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PALNI Information Literacy Modules

Module 10: Academic Integrity

Introduction 

Integrity, trust, respect, responsibility, courage, honesty, and fairness 

(Langara, Academic Integrity, ARR)

"Academic research leads us to the insight that comes from gaining perspectives and understandings from other people through what we read, watch, and hear. In academic work, we must tell our readers who and what led us to our conclusions" (Teaching & Learning, University Libraries, 2018).

This learning module examines academic integrity as a commitment to responsibly honoring and trusting the ideas of others in a fair and respectable manner.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, you will be able to: 

  • Identify the six values of academic integrity. 
  • Analyze strategies for maintaining academic integrity.

Defining Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a mindset. Realistically, it is a commitment to advancing the scholarship, discourse, and knowledge of your academic community. As a student, you are primed with the opportunity to model the six fundamental values of academic integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage (ICAI, 2021).

Learn more about academic integrity at your school, [insert a link to institutional honor code or academic integrity/dishonesty policy].

Why does this matter?

  1. Academic integrity matters to you. It builds trust and credibility in your work (and the work of the teachers, learners, and researchers before you). As a result, others know they can rely on you to react honestly in the work you are assigned by completing group assignments, producing original projects/papers, and citing information that leads you to the creation of new ideas, for example, in a responsible manner.
  2. Additionally, academic integrity gives you the "freedom to build new ideas, knowledge, and creative works while respecting and acknowledging the work of others" (University of Wollongong, 2021). It creates a path for those (students, teachers, researchers) who follow you by providing them a fair direction back to the ideals upon which you built your new knowledge.
  3. As a result, academic integrity adds value to your degree; it serves as courageous evidence that you understand what you are doing. Personal integrity is important to potential employers, and many organizations seek employees who can advance a culture of fairness, respect, and courage.

Watch this video, created by Future Learn at The University of Auckland to hear student perspectives about the fundamental values of academic integrity.

 
(Future Learn, 2015, CC-BY-NC-SA)


 

Maintaining Academic Integrity

The work you produce reflects your academic integrity. As a scholar, it is your responsibility to model three "simple but powerful principles" (Lipson, 2004, p. 3).

    1. When you say you did the work yourself, you honestly did it yourself.
    2. When you rely on someone else's work, you cite it. When you use their words, you quote them responsibly and accurately, and you cite them, too.
    3. When you present research materials, you present them fairly and truthfully; that's true whether the research involves data, documents, or the writings of other scholars.

In simple terms, listen to and follow the rules/expectations of your professors for every reading, paper, project, quiz, lab, and other academic work. If you don't know what their expectations are, ask, and follow the three principles listed above.

This chart describes strategies for maintaining your academic integrity in various learning scenarios.

 

Strategies for Maintaining Academic Integrity

Scenario Strategies
Class Participation
  • Attend regularly and arrive on time.
  • Keep up with the assigned work.
  • Listen respectfully to the ideas of your peers.
  • Advance the conversation with your own questions, answers, and respond to peer comments.
  • "Keep an open mind, respect others' opinions, and offer reasons [and evidence] for your views."

    (Lipson, 2004, pp. 26-29)
Course Readings
  • Read assigned materials.
  • It's not cheating to skip course readings, but it's irresponsible. Read in chunks by previewing the introduction, conclusion, and section headings first.
  • If you are assigned to read an article, always read the abstract before digging into the rest. 

    (Lipson, 2004, p. 6)
Exams/Tests/Quizzes
  • In-class exams:
    • Only use notes, books, articles, or electronic resources, if and when, you are instructed to. Assume that these supplementary materials are not to be used.
    • Attend and participate in small group study sessions.

      (Lipson, 2004, pp. 6-8)
  • Take-home exams:
    • Verify the use of notes, books, articles, or electronic resources before you complete the exam.
    • Cite any ideas that you summarize, paraphrase, or directly quote. 

      (Lipson, 2004, pp. 6-8)
Papers/Projects/Presentations
  • Write honest papers. Cite the work of others who influenced your thoughts and ideas.
  • Cite when you summarize, paraphrase, or directly quote.
  • Cite data, images, videos that you use. Cite these both in-text or on visual slides and include a Works Cited or Reference page with full citations.

    (Luther College, 2021)
Research
  • Take notes, and clearly distinguish your ideas from those of others.
  • List resources as you consult them.
  • Cover up resources as you paraphrase them to better ensure that you use your own words.

    (Luther College, 2021)
Group Assignments
  • Know your professor's expectations for group work.
  • Participate responsibly in group study/work sessions.
  • Discuss methods, strategies, and study tips, not answers.

    (Luther College, 2021)
Lab Work
  • Work together with your lab partner, if allowed; keep your own notes, and write up your own results.
  • Record honest data as soon as possible. Do not rely on memory.
  • Record experimental mistakes. Cross out errors to keep a trail of your work.

    (Lipson, 2004, pp. 22-26)

 

Acknowledgments

The content for this module was drawn from the following sources:

Future Learn. (2015, Feb 2). What is academic integrity? The University of Auckland: New Zealand. [YouTube video]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aCRYFzhlBY

International Center for Academic Integrity [ICAI]. (2021). Fundamental values of academic integrity (pp. 4-10). CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 International license. https://www.academicintegrity.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/20019_ICAI-Fundamental-Values_R12.pdf 

Lipson, C. (2004). Doing honest work in college. The University of Chicago Press. pp. 6-11; 15-29.

Luther College. (2021). How to avoid academic dishonesty. Academic Integrity. https://www.luther.edu/academic-integrity/academicdishonesty/ 

Teaching & Learning, University Libraries. (2018). Ethical use and citing sources. Choosing & using sources: A guide to academic research. The Ohio State University. https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/choosingsources/ 

University of Wollongong. (2021). Why is academic integrity so important? Academic & research integrity. https://www.uow.edu.au/about/governance/academic-integrity/teachers/importance/

Activity

Either in the textbox in the LMS or in a Word document, answer the following questions for each of the scenarios below.

Scenario #1 - Your professor encourages group work but requires that all assignments be written individually. You work together with another student, and you write down your ideas as you both work, contributing equally. As required, you write up your reports separately, using your notes from your work session together.

    • Which of the six values is evident in this example of academic integrity? Explain.

Scenario #2 - You loan your finished work to a friend as an idea of how to complete the assignment. Without your knowledge, your friend copies a few of the answers and hands in the assignment. Your professor notices the similarities and reports both of you for cheating.

    • Which of the following values (honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage) is missing in this scenario. Explain.

Scenario #3 - You incorporate a few images and a video from two websites into a class presentation. Additionally, you use data from your course textbook. Within your PowerPoint, you cite each image, video, and textbook data when you use it on each slide the information appears on.

    • What else should you do to ensure that your PowerPoint respectfully and accurately represents the sources (images, video, textbook data) you consulted?

Quiz

See the Google doc here for quiz questions and answers. Please note, this document is stored on the PALNI team drive and is only accessible to those who work in a PALNI school.