I spent most of Friday at an Academic Integrity Symposium in Corvallis and what I learned was eye-opening, if not depressing. I posted about this topic once already but the number of academic misconduct cases I’m seeing is definitely on the rise and I learned a little bit about why that might be. I also learned about (more) strategies that we as instructors can use to discourage or prevent cheating and plagiarism in our classes. This is a big topic, so I will break this up into two posts.

There is no question that this generation of students has grown up in a culture where they have witnessed powerful, influential people “cheat” with little to no consequence. There are many companies who market opportunities to cheat directly to students, not to mention the fact that this generation of students has ALWAYS used the internet to “find” an answer to a question…just ask Google. In some countries, it is perfectly acceptable to not cite your online sources, because you are the one who “did the research” to locate them. It’s no wonder that America’s universities are experiencing erosion in academic conduct.

Here are some online cheating resources that I’m sure our students know about, and we should to: Continue reading

Today’s post is about a topic that we love to hate: Academic Integrity. It’s our job as faculty to ensure the fidelity of our assessments. We plan our classes and prepare our students to the best of our ability, but some students still choose to take the low road. Klein et al (2006) reported that 86% of a 268-student cross disciplinary sample reported they had cheated. Why? Harris (1989) reported that it has to do with students’ values and often times, the classroom environment. In classes that were less personalized and where students were less engaged, cheating was higher than when the opposite was true (Pulvers, 1999).

As our campus Academic Integrity Officer, I have adjudicated all kinds of academic dishonesty cases. It’s heart-breaking to hear from a student that they felt like they had no other option. Crunched for time as a result of poor planning or too many competing responsibilities, otherwise rational students sometimes do irrational things. Continue reading

I was talking with a colleague last week about the importance of providing our students with TIMELY FEEDBACK on their assignments, quizzes and exams. They asked me, “what percentage of faculty do you think return student work within a week or two?” We chatted about this and clearly I thought the percentage was MUCH higher than they did. In talking with students about this, I discovered that it is indeed the case that timely feedback is not as common as it should be. In some cases, students don’t get the results of exam 1 until very late in the term. What?! I guess this one deserves some discussion.

My Jan. 22, 2019 post was about STRATEGIES FOR QUALITY FEEDBACK, but it doesn’t address the timing of that feedback. We all want our students to learn and I think most of us think that we’re using a developmental approach during our classes where foundational material precedes application. But how do we expect students to learn from their mistakes and fill in the gaps if we don’t guide them through that process early and often? Even if this isn’t an area of struggle for you… Continue reading