‘Uphold­ing aca­demic in­tegrity also key in vir­tual class­rooms’

- Rizal Raoul S. Reyes Online Courses · e-Learning · Education · Academic Cheating · Philippines · Southeast Asia · Asia

ALTHOUGH many schools in the Philip­pines and South­east Asia have adapted to the new learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment by in­tro­duc­ing new meth­ods of dis­tance learn­ing and blended learn­ing, an of­fi­cial from an ed­u­ca­tional- soft­ware com­pany re­cently pointed out that ed­u­ca­tors and stu­dents— even parents— need to de­velop aca­demic in­tegrity to make learn­ing a rel­e­vant and sub­stan­tial un­der­tak­ing.

“De­spite sud­den changes in [ed­u­ca­tion de­ploy­ment] sys­tem- wide, aca­demic in­tegrity is still a key con­cept to dis­cuss and es­tab­lish with all stu­dents,” Tur­nitin South­east Asia Head of Busi­ness and Part­ner­ships Jack Brazel said.

Ac­cord­ing to Brazel, ed­u­ca­tors can start teach­ing in­tegrity in the syl­labus by defin­ing it, while point­ing out the con­se­quences of sub­mit­ting pla­gia­rized work. He said the next step is to con­tinue teach­ing tan­gi­ble les­sons around it through­out the class.

“With­out this crit­i­cal foun­da­tion to em­power and en­cour­age learn­ing, stu­dents pick up dis­hon­est habits, such as pla­gia­rism and con­tract cheat­ing, which can be dif­fi­cult to break be­yond the class­room,” Brazel shared.

Af­ter build­ing a solid foun­da­tion in the aca­demic com­mu­nity com­ple­mented with clearly de­fined ex­pec­ta­tions for stu­dents, the Tur­nitin ex­ec­u­tive said ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions and teach­ers need to in­te­grate such into all as­pects of the course: from class as­sign­ments to as­sess­ments.

Brazel added tech­nol­ogy could be a great

en­abler of aca­demic in­tegrity, as it sup­ports the above- men­tioned ef­forts and ad­dresses emerg­ing trends in aca­demic in­tegrity, al­low­ing ed­u­ca­tors to de­tect un­o­rig­i­nal work quickly and turn it into a stu­dent learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Tools for dig­i­tal as­sess­ment and feed­back also em­power ed­u­ca­tors to im­prove in­ter­ac­tion and en­gage­ment with stu­dents who are ad­just­ing to vir­tual class­rooms as the norm,” he said.

Brazel ex­plained that pla­gia­rism starts from small acts, such as com­mit­ting an im­proper ci­ta­tion of a source, or not hav­ing the habit of cit­ing sources from the first draft of a writ­ing as­sign­ment. Although a mi­nor in­frac­tion, he warned this can lead to un­eth­i­cal be­hav­ior, if not caught and cor­rected early. One of the trade­offs of re­mote learn­ing, he told, in­creases the temp­ta­tion of stu­dents to take short­cuts when ref­er­enc­ing ideas, or par­tic­i­pate in col­lu­sion, whereby they get help from fam­ily, friends or other con­tacts to write their work.

More­over, the Tur­nitin of­fi­cial said “stressed stu­dents can also be more sus­cep­ti­ble to en­gage in cheat­ing on­line, and this cur­rent learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment is un­doubt­edly con­tribut­ing to their stress.” Brazel em­pha­sized the abil­ity to con­vey orig­i­nal thought and prop­erly at­tribute the ideas of oth­ers are core parts of learn­ing.

He said aca­demic in­tegrity is key to in­still­ing this abil­ity and teaches foun­da­tional, life­long skills that stu­dents carry with them long af­ter school, in so­ci­ety, and in the work­place.

More­over, ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions should use this op­por­tu­nity to re­in­force aca­demic in­tegrity as part of their val­ues. This must start in their pre- univer­sity years, as stu­dents can learn to ex­press orig­i­nal ideas and un­der­take proper ci­ta­tions. At the same time, ed­u­ca­tion sys­tems and in­sti­tu­tions also need to work col­lec­tively to iden­tify right so­lu­tions to en­hance out­comes in blended- learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments.

He said on­line learn­ing and vir­tual class­rooms will be a key ed­u­ca­tion mod­ule long af­ter the pan­demic, and uphold­ing aca­demic in­tegrity is just as im­por­tant in vir­tual class­rooms as in- per­son learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments. These steps en­sure that in­sti­tu­tions main­tain pos­i­tive rep­u­ta­tions, while stu­dents con­tinue to re­ceive high- qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

 ??  ?? BRAZEL

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