Integrity has always been considered as one of the most fundamental characteristics of human beings, it is advised and, even, religiously praised. That’s why, not only the individuals but also singular entities such as businesses, institutions have started to include integrity in their mission and vision statements claiming that they offer a reliable service for others. Even when it is not about offering any service, it is a humanistic element everyone would like to see and have as this is what makes one “good”.
As mentioned above, this crucial element has become a concern in the educational world specifically, since school is the ideal and the most proper setting to instill integrity into students` minds. Remembering the kindergarden times and checking Pre-K curricula, we can easily see that there is always a tendency to integrate the concept of integrity into the classes. Starting from the early ages, with the influence of culture and religion, the first advise being taught is `not to lie`. This unwritten but highly important rule is a rule which is valid in all areas of life, so it becomes schools
, teachers` responsibility to teach. Similar to other proffesions, and with the global changes, academia has started to face some integrity issues. This progressive mistake has urged the academia to take necessary actions to be able to prevent unwelcomed behoviors. To illustrate, faculties started to have a seperate section for academic integrity on their syllabi, teachers started to highlight the penalties and compensations in the case of academic dishonesty.
Although there are strict rules and item-by-item points showing how to behave in academic contexts, it is hard to catch up with the recent changes. When it comes to the dynamic processes, the evaluation criteria won`t be black and white, but there will always be a (im)possible gray lines. With all ambiguities and rules, the need to specify and exemplify evaluation criteria has aroused and institutions have started to offer training sessions on academic integrity. It is no doubt that academia has taken the advantage of library resources to provide students with a better academic understanding of integrity. Certainly, the libraries, scholarly-rich resources, will provide reliable and valid criteria for academic integrity assessments.
A study investigating whether AR (Augmented Reality) can be more effective to teach Academic Integrity Ethics (AIE) has brought a new understanding to the concept. The researchers aimed at raising students who are academically more engaged and equipped with problem-solving skills, as those are the highlighted skills of the 21st century. In the design of the study, there are physical trails located in Hong Kong University campuses, and students are supposed to visit the trails, actually called as Trails of Integrity and Ethics (TIE), to see authentic academic integrity problems in which dilemmas and problematic scenarios arise. The objective of such application is to demonstrate the scenarios via AR technologies and expect students to think critically and make an effort to solve the problem considering the academic integrity rules and values. With the assistance of AR technology, students had the chance of facing authentic integrity problems and found themselves in real challenges that need to be solved. The results showed that students` success in understanding and applying academic integrity has increased. The TIE users stated that they started to apply what they practiced on TIE AR into their own academic performances.
Based on the study I mentioned above, as a digital educator, I can not only emphasize the usage of cutting-edge tech but also the precious effort of creating a student-centered learning experience for academia. As an educator, when I looked through the academic sources or applications designed to teach academic integrity phenomena, I can easily see the blog lists with the names of the e-tools used with the purpose of monitoring the students if they are cheating or e-tools employed by the schools to mark plagiarism, wrong quotations. Those tools, which I call shortcuts, are academia-friendly as they are practical in use; however, their initial aim is to detect the misbehavior not to teach how to correct it, unfortunately. To clarify, in their study, Sefcik, Striepe, and Yorke declare how curricula lack comprehensive information on academic integrity values and, instead, focus on plagiarism and student responsibility. In the argumentation part, the researchers offer more collaborative academic programs with learner feedback with a greater focus on building values.
As we see in both studies, there is a tendency of integrating students into the concept and designing the academic integrity education around this framework. I strongly support the idea of building educational structures around the students` good as we are teaching for their good and expecting them to achieve. It is unfair to expect achievement from the student to whom we haven’t shown how it looks like in real, but only to focus on the assessment criteria. Seeing how effective to be engaged in authentic and collaborative learning, I assume it will be ideal for all educators to keep in mind that all teaching and learning processes are for learners in the world and all human beings are lifelong authentic learners.
Wong, E.Y., Kwong, T. & Pegrum, M. Learning on mobile augmented reality trails of integrity and ethics. RPTEL 13, 22 (2018)
Lesley, S., Michelle, S. & Jonathan, Y. Mapping the landscape of academic integrity education programs: what approaches are effective. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education; Vol. 45 Issue 1 (2020)