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Academic Integrity is a complex and nuanced topic and is confusing to many students. In our regular instruction and reference interactions at the library, librarians speak to students about properly citing resources to avoid plagiarism but don’t delve into what academic integrity is or why it is important.
With the move to online instruction, issues around academic integrity have been exposed in new ways. Although it is linked on every class’ syllabus and Blackboard page, many students have never looked through the Douglas College Academic Integrity Policy and many students have yet to complete the Academic Integrity module. Additionally, students' experiences with academic integrity education and expectations varies widely.
There are dozens of predatory contract cheating websites that target students by offering “plagiairism-free” help and tutoring “support” and students regularly seek these services out for help with assignments and exams1. Research has found that students aren’t as concerned about contract cheating as educators are and that they don’t understand the risks; it is also clear that many educators aren’t discussing this issue with students2. While much of the academic research into this topic is coming out of Australia, there is evidence that this is a significant problem in Canada3,5 and many researchers recommend preventative, not punitive, measures to combat academic dishonesty4.
Academic Integrity presentations by a librarian are about 20 minutes, depending on the level of discussion and the number of questions. Please see the following notes and fill out the form below to book an Academic Integrity presentation for your students.
While we are happy to speak to your students about this topic at any point in the semester, we find that this is a topic best covered early in the semester before students begin handing in assignments and are exposed to committing academic dishonesty, whether accidentally or on purpose.
Though we can combine a discussion about academic integrity into a regular research and citation session (Instruction landing page link), we recommend that it is covered separately. This is for two reasons:
There is a lot of material to cover during our research and citation sessions without adding the large topic of what academic integrity is and why it matters
Research sessions are usually tailored to help students complete specific class assignments but we want students to realize academic integrity is a topic that will affect them throughout their academic career, regardless of subject.
Lancaster, T. (2019). Social media enabled contract cheating. Canadian Perspectives on Academic Integrity, 2(2), 7-24. https://doi.org/10.11575/cpai.v2i2
Contract Cheating and Assessment Design. (n.d.). Students are not concerned about contract cheating (and we are not talking to them about it). https://cheatingandassessment.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/EDUCATOR-RESOURCE-7-Student-lack-of-concern.pdf
Eaton, S.E. (2018, July 24). Contract cheating: A Canadian perspective. BMC Research in Progress Blog. https://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcblog/2018/07/24/contract-cheating-a-canadian-perspective
Eaton, S.E. & Edino, R.I. (2018). Strengthening the research agenda of educational integrity in Canada: A review of the research literature and a call to action. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 14(5), 1-21. https://cheatingandassessment.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/EDUCATOR-RESOURCE-7-Student-lack-of-concern.pdf
Academic Integrity Watch. (July 22, 2020). Exploring Course Hero tutoring [video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJj2Ylt4mOM&feature=youtu.be
If you would like to have a session on Academic Integrity, please fill out the form below...