Redesigning Academic Integrity Seminar

Posted on January 11, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

During my time in my assistantship, I have redesigned our Academic Integrity Seminar and the corresponding homework assignment in order to make it more personalized and effective in addressing the issues we hope students will think about. The seminar was originally set up as a two-part, classroom style experience that met for a total of three and a half hours. The homework assignment was turned in at the beginning of the second class and focused on the resources and support services that students could take advantage of in order to avoid academic dishonesty in the future. There was a small reflection paper included in this assignment.

After spending the first two terms reading over student’s individual academic dishonesty cases, leading the seminars, and reviewing students’ homework assignments I decided that I needed to make some changes. I was greatly influenced by the way that we treat other violations of our student conduct code. In these situations we take the time to meet with student individually to get a better understanding of the unique circumstances surrounding their violation. While students who take the seminar have already admitted responsibility for violating the code, I still wanted to provide them with an opportunity to share their story and the circumstances surrounding their incident. Most academic dishonesty cases are filled with complex details and I wanted to honor this complexity. I also felt like the group seminar was not always the most comfortable or confidential place for students to share their reflections on the incident and I wanted to provide a better venue with which to do this. Lastly, I did not feel like the homework did a good enough job of expressing the values OSU places on academic integrity or the ramifications that academic dishonesty and dishonesty in general can have to students, the college community, and society as a whole.

I redesigned the seminar as a single, two hour class with a take-home assignment and one-on-one follow-up appointment. The class is still beneficial because it provides a venue to have an open and honest dialogue about the many grey areas that can develop around issues of academic dishonesty. Students can voice their opinions and rationale on whether or not certain actions are legitimate shortcuts and violations and can also share ways in which they can prevent violations in the future. The classroom environment is also ideal for discussing OSU’s specific academic dishonesty policy, the reasoning and rationale for this policy, and the resources that students can take advantage of to protect themselves in the future. The one-0n-one follow-up and revised homework, which I will attach below, has certainly met all of my expectations.

The only real resource that I had to consider when redesigning this program was the extra time that I had to devote to meeting with students one-on-one and the extra time it took me to redesign the homework assignment. In the end I had the time and was willing to devote the extra resources to improve the seminar and its impact on students. There is no real need to market this program, because students are obligated to attend it if they are found responsible for a violation of OSU’s conduct code. Our office is currently conducting a StudentVoice survey of the new seminar and assignment in order to determine its effectiveness. I will provide assessment results once they are available.


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One Response to “Redesigning Academic Integrity Seminar”

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My sense is that your students are getting a more meaningful experience through your redesign. I’ll be interested to read about your assessment results. By the way, I think the link you include above is broken…at least, it didn’t work for me.

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