On May 29th, Faculty and administrators from across Manitoba gathered at Booth University College to discuss the complex topic of academic integrity (AI). In its third year, the Academic Integrity Inter-Institutional Meeting (AIIIM) focused on sharing successes, challenges and tools to promote academic standards within institutions. To read more about the first annual AIIIM event in 2017, which was hosted by The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, University of Manitoba, click here.
Academic integrity refers to a commitment to academic standards and embracing the values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness and responsibility, and having the courage to act on these values (Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity, 2013).
Throughout the day, post-secondary professionals listened to presentations and participated in cracker-barrel sessions (a short session repeated three times in 75-minutes) that focused on creating resources, promoting self-compassion and implementing appropriate disciplinary actions to preserve academic integrity.
Creating resources to support academic integrity
In most cases, students are not setting out to plagiarize, according to many of the discussions from the day. These students may not be aware of the policies, have a hard time understanding how to reference appropriately or experiencing turmoil in their own lives. To provide clarity on academic standards, some institutions are collaborating with the Manitoba Flexible Learning HUB to create online resources that define, explain and promote AI. The HUB supports provincially funded institutions in Manitoba to develop online learning resources.
Academic Integrity in the Visual and Spatial Arts
In the last year, Dr. Karen Wilson Baptist, Faculty of Architecture, Liv Valmestad, School of Art, Dr. Brenda Stoesz The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and Loie Gervais, Student Engagement and Success at the University of Manitoba collaborated with the Manitoba Flexible Learning HUB, realizing that students In Architecture and Fine Arts programs needed to learn more about how the principles of academic integrity apply to their fields. They also recognized the need to provide support for visual and spatial arts instructors to educate their students about academic Integrity, so staff set out to show them how to avoid plagiarism when designing and creating. ‘Academic Integrity in the Visual and Spatial Arts’ is a creative commons licensed resource that discusses the topics of visual and spatial academic integrity, ways of learning it, along with best practices and considerations.
“We were looking for a resource to contextualize AI to these specific fields by drawing on the questions and challenges that people face when creating visual work,” states Loie Gervais, AI coordinator from the U of M. “The hope is that the instructors can take the resource as a starting point for conversations with students and adapt it for their pedagogical needs We also foresee the creation of similar resources for other less writing-heavy fields, such as music and the trades.”
Orienting students to Academic Integrity
In contrast to a specific approach to AI, Assiniboine Community College is taking an integrated approach toward the moral code of academia. Currently, in development with the HUB, the goal of the online orientation guide is to embed AI into curriculum and assignment design, along with student orientation and transition planning.
“When designing a course, we design it with student success in mind,” notes Sasha White, Instructional Designer at the HUB. “I believe in taking a multi-faceted approach to course creation. We strive to improve student success, so we use performance indicators that support and deepen the understanding of information.”
Creating a MAIN network of collaboration
The information-filled day concluded with the first board meeting for the Manitoba Academic Integrity Network (MAIN). The purpose of MAIN is to identify projects that can be tackled collaboratively, create and share resources and efficiently organize the annual AIIIM meeting. It can also serve as a way to connect individuals working on essential topics.
Twelve people from seven institutions attended the first MAIN board meeting, and meetings will occur two to three times per year as a full group.
Are you a staff member in a post-secondary institution who is interested in the topic of academic integrity? Please contact Brenda Stoesz at Brenda.Stoesz@umanitoba.ca for more information or to sign up to be a part of MAIN.
Red River College will host AIIIM 2020. More information to follow.
Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public universities and colleges. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to campusmanitoba.ca, our websites include ecoursesmb.ca, setyourcourse.ca, and openedmb.ca.