Academic Integrity Session led by 1st Year Advisors
As an advisor of first-year or transfer students, you will have a session with your advisees in early September to discuss academic integrity and the system we have in place at Roanoke College. There is no set format for this session. The most immediate purpose of the session is to prepare students to pass the Academic Integrity Quiz (more on this below); the larger goal is to help them start off their time at RC with a better understanding of and commitment to academic integrity. Most new students will already have completed the Academic Integrity pledge, which appears on the new student checklist, and they will receive a copy of the handbook Academic Integrity at Roanoke College during Orientation. The handbook is available electronically (see the menu to the right); if you need a hard copy, please contact Dianne Eary (email@example.com; x2204). If you want your advisees to bring their own copy of the handbook to your AI session, let them know ahead of time.
About 80% of new first-year students came to Spring into Maroon (SIM), where they attended a session that included 30 minutes on academic integrity. This included responding via clickers to questions about their own views on and experience with academic integrity (or its absence!). Students were amazingly honest about the extent of cheating in high schools and the various reasons for cheating. They learned that we take cheating/plagiarism very seriously at RC, but they were NOT exposed to details of types of violations and penalties. They were encouraged to think about what they wanted to get out of their college experience and how cheating might prevent them from achieving those goals. In addition, their parents received a letter encouraging them to talk with their student about integrity (it might be interesting for you to ask if any of them actually did have a conversation with parents).
Some suggestions for discussion/activity appear below.
Setting the tone:
I suggest you try to find a balance between sobering them up to how serious a violation can be AND appealing to their genuine desire not to cheat. AI is central to the college's identity as an institution that promotes gaining knowledge and acknowledging the work of others in that pursuit. You can acknowledge that most students caught seem to express genuine regret, and that usually circumstances clouded their judgment and led to the violation. They need to be prepared to resist that temptation-through reaffirming their own commitments to succeeding on their own and through realizing how damaging a violation can be to completing their degree on time and with the respect of their professors (and their own self-respect).
Please let your students know the following about the AI Quiz:
All new students must pass the AI Quiz.
The quiz is administered through an Inquire site, which should appear when students sign into myRoanoke by August 31st. They will receive an email from my office when it is available (probably that day).
Students have two chances to take the quiz online (they should plan on 40 minutes to take the quiz). If they don't pass the online quiz, they will be emailed an essay-format hard copy quiz (not fun!). Failure to pass the quiz will result in a hold on their registration for Spring semester.
The online quiz will be available until September 20th; students will have until September 27st to compete the written quiz.
The quiz consists of about 26 multiple choice questions with 30 possible points; a passing grade is 26.
Important change to quiz instructions from previous years:
Students may discuss the handbook with others BEFORE taking the quiz.
Students may consult the handbook WHILE taking the quiz.
Students may NOT collaborate with others WHILE taking the quiz and may NOT copy someone else's answers.
What can you do in your 45-minute advising session?
Talk about Academic Integrity generally:
They should hear more about AI in INQ 110/HNRS 105, but don't miss an opportunity to reinforce its importance.
Talk about integrity as both something you have (an attitude; a set of values)
Talk about integrity also as something you learn (how to use quotation marks; how to cite; how to paraphrase; how to work carefully to avoid forgetting doing those); emphasize that they may need help to maintain their integrity (from professors or CLT).
Ask them about the survey results from SIM: Why is cheating wrong? What surprised them at the SIM session?
Emphasize personal responsibility:
Students need to ask for clarification on allowable collaboration;
Students unsure about citation /paraphrase need to seek help from professor or the writing center;
Students need to insure the integrity of their own work (this includes not allowing others access to their work);
Students need to plan ahead so that circumstances don't lead to the temptation to cheat/plagiarize.
Let students hear from:
Peers: the transcripts of these videos come directly from letters written by students who have been charged with an AI violation.
Faculty: the transcripts of these videos come directly from RC faculty.
Group activity on plagiarism:
Approximately half of all AI violations are plagiarism. I have created a group activity designed to help students understand what constitutes plagiarism, how easy it is for professors to detect plagiarism, and whether they will need help avoiding plagiarism. The basic idea is this: distribute to students a suspected paper and two possible sources; allow them to examine these texts and determine if/where plagiarism has occurred. Then allow them to see the Turnitin Originality Report for that paper. Follow this link for detailed instructions. You will need the following files:
Online plagiarism case studies:
Go over the basics of the system:
You are welcome to use the PowerPoint created by Angela Allen. Things to emphasize:
violations - be sure to point out that unauthorized use of electronic devices is a violation (now on p. 2) and that proper citations are expected on drafts.
penalties should be sobering for most students. Talk about the difference between an F and an XF; talk about the difference between AI Probation and AI Suspension.
I don't think you need to go into a whole lot of detail about how the system works (pp. 5-9), but you can talk about the process in general terms as: confidential, has open (clear and known) policies, commitment to fair implementation of policies, council includes student, faculty, and staff members, students have access to counsel/assistance, students have ability to appeal decision. Important corollary (that may be quite different from their prior experience): faculty MUST report known cases of AI violations. No handling them outside the system is allowed.
The last few pages (appendix B) have some very important information, although the section on plagiarism is in need of serious revision. Although you might think they should know this by now, it is worth reviewing when students need citations (to show dependence on another's ideas OR words) and when they need quotation marks (verbatim use of words).
Use vignettes that focus on trouble areas:
Use these short vignettes (thanks to Ed Whitson) to help your students understand the types of AI violations. This version has the answer key! Vignettes that focus on the following issues in particular might be helpful: cell phone/electronic device issues and unapproved collaboration.
Encourage students to:
Read every syllabus
Be careful with collaborative assignments
Don't let the short term crisis ruin the long term outlook
Live up to their own standards of behavior