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

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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.


CFP: Degrees of Deceit – Impact of Counterfeit Credentials and Admissions Fraud

September 9, 2020

CFP

Call for chapter proposals

Editors: Sarah Elaine Eaton (University of Calgary, Canada) and Jamie Carmichael (Carleton University, Canada)

Fraudulent credentials have existed since the days of hand-scribed parchments. However, in recent years, scandals such as Operation Varsity Blues in 2019 and 2020 in the United States have drawn renewed attention to the topic of fake credentials, university admissions fraud, and diploma mills. The issue of fraudulent credentials is a global one, and there are no academic disciplines or professions that are immune to the problem.

The Internet has made it even easier for individuals to obtain fraudulent credentials online in a matter of minutes. The platform economy that underpins this nefarious activity churns out both the good and the ugly. However, it is predicted that the ugly will diminish as technical tools become more accessible and easier to manipulate. Therefore, it can be challenging for college admissions staff to spot fake credentials given the changing landscape, particularly during admissions season, when workloads surge and demands to meet deadlines to process admissions applications are unrelenting.

The purpose of this book is to analyze the issue of fraudulent credentials and their impact on higher education admissions, as well as in professional and industry contexts. This volume offers a scholarly examination and discussion of the issues. Evidence-based submissions are also welcomed by higher education professionals and practitioners. 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.

Topics:

  • History of credential fraud: Chapters delve into this history of credential fraud, during ancient times, as well as modern times.
  • Admissions fraud in higher education: Chapters focus on issues particular to admissions fraud in higher education, including admissions test fraud and other fraudulent activities related to admissions fraud, including: transcripts, reference letters, and previous educational credentials.
  • Credential forgery: Chapters on this topic explore forged credentials (i.e., fake diplomas, degrees, and transcripts) from legitimate and reputable educational institutions.
  • Diploma mills: Chapters on this topic investigate low-quality for-profit colleges and universities, as well as business selling credentials from institutions that do not actually exist.
  • Impact on industry and the professions: Chapters on this topic address the impact of credential fraud in professional contexts and industry.
  • Introduction of technology to circumvent credential fraud: Chapters on this topic examine how technology can be employed to thwart the risk of credential fraud. This topic can span the spectrum of data protection, and the use of technologies like blockchain, to computer vision, which has the potential to detect “fake” documents or outliers.

 Contributor guidelines:

If you are interested in submitting a book chapter, send a 500-word proposal in Word format by November 1, 2020.

Chapter proposals should clearly indicate:

  • Proposed title
  • 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, phone, address, ORCid) and brief bio (~50 words)

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 February 1, 2021.

Full chapters are to be 5000-8000 words, including abstract and references (APA, 7th ed.). Chapter drafts will undergo rigorous peer review. Deadline for full chapters is June 1, 2021.

Submit your proposal in Word format to:

  • seaton (at) ucalgary.ca
  • Jamie.carmichael (at) carleton.ca

About the editors

Sarah Elaine EatonSarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Calgary, Canada, where she also serves as the inaugural Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity. Eaton’s research focuses on academic ethics in higher education. Her work can be found in the British Educational Research Journal, Journal of Academic Ethics, the Journal of Educational Thought and Interchange, among other places. She is the co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Educational Integrity (Springer Nature) and co-founder and co-editor of Canadian Perspectives on Academic Integrity. In 2020 she received the Research and Scholarship award from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) for her contributions to research on academic integrity in Canadian higher education.

Her previous books include: Women Negotiating Life in the Academy (Eaton & Burns, Eds., Springer, 2020); Academic Integrity in Canada (Eaton & Christensen Hughes, Eds, Springer, 2021) and Plagiarism in Higher Education: Tackling Tough Topics in Academic Integrity (ABC Clio / Libraries Unlimited, 2021).

Jamie Carmichael, Carleton University, Ottawa, CanadaJamie Carmichael is the Associate Registrar of Scheduling and Systems at Carleton University. She is accountable for the construction of the university timetable, scheduling and administration of formally scheduled examinations, the operation of two examination centres for students with disabilities, a university-wide space management system, implementation and maintenance of core student administrative systems (from the audit to CRM), and production of the graduate and undergraduate calendars. Since 2009, she has received eight service excellence nominations for her work that range from information technology projects (i.e., timetabling data collection utility tool to secure exam upload system), team acknowledgement to innovation.

Carmichael is completing her Masters in Applied Science candidate in Technology Information Management (Engineering) and her research area is contract cheating and machine learning. She has presented or co-presented her work at the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) conference (2019) and the International Center for Academic Integrity annual conference (2020).

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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.

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.


Degrees of Deceit: A Webinar

August 5, 2020

Degrees of Deceit: Understanding the landscape of counterfeit credentials and university admissions fraud – Webinar

Overview

Join Jamie Carmichael and Sarah Elaine Eaton for a provocative session about counterfeit credentials such as fake degrees and tampered transcripts. Admissions fraud remains an understudied area of academic integrity and educational ethics. Learn about some of the telltale signs of admissions fraud in higher education.

This session will be of particular interest to those who handle admissions files for post-secondary institutions, including: academic leaders, registrarial staff, administrative staff, and academics who sit on admissions committees. Although this session is framed within the context of Canadian higher education, many of the concepts and tips will likely apply to those in other jurisdictions, as admissions fraud is a global concern.

This session will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mountain Time (Calgary, Canada) via Zoom. Login instructions will be sent to registered participants within one day of the live event. The live session can accommodate 300 participants, but everyone who registers will receive a link to watch a recorded version of the presentation after the live event.

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

Learning Objectives

By the end of this session, participants will:

  • Understand foundational concepts related to admissions fraud.
  • Be aware of the business models that thrive in this landscape, and the potential for blackmail with counterfeit credentials.
  • Assess how those involved with admissions processes can better identify fraudulent documents.

Presenter bios

Jamie Carmichael is the Associate Registrar, Carleton University, and is completing her Master’s research on contract cheating and academic integrity. She has presented or co-presented her work at the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) conference (2019) and the International Center for Academic Integrity annual conference (2020).

Jamie Carmichael, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Sarah Elaine Eaton is an Associate Professor, Werklund School of Education and the inaugural Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity at the Taylor Institute of Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary. She is an award-winning educator and researcher whose work focuses on academic integrity in Canadian higher education. Her work can be found in the British Educational Research Journal, the Journal of Academic Ethics, and the International Journal for Educational Ethics, among other places. Her book, Plagiarism in Higher Education: Tackling Tough Topics in Academic Integrity will be published by ABC Clio/Libraries Unlimited in 2021.

Sarah Elaine Eaton

Registration

Registration is required, as login instructions will only be sent to registered participants.

Register here: https://conted.ucalgary.ca/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=56681459&expandSectionId=57027207&parentSite=TI#courseSectionDetails_57027149

Each webinar can accommodate 300 live participants. All registrants will be e-mailed a link to the recorded version of the webinar for viewing after the live event.

Registration deadline: September 10, 2020 by 1:00 p.m. Mountain Time

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Share or Tweet this: Degrees of Deceit: A Webinar – https://wp.me/pNAh3-2xr

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.

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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