eLearning Technology Blog

'An Expression of Care': Academic integrity workshop puts an emphases on learning

by Ruth Gregory 13. March 2015 11:23

Mary Wack


By Richard H. Miller/WSU Global Campus

A recent WSU workshop on academic integrity began with regulations and ended in compassion.

Adam Jussel, director of the Office of Student Conduct, started last Thursday’s panel discussion with a PowerPoint outline of WSU rules on academic integrity violations.

Plagiarism is the most common reported violation at WSU, Jussel told a group of about 25 faculty members in CUE 518. Second is cheating, and third is fabrication.  Between 2001 and May 2014, about 450 violations were tallied, he said.

Professor Richard Zack uses two approaches to academic integrity in his 100-level entomology courses. The first is to build discussions of integrity into his course—weaving in Aesop’s Fables, Chief Joseph and Steve Jobs—along with a talk about how science is necessarily based on truth. The second involves a bit of truth-twisting: He has a grad student pose as a cheater. The cheater gets spotted looking over someone’s shoulder, and is—with great drama—ejected from the classroom.

Communication Professor Doug Blanks Hindman recommended using TurnItIn, an anti-plagiarism tool, to reduce time spent tracking down violations, and help students learn proper citation style. To help students learn how to paraphrase properly, he asks them to complete APA citation exercises in a WSU library tutorial. 

“I prefer to be a teacher not an enforcer,” Hindman said. “My goal is to make infractions learning experiences for students.”

Hindman and Zack’s emphasis on integrating integrity into their courses reflects the latest national thinking, as outlined by the International Center for Academic Integrity and described by panelist Mary Wack, vice provost for undergraduate education.

The initial approach was the “speeding ticket phase,” in which universities focus on catching and penalizing violators, she said. But that can fail to create remorse, she said, “just as you can go 64 on the way to Spokane and not feel like you are morally at fault.”

The second approach was to make assignments and exams cheat-proof. “But experience shows there are not enough collective resources to have that whole burden rest on individual faculty,” she said. The newest method, she said, is to create a culture of integrity where “students, faculty and administrators all build a context in which students develop the inner resources of integrity.”

Jussel said that holistic approach is part of the reason he encourages faculty to report violations to Student Conduct. His staff may find documentation that a student’s academic issues are linked to other life problems.

“If we get that kind of information, we can look at the whole student,” he said.  “That can be the trigger point to engage our Student Care Team.”  

After the session ended, Hindman reiterated that intervention needn’t be punitive.

“There’s no reason that it can’t become a positive experience,” he said, “an expression of care from the University.”

Excerpts from the workshop can be viewed in the video below from the Global Campus Faculty Led Workshop channel on YouTube.

Introducing the Teaching with Technology Vlog

by Ruth Gregory 3. September 2014 14:12

Check out our new Teaching with Technology vlog (aka video + blog).Teaching with Technology is a video blog created and hosted by Ruth Gregory, Emerging Technology and Multimedia Specialist at the Washington State University Global Campus. The purpose of the vlog is to highlight ways faculty can incorporate technology into their classes. It is also used to showcase innovate ways that higher ed faculty are already using technology in their teaching practice. Check out some of the first vlog posts below. The first video introduces the concept of the vlog. The second is about Socrative & Quick Response Systems, and the final video of this first series is about using Twitter in your classes.

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