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Academic integrity highlighted in weeklong event

September 29, 2014 — 

This year’s annual Academic Integrity Week takes place from September 29 to October 3.

Everyone is invited to visit the booth in University Centre between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to spin the Wheel of Chance, test their academic integrity knowledge and to enter a prize draw for a U of M BookStore gift certificate. You can also see the the student advocacy & accessibility website for resources for both instructors and students.

The Academic Integrity Week initiative dates back to 1997, and aims to “draw the attention of U of M students and staff to the importance of academic integrity.” The project has received awards from the Canadian Association for College and University Student Services (CACUSS) for its “innovative approach” towards educating university students on academic standards and honesty.

The student advocacy and accessibility office assists and advises students facing the possibility of academic disciplinary action. It serves as a resource for students seeking clarification on their rights and responsibilities as U of M students. It also runs an Academic Integrity Ambassadors volunteer program. Student volunteers participate in outreach activities, workshops, and presentations to fellow students about academic integrity.

In November 2012, the U of M was part of a national survey of university campuses on the topic of academic integrity. The university participated in a similar survey in 2002, and there is now comparative data from first year students, undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and teaching assistants.

Below are a few examples of the research findings:

  • In 2012, approximately 20 per cent of students surveyed felt that cheating was a serious problem on our campus, whereas 55 per cent of faculty members felt so;
  • There was a slight decrease in students’ perceptions of the frequency of cheating and plagiarism on our campus (in 2012, 38 per cent felt it occurred often or very often, whereas in 2002, 47 per cent felt so);
  • There is an increase in students’ reports of instructors discussing plagiarism (56 per cent of students reported this in 2012 compared to 41 per cent in 2002);
  • Fewer first year students reported engaging in plagiarism in 2012 compared to 2002 (between 38 per cent and 47 per cent admitted to copying without footnoting, or copying from electronic source in 2012, compared to between 59 per cent to 62 per cent reporting this activity in 2002).

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A university-wide Academic Integrity Working Group (AIWG) has been formed at the U of M. Taking a multi-faceted approach, the working group is looking at educational strategies and resources for students and teaching staff, examining the current policies and procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of cheating or plagiarism as well as the disciplinary outcomes.

Co-lead of the AIWG and director of student advocacy and accessibility Brandy Usick says that the purpose of the AIWG is to create an institutional strategy on promoting the importance of academic integrity at the U of M.

“The literature shows that it is important for universities to create an institutional culture that promotes academic integrity. Communicating expectations about and providing education on the rules to student is vital,” she says.

The University of Manitoba is a member of the International Centre for Academic Integrity and endorses its new Fundamental Values Project, which defines academic integrity as “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action.”

Academic Integrity Week is an initiative of the student advocacy office and the Academic Integrity Working Group.

Read the President’s message on Academic Integrity.

 

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