Academic Integrity

Academic IntegrityAcademic Integrity

Assignment 1: Collaborative Activity 1: Peer Interviews About Academic Integrity

Ensuring the academic integrity of your online students’ work is an ongoing challenge, but it need not become overwhelming.

There are many tools available to help you identify cheating, and even more importantly, there are a set of best practices to help you prevent it from happening in the first place. In this activity, you share ideas, concerns, and questions related to academic integrity with your peers.

To Prepare:

The Instructor will assign you two colleagues to interview. Speak with each of them (via e-mail, telephone, Skype, etc.). Ask each of your interviewees the following questions and take detailed notes:

What academic integrity challenges do you expect to experience in the online classroom?
How do these challenges differ from what occurs in the face-to-face classroom, if at all?
What tools and strategies can help you prevent cheating and plagiarism in your online classroom?

By Day 7 of Week 7

Submit the following:

Part 1: In 500 words, compare the findings from your interviews with your personal experiences. What is similar or different? What common themes have emerged?
Part 2: In 500 words, provide concrete strategies and solutions to address three of the most important themes you identified in Part 1. Cite from the Learning Resources and any additional relevant research to support your points.

SOLUTION

Academic Integrity

Online classroom presents students with a lot of options. It takes students with strong characters, such as integrity and discipline to plow through successfully, without collision or corruption. According to Transparency International, crime is “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain” – which directly translates to a lack of academic integrity.

Take, for example, a student who can access the online resources of academia. At the same time, the student is required to write a report or documentation of some sort about the online resource material that they encountered. It does not go without mention that most students like the more natural way out.

I mean it’s just a click away. Instead of spending more time critically analyzing a question and tackling it, it is considered too much work as compared to ‘copying and pasting.’

Part One
Plagiarism is undeniably widespread among the student body. In a variety of interviews that I carried out, most students find it too easy to copy and paste. It becomes a challenge; however, when a student ‘steals’ another person’s content and fails to give credit to the creator (author) yet, he earns, excellent grades on another person’s work.

It is the highest form of online academic misconduct. The discipline behind doing the right thing always is alien to most of my peers. Findings from my interviews indicated that most students admitted to having scored excellent grades through ‘stolen’ works – plagiarism.

Another common phenomenon in online academia is collusion. E-learning forums have chat boxes or message platforms in which most students communicate freely and get reverence. It results in cooperation among students. Similar to what takes place in an online classroom, without supervision.

One can only imagine, the credibility of such a test. Students share what they find difficult with their fellows and then and there, get solutions to any difficulties they might have. In addition to plagiarism and collusion, there is a fraud.
It is undeniably true that there are online portals in which students can access, and their papers, projects, and assignments are taken care of.

This is usually at a fee. The quality of the work is superb as most of my friends have admitted to using these sites not once nor twice, but several times, and each time they get an almost perfect score (Jones, 2011). I can only imagine the excitement behind someone handling your project, term paper with professionalism, but what does this due to a student’s competence?

They have scored an excellent grade yes, but are they up to the task which they were required (Howard, 2009). This form of fraud derails the academic capabilities of young men and women by not exposing them to the tasks that are at hand — resulting in less competent citizens and professionals in various disciplines.

However, most students attribute this to the circumstances under which they are schooling. For instance, most online learners juggle between work, studies, and raising families; therefore, they claim that they hardly have time to do their assignments.
Part 2
These unethical practices need mitigation. It is not only upon the administration of academia and educators thereof that are tasked with this duty. It is upon us as students to take action against academic indiscipline. Imagine a world where a doctor doesn’t know how to operate on a person or the relevant procedures behind diagnosing minor ailments – what a shame.

It is without a doubt that the online challenges are only paralleled by the growth of digital technologies. It has, therefore been a difficult task for educators, around the world to keep track of what is legitimate and what is false. However, the availability of meticulous software such as turn it in enables the verification of plagiarism levels and the rebuke thereof for the students that have recorded high levels of plagiarism.

Hence, as much as it is difficult to wipe out the problem, educators are revolutionaries that continually seek ways to ensure genuine quality work.
Institutions of higher learning should adopt such systems in order to monitor what students bring in as their papers and projects. For the comprehensive comprehension of the root of the problem (Plagiarism) It is for the administration to approach it from a different perspective.

It would be easier dealing with what is known to exist rather than what should be terminated ( Enlow, 2010). The management of higher institutions is well capable of providing educators with the means necessary to identify, prevent, and penalize accordingly guilty personnel.

Most institutions of higher learning use the internet in one way or another, or even as an essential means of sending and receiving messages that is related to a particular course. Most educators as well as students are most informed on the capabilities of the web.

Educators, despite being aware of the skills of students, decide to turn a blind eye on the frequent reports on projects and papers that do not only contain plagiarized work but also not referenced accordingly. Most educators help promote the ‘norm’ in lots of institutions.

Students grow in academia, knowing that it’s okay to plagiarize, cut, and copy information from relevant sources of academia. Educators mostly facilitate this doctrine, and we are left wondering where we went wrong.

It is true that it is mostly our fault for taking the easy way, but most of us seek direction, and it seems, that most of our tutors as well are ‘okay’ with being average and mark mediocre work anyway. We need educators that take their work passionately, and penalize mistakes accordingly so that we could be better scholars and professionals.

The guidance needs to be coming from educators. The government through the ministry of higher learning should be  curious to know who the service providers of fraudulent online platforms are, which enable students to get undeserved projects and papers, which is slowly derailing the quality of education across the world.

This plague can’t be dealt with by educators and administrators solely, but the regular empowerment of students will go a long way in enhancing academic integrity and competence.

References

Enlow, M. S. (2010). Incorporating Interprofessional communication skills into an undergraduate nursing curriculum. Nurse Educator, 176-180.
Howard, R. M. (2009). Plagiarism in the Internet Age. Educational Leadership, 64-67.
Jones, L. R. (2011). Academic dishonesty: are more students cheating? Business communication, 141-150

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