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Lessons Learned at the International Center for Academic Integrity Conference | Academic Newsletter | Seneca College

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Lessons Learned at the International Center for Academic Integrity Conference

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by Amy Lin, the Teaching & Learning Centre, and Kathryn Klages, Seneca Libraries

in the March 2019 issue


The logo for the International Center for Academic IntegrityIn early March, we attended the 27th annual International Center for Academic Integrity Conference in New Orleans. The gathering brought together participants from around the world who worked in various roles related to academic integrity at their institutions. Here are some of the highlights of the conference that resonated most with us.

✔ Canada is doing great work!

We attended the Canadian Consortium prior to the start of the conference. This was a day where we could share our work with Canadians from institutions across Canada. University of Manitoba and Sheridan College have developed academic integrity tutorials that are built into their LMS that can be used at the start of courses or as part of sanctions. Ryerson University is in the process of developing a game for students on academic integrity. MacEwan University has adopted restorative practices in response to academic misconduct, focusing on the harms and on how to repair these. The Ontario sector is researching the extent of contract cheating first provincially and eventually for all of Canada.

Seneca shared the work of the Academic Integrity Sub-Committee. Seneca has an academic integrity website that serves both faculty and students. There is a new Academic Integrity policy launched this year, and resources for faculty and students developed to support the application of this policy. The Teaching & Learning Centre and Seneca Libraries are currently offering a course for faculty on "Promoting a Culture of Academic Integrity." For more on what Seneca is doing, see the Academic Integrity at Seneca article in this issue.

✔ Contract cheating is widespread and growing.

Contract cheating is not a new problem, but it is growing and was addressed by several speakers. It seems that vendors are finding new ways to circumvent academic integrity at institutions. We learned that students can now find low cost essay writers and assignments and that there many more people willing to work for these businesses with the market offering work from home jobs and from parts of the world where the pay can be a fraction of the fee obtained from buyers. Students are enticed and often tricked into making purchases, endangering their education, and sometimes leading to extortion. For more information about contract cheating, watch BBC Three’s “Degrees for Sale: Inside the Essay Writing Industry” video (5:33).

The International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating will be on October 16, 2019 and Seneca will again participate. There is still a lot of work here to be done – but much of the preventative measures fall back on our approaches to teaching and learning.

✔ Tools used to combat cheating can only take you so far…

We went to presentations that described a suite of “cyberdefense” tools that are being designed to combat cheating including contract cheating. Integrating these technologies can help identify students who are not submitting their own work or who are posting materials online for sharing. However, these tools will not solve the threats of the new cheating economy. We also saw presentations that focused on creating a culture of academic integrity at their institutions. We heard about campuses that are committed to raising awareness and supporting faculty in shifting their practices and creating authentic assessments to promote student learning and reducing academic misconduct.

For more information, please visit the ICAI website.



View the March 2019 issue of the Academic Newsletter.

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