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How can we respond to cheating and provide meaningful learning experiences? | Academic Newsletter | Seneca College

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How can we respond to cheating and provide meaningful learning experiences?

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by Amy Lin, the Teaching & Learning Centre

in the September 2020 issue

 

A group of people posing for the camera outside a donut shop in Portland, OregonBack in March, I attended the International Centre for Academic Integrity (ICAI) annual conference in Portland, OR (a.k.a. the city with the best donuts). At that conference, I attended a session by Amanda Wright from Adelphi University. What struck me as the most interesting part of this session was this idea that to really make academic integrity at an institution be about education, we had to treat the sanctions as educational. Seneca’s Academic Integrity policy moves away from a punitive approach to a more educational approach where sanctions similarly can be seen as a teaching and learning opportunity. Adelphi University had developed and implemented an Academic Honesty Student Sanction Guidebook. A menu of sanctions is provided for students to choose from that helps them work through a personalized learning experience where they have identified their learning goals. This framework means that a sanction becomes more than a punishment; the sanction provides a more intentional and meaningful result to their actions.

Academic integrity learning goals were defined. Students will:

  • Relate academic integrity policy to daily life.
  • Apply information and experiences to a new situation.
  • Articulate rationales for personal behaviour.
  • Articulate the values and principles involved in personal decision-making.
  • Differentiate between their own ideas and the ideas of others.

(Adelphi University, Academic Honesty Student Sanction Guidebook, 2019, p. 1)

 

Students are expected to complete sanctions and a rubric is used to evaluate their achievement of the learning goals.

To understand this in the context of Seneca’s academic integrity policy and procedure, let’s consider this learning goal: Student can relate Seneca’s Academic Integrity policy to daily life.

 

(The following is an adaptation of the Adelphi University’s Learning Goals framework and their examples of evaluation levels.)

 

Level 1: Remember/Understand
Short written summary – Choose an appropriate word that summarizes the result of your incident and explain why you chose this word. Write about your feelings around this incident. (This can be completed in written, audio, or video format.)

One-minute paper expectations – In one minute, summarize your understanding of Seneca’s expectation of you as a result of this incident.

 

Level 2: Apply/Analyze
Complete the three Seneca tutorials – Write a reflection paper on what you have gained from taking these tutorials. How does the information in these tutorials relate to the policies that you have violated in this instance? How would your actions be different if placed in the same situation?

Learning Centre – Make an appointment with the learning centre to review a topic relevant to the incident (e.g., time management, organization, proper citations, writing papers).

Write a summary of how you will use this learning effectively in the future.

 

Level 3: Evaluate/Create
Create a PSA or an informational poster – Create a public service announcement (PSA) or poster for Seneca students that explains the academic integrity infraction at issue in this incident. Explain the importance of academic integrity and the fundamental values as it relates to this particular infraction and the possible consequences on the individual and the Seneca community if people engage in this kind of behavior.

Create memes or a Buzzfeed list – Create a Buzzfeed list or a series of memes that will provide information to other students that might help them better understand academic integrity and the importance of promoting a culture of academic integrity at Seneca.
When completed, answer the following questions:

  1. Explain the expectations of Seneca for student behaviour and how these expectations relate to student life.
  2. What can you do to avoid violating the academic integrity policy in the future?

 

These types of educational experiences as sanctions may provide more meaningful lessons on academic integrity for our students who have been involved in an incident. The work at Adelphi University highlights the importance of identifying and measuring student learning outcomes as a result of academic integrity violations, achieving more personalized and individual remediation. How can this strategy be applied to our current policy and procedures at Seneca?

 

 


View the September 2020 issue of the Academic Newsletter.

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