INND13 – A David Approach to a Goliath Problem – Promoting Academic Integrity

The Humber School of Health Sciences

Academic integrity is more than students cheating on tests. It bleeds over into all areas of life and represents a deeper ethical issue.

Old process was “detect, catch, punish”

Risks: to personal safety if you accuse students of cheating. Verbal or physical altercations with students. Potential bad reviews
Relationships: can’t build relationships with students when you’re trying to be the cop
Responsibilities: responsible to the public, as dishonest students can be poor nurses and may endanger public health and safety

The question shouldn’t be how do we stop students from cheating, but how do we ensure they are learning.

What are the essential values to academic integrity?
Honesty, trust, pride, fairness, responsibility, accountability, professionalism
Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity as defined by the International Centre for Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity is the responsibility of the organization, the faculty, and the students.

Appreciative inquiry approach to evaluation of institutional academic integrity policies. Required in
It from all parties. Rephrase the questions. Revisit the needs by looking at the situation from a different angle.

Discovery: What are the strengths of the current policy?

  • Review organization starting with the Dean. Perform an environmental scan and discuss the situation with other organizational leaders to review policies throughout the organization and see what’s working and how it’s working.
  • Talk to the Faculty. Anonymous surveys, meet with coordinators via meetings and semi-structured interviews, open the discussion formally and informally. While most faculty felt it critical to model academic integrity, very few understood the policy and concepts. Enforcement of academic integrity policy was low across the board.

Dream: What is the ideal? What does that ideal look like?

  • Review at the organizational level. What policies and procedures would support academic integrity? How can they move toward a culture of trust?
  • Faculty want a cohesive, uniform approach to integrity and an increased knowledge and awareness across the board.
  • There is a shared responsibility to creating a culture of integrity and the students need to be aware of their responsibility. Increase student awareness of the institutional commitment to academic integrity.

Design: How do we get where we want to be?

  • Organizationally, a steering committee is starting to streamline approaches to academic integrity
  • With the faculty, they’re hosting a professional development session devoted to the topic. Encouraging faculty Completion of Academic Integrity Online Modules through the campus Center for Teaching and Learning. Striving to increase discussion of the topic and encourage debate within the faculty
  • For the students, they’re creating online modules to support understanding and awareness of Academic Integrity issues. Students take an honor pledge before they are placed into clinical environments.

Destiny: Are we there yet?

  • Review current status and momentum. Engage the entire organization in continuing the discussion. Extend the involvement across the organization and encourage champions of the cause
  • Students understand their role in accountability, are willing to accept the responsibility, and recognize the potential ramifications of academic integrity vs. academic dishonesty

Repeat ad infinitim.

Just a thought….
How could gamificaiton change the cultural appreciation of academic integrity?


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