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 at Roanoke College. While there is no set format for this session, the most immediate purpose of the session is for you to continue the conversation with students about Academic Integrity and its importance for their career at RC. By the time you meet with your students, some will have already completed the required AI Quiz, so I do not recommend that you use the session to go over specifics of the system.
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. Students were presented statistics gathered from previous incoming classes about the prevalence of cheating in high school. This year's 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, how cheating might prevent them from achieving those goals, and how they planned to handle academic stress since it inevitably arises. In addition, their parents received a letter encouraging them to talk with their student about integrity.
You may want to develop some of these themes/questions during your session. (I am especially interested to know if any of them actually did have a conversation with their parents.) Additional suggestions for discussion/activity appear below.
Note: Students no longer receive a hard copy of the AI Handbook. The handbook is available electronically. See the link to the left.
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).
Talk about Academic Integrity generally:
See online resources here. Consider asking your students to read one of these articles ahead of time (e.g., "Living with Integrity" or "A Question of Honor").
Talk about integrity as something you have (an attitude; a set of values).
Talk about integrity 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).
Talk about integrity as the foundation for all kinds of positive relationships--with each other and with professors. Don't be afraid to get personal: Talk about why integrity is important to you and what you are trying to achieve as a professor.
Ask them about the discussion at SIM: Did anything surprise 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 even just to "help someone out").
Students need to plan ahead so that circumstances don't lead to the temptation to cheat/plagiarize.
The transcripts of these videos come directly from letters written by students who had been charged with an AI violation.
The transcripts of these videos come directly from RC faculty. There's great advice here!
Talk about violations: why they are wrong and strategies to avoid them:
use of an electronic device during a testing period--why can't I check my messages during a quiz?
collaboration--how do you know what is allowable? why don't professors allow collaboration on all assignments? why shouldn't I "help" my friends by showing them my work? how can I say "no" to a friend who asks for help?
lying to improve your grade/standing--what's the big deal with a "white lie?"
failing to acknowledge the source of ideas and words in written work--why does anyone care who thought of these ideas first? why should anyone care if I use other people's words?
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).
The system is set up this year to allow multiple attempts until a student passes the quiz (some questions are randomized, so the quizzes will not be identical). Failure to pass the quiz will result in a hold on their registration for Spring semester. The online quiz will be available until September 26th. The quiz consists of about 27 multiple choice questions with 31 possible points; a passing grade is 27.
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