These are my notes from Berlin Fang‘s breakout session, “Academic Integrity on a Digital Campus,” on March 6, 2012, at the Heartland eLearning Conference at the University of Central Oklahoma. Berlin’s blogs on “ni.oc.edu/author/berlinfang.” MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. The official conference description of Berlin’s presentation was:

In this presentation, we will be discussing methods for faculty and administrators to handle what was perceived to be a growing issue on college campuses: academic dishonesty. We will discuss the causes to the increase of dishonest behavior, the types of cheating, and methods for faculty and administrators to handle the issue.

Article citation: “Cheating continues to be a problem at Oklahoma’s largest universities
– paints a picture that cheating is happening BECAUSE of technology and tech is primarily facilitating academic dishonesty
– doesn’t point out how technology can help highlight examples of digital dishonesty

Varvel, 2005, of Univ of Illinois: “…the entire Internet, along with friends or even paid helpers. All online assessments essentially become open book in nature.”

Participation Culture of web 2.0 is making it difficult for educators to figure out what is proper behavior online
– students are consuming and producing
– “prosumers”
– students making “mashups”

Is Facebook Causing Plagiarism?
– students are often spending too much time on Facebook and not enough time on their work / assignments

What really causes dishonesty
– story of Myriad Gardens in OKC, tree which is associated with Chanel #5 perfume
– if we focus on technology, we could miss other confounding factors like those highlighted in this story

Data from Oklahoma Christian
– supports the contention which technology does not cause
– we’ve had our mobile learning / laptop initiative since 2008

2009
– 49 reported cases of plagiarism, 18 international
2010
– 19 reported cases, 5 international
20122
– 14 reported cases, 2 international

These are sharp drops

Causes of Academic Dishonesty from literature: Craig, Federici & Buehler, 2010
Academic
– assessment design
– education about academic dishonesty
– poor understanding of citation styles
– “poor understanding of the proper use of intellectual property”

Ethical
– cutting corners
– work ethics
– cultureal differences

Personal
– personal maturity
– “poor time management skills”
– “new to college experience”

Academic dishonesty can be defined as “anything with gives students an unearned advantage academically”
– see Hart and Morgan, 2010

You can use technology to fight against technology-enhanced cheating

One example: LockDown Browser
– students are locked down to just that browser
– highly recommended by Berlin, stop students from digitally multi-tasking during exams in class

MY COMMENT: I’M WONDERING IF OC USES THESE ON STUDENT LAPTOPS OR JUST IN LABS? I’M THINKING WE NEED TO DISCUSS REDESIGNING ASSIGNMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS IN THIS CONTEXT.

We also use TurnItIn.com

Encourage professors to use questions from randomized question blocks

Provide resources
– Writing Center
– Library Resources
– Endnote

Students shouldn’t find writing resources on the open web, many don’t use or even know these campus resources exist

Faculty often have disagreements and “misunderstandings” about what constitutes cheating

Zotero is a great, free tool and FireFox
– we have departments that require MLA, APA, and Turabian at OC

You need to have published policies and procedures about academic dishonesty
– policies, syllabus, and enforcement

Education is key
– do this as part of orientation
– special seminars for students
– workshops for teachers

I’M REMINDED OF ISSUES WITH ‘WHAT IS CHEATING’ AND ‘WHAT IS A STUDY GROUP’ THAT IS COMING UP THIS YEAR FOR MY 6TH GRADE DAUGHTER AT SCHOOL. THESE ARE ISSUES WHICH NEED TO BE HIGHLIGHTED AND DISCUSSED.

Assessment Design
– norm-referenced vs. criterion referenced
– formative vs summative
– individual vs group
– standardized vs personalized tests (used randomization of questions, answers, etc)

Ask students to relate their learning and apply it to their own experiences, etc.

people are more likely to cheat if tests are criterion referenced
– tell students then if they cheat with neighbors, they may hurt their own grade
– you can just, for example give 25% A’s in a class

formative assessment just helps people improve, it doesn’t impact their grade

Assign group work to students, because their experiences may lead them to enjoy individual assignments/assessments more

It comes down to this: “Life itself is open book”

“Open is the new normal”
– some assessment can be made out in the open so students can have their own identities
– like blogs
– I was very impressed by Dr. Alec Couros‘ presentation yesterday about how students are using their blogs

What’s wrong? STudents at elementary schools are doing projects where we don’t worry about parents doing the work… but

Big difference between Chinese education and US systems
– project based learning much more important in the USA than in China, where knowledge-based learning predominates

We need to grow a culture of integrity in our academic organizations

Citation from Astore, W.J. (2009) “The wider dimensions of academic integrity

University should be a place where ‘integrity gains intensity and shines forth like a beacon on a lighthouse, helping us all to avoid wrecking ourselves on the shoals of our own collective shallowness.”

'a dishonest shade of red' photo (c) 2010, theilr - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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