Creating a Digital Learning Community to Cultivate Academic Integrity
Concurrent Session 7
Come discover an online academic integrity project which features a positive tone and multiple ways of engaging students and faculty with online tools and interactive lessons. Take away strategies and ideas for project collaboration, faculty development, and research potential connected to academic integrity.
Trends in K12 and higher education (McCabe, 2016; Mills Senn, 2015) show an increase in students’ academic dishonesty. Although there is no direct correlation, reports suggest that a causation is an increase in the use of technology in educational settings (Barthel, 2012; Morgan, 2018;), reaching new audiences who are first-generation college attendees or returning professionals. Indiana University (IU), a leader in technology adoption, is no exception and contends with issues involving academic misconduct. To tackle this problem head-on, a group of diverse faculty from across campuses decided to lead from the middle and affect major changes in university policies, procedures, and practice by forming a Faculty Community of Practice (CoP). Under the auspices of the Division of Undergraduate Education Gateway to Graduation program, the CoP works with faculty teaching high-enrollment undergraduate courses to develop resources and sound teaching practices that encourage student academic integrity.
Concerned about students’ ethics and honesty, the faculty members in the Community of Practice (CoP) found substantial, systemic issues regarding academic integrity at the institution. These included: a lack of knowledge about academic integrity policies among faculty, students, and university administration; irregular enforcement of current rules and regulation; and spotty reporting on the part of the faculty. The faculty team set its goal to research and make recommendations to University faculty governance with new policy recommendations, reporting forms, learning objectives, and information for faculty, teaching assistants, and students. Beginning in 2014, this faculty group has tackled each concern and moved the University to action with a proposal to faculty governance.
Indiana University, a large academic environment, consists of two core campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis (Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis); five satellite campuses spread throughout the state of Indiana; and an “online campus” known as IU Online which houses over 100 online programs and support over 30% of the IU student population in at least one online course. This project originated from the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, which is an urban research university that serves 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students both in face-to-face courses and online. With two universities operating as one at IUPUI along with seven IU campuses, and a shared online environment, Academic Integrity looks and is handled differently across the university.
The CoP’s key to success was partnering with IU’s eLearning Design and Services’ (eDS) to scope, design and build learning experiences for student, faculty and teaching assistants regardless of campus. The first product is an online tool to educate undergraduate students about academic integrity, no matter their current learning environment, including online, face-to-face, student orientation, and transfer students.
An eLearning instructional design team consulted with the faculty team to understand why an instructional solution would be the best approach, who their target audiences were, what the learning experience would be, how materials would be accessed, and what the project success factors would be. With faculty agreement, the team determined three potential online learning modules that would be accessed through Canvas IU’s Online Learning Management System, accessible through Expand, IU’s online catalog. Based on pre-existing materials, and the faculty team’s work with University Administrators, the initial learning module was targeted at students. In collaboration with the faculty, a high-level design plan was produced that considered the personas of the students, interactive and intellectual strategies to motivate their desire to learn about academic support services, and learning analytics to record students behavior change. Additionally, the course content leverages technology in order to engage students through multiple means of representation with written text, visual content, and audio-video components. Learning integration tools such as the in-line Quick Check for formative assessment, interactive Google slides, and Canvas quiz and survey tools present information about academic integrity through multiple means of engagement.
This student course has received accolades across the Indiana University community, resulting in multiple requests to access the course from other campuses or programs, including a 2018 pilot in First-Year seminar courses through IUPUI’s University College and from faculty who wish to add guided discussion topics with students on specific areas of academic misconduct. The course will help with student readiness around university ethics and how students can succeed academically throughout their college career.
In addition to teaching undergraduate students about academic integrity, it is also important that faculty and teaching assistants (TA) understand the value of teaching about academic honesty. The development of a new faculty/teaching assistant Canvas course designed to accompany the student course is underway. This new faculty-facing course will include revisiting the video scenarios used in the student model but from an instructor’s point of view. These video case examples will also aid the faculty interaction with teaching assistants and provide consistent communication about what constitutes academic misconduct. The overall goal for the faculty/TA course is to increase the knowledge of all involved with the scholarship of teaching and to show how each opportunity can be used as a teachable moment.
Come along as presenters walk-through the design process from learning outcomes to sharing methods for effectively assessing student learning. By taking part in this session, you will discover the online tools that the team used to teach and deliver the academic integrity course. View how a positive tone and humor used in the course videos allow for a comfortable, open environment to discuss the sometimes difficult topic of academic integrity. Look behind the scenes of this innovative online learning environment. The session will also give examples of how students are assessed using the learning tools of the Canvas learning management systems. Information will be shared about the faculty’s research completed to date on the Academic Integrity online course for students. Participants will leave with strategies, tips, and resources to develop online tools for Academic Integrity at their own institution.
Barthel, M. (2016, April 20). How to stop cheating in college. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2016/04/how-to-stop-cheating-in-college/479037/
McCabe, D (2016). Cheating and honor: Lessons from a long-term research project. In T. Bretag (ed.), Handbook of Academic Integrity, pp. 187-200.
Mills-Senn, P. (2015, May 31). Ensuring academic integrity in higher ed. University Business. Retrieved from: https://www.universitybusiness.com/article/ensuring-academic-integrity-higher-ed
Morgan, J. (2018, February 14). How Students Cheat Online, and Why Stopping Them Matters. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from: https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2018/02/14/creative-cheating-online-learning-and-importance-academic