New Challenges to Academic Integrity

As the new term approaches, schools and universities are faced with the difficult task of adapting high-quality, face-to-face instruction and assessment for online and hybrid learning environments. This transition is made all the more complicated with the added layer of keeping academic integrity at the core of student learning. Worryingly recent research (Wiley, 2020) and anecdotal evidence suggests that student misconduct has increased during the hasty shift to online learning.

As more and more courses move to blended or fully remote learning how do we address these threats to academic integrity? Have you seen increasing instances of misconduct at your university or school, and what are the most common breaches of integrity you are encountering?

Wiley (2020) Academic Integrity in the Age of Online Learning

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  • There will always be students who under pressure revert to ways that show less integrity. This has occurred for years, it is just a case that we can now better detect it. The problem is a far larger one in as much as, the sheer difficulty that might be faced if you are studying in a different language with understanding the 'discourse' of the area of study. Then there are the costs involved with failing plus the 'loss of face' etc and external pressures. 

    Academics need to rethink how they are assessing learning, finding authentic ways to measure knowledge, understanding etc. Perhaps there is not more of it  but we are better at detecting it. I see more issues where assignments are recycled or reused as the student intention might be to see an 'example' but end up in an integrity issue because of lack of understanding or ability.

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      • Gill Rowell
      • Advocacy & Thought Leadership Specialist, Turnitin
      • Gill_Rowell
      • 1 yr ago
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      Great points Lynn particularly around the issue of detection. Is there actually more misconduct, or are we just better at detecting it? From academics I have spoken to very recently, they are encountering more misconduct from students.

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      • Lynn
      • Inspiring learning through technology
      • Lynn
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Gill Rowell I'm not seeing an increase. Again we have to look at more than a number, is it because the assignment is similar to one done previously or what else is going on.

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  • Thanks Lynn What about other institutions in other regions? The research from Wiley (cited above) (I believe) looked at US institutions and I have heard similar comments anecdotally from universities in the UK.

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