Academic Integrity Seminar Assessment
One of the goals of the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards is to provide educational and developmental programs for students surrounding issues related to the student conduct code. One of the ways in which we do this is through the Academic Integrity Seminars I facilitate. During the 08-09 year we decided to do an online survey assessment of the seminar and subsequent homework assignment. The goals of the seminar are to provide students with a thorough understanding of OSU’s academic dishonesty policy, explain resources to help them with time management, proper writing and research techniques and other skills that help in the prevention of academic dishonesty, and do have them think about how academic dishonesty affects themselves and others.
The survey is given to students after they complete their one-on-one follow-up meeting with me. It is important to note that we have a number of students who end up missing our seminar and therefore complete a longer homework assignment and have a follow-up with me. During the 08-09 year only students attending the seminar have been surveyed, however the next time that this program is assessed, all students will be included in the results.
Here is the skeletal outline that I gave to StudentVoice in order to create the online survey: academic-integrity-seminar-survey
While data is still coming in for this assessment, several results are worth mentioning. Less than half of students indicated that they thought they were responsible for academic dishonesty before the seminar, where as after the seminar over 75% think they are responsible. I attribute a large portion of this change to the fact that in the seminar we discuss how OSU defines academic dishonesty and we also go through many scenarios which showcase how many things can be seen as academically dishonesty. Despite the seemingly positive results from these questions, I am left to wonder what else factors into whether or not students think they are responsible. For some it just might be that they are tried of fighting to have their case heard and for some they may have recognized their responsibility during a meeting with their instructor or department head. It would be good to follow this set of questions up with another one that asks students who changed their minds why they did so.
Over 80% of students indicate that the seminar made them think more about how their actions affect themselves and others. To me this indicated that the extra time that I spend talking about these issues in their follow-up meeting the group activity we do during the seminar are effective.
There was some talk of trying to create an online course that we could use instead of the in-person seminar. This was proposed because we run into several problems when planning the seminar. We don’t want them to fall during mid-term and finals seasons so we usually have to do them during the 3rd or 4th week of the term. Of course the majority of our reports come in after this and therefore a lot of our students end up going through the take-home assignment or attending the seminar months after their violation. At the current time, students are split down the middle in their interest for an online seminar. Given that this information is not conclusive and there are many reasons for maintaining a classroom seminar (as noted below), the office is going to put this idea on the back-burner for now.
When asked what they found the most useful many students talked about getting the chance to talk with other students about their experiences, gaining a broader perspective on the issue, hearing different viewpoints on how people view academic dishonesty and being held accountable to the larger group. Students also indicated that the homework assignment was useful and that they were given an opportunity to explain their situation and express the feelings about it. All of these responses provide support for maintaining the classroom style seminar.
For the most part the results that we got out of this survey confirm that the seminar meeting the learning objectives we have created. I realize that a question about whether or not students are being provided with helpful resources in order to avoid academic dishonesty in the future will be a good one to add if this survey is done again. Other than that I think that the way it is administered will stay the same and the format has secure backing from our current results.