ICAI_2014_Paul_Sopcak - Center for Academic Integrity

Putting Students First Doesn’t
Mean Letting Students By
Paul Sopcak & Susan Mills
MacEwan University
[email protected]
– Factors that deter faculty from buying into the “culture
of AI” and its related procedures
– Potential consequences of faculty “doing their own
– Ways to encourage faculty to buy into and promote a
culture of AI that puts students first
• Administrative ways
• Principled ways
– Conclusion: Putting students first does not have to
mean letting them by
Factors Keeping Faculty From Buying-In
Fear of ruining student’s career/future
Lack of knowledge of policy and procedures
Feeling of breach of trust
Feeling of violating their teaching mandate/vocation
Feeling of turning their students in/hypocritical
Resistance to what is perceived as a culture that puts
rules, not students, first
Dangers of Faculty Not Buying-In
• Inconsistent Dealings with AI violations across
• Undermining culture of AI and student buy-in
• Undermining student’s rights
• Making institution vulnerable to lawsuits
• …
Administrative Ways of Encouraging
Faculty Buy-In
• Make procedure and resources intuitive, easy, quick
(templates and flowcharts)
• Educate faculty on curriculum development,
classroom management, policy, procedures, statistics,
and dispel myths
• Put penalty decisions for first offenders in their hands
and remind them that they are in control
• Get provost or dean to stress importance of following
policy procedures
Principled Ways of Encouraging Faculty
• Stress potential consequences of “dealing with cheaters in their
own way”
• Stress their teaching mandate/vocation and the learning
opportunity that AI violations provide
• Remind faculty that half of AI violations are unintentional (lack
of skill & knowledge)
• Encourage faculty to treat AI violations as policy violations
rather than ethical transgressions, when appropriate
• Get faculty to reflect on the power of their language to
encourage or stifle learning: “dishonesty,” “misconduct,”
“penalty” should not be used lightly, for instance
Possible Objection and Response
• Objection: “We are letting students by, when we
focus on prevention and education over
• Response: 2-step approach (separate procedures for
first and multiple violations) ensures:
– Penalties for multiple cheaters are appropriate and
consistent across the institution
– Faculty has control over consequences for first (not
“serious”) violations
– Best of both worlds with a focus on student learning
• Being fair, consistent, sensitive to unintentional
violations, and focusing on the learning
experience, puts students first and does not have
to mean being “soft” or letting students by

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