presented in draft form at the fall 2019 meeting.We welcome colleagues from Alberta post-secondary institutions to join us in Lethbridge. At this point, participation is limited to those working at a recognized Alberta educational institution.

For questions about the spring meeting, contact Melanie Hamilton, Lethbridge College – melanie.hamilton (at) lethbridgecollege (dot) ca

Registration is required. Click here to register.

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Share or Tweet this: Alberta Council on Academic Integrity: Spring 2020 Meeting

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, 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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