Generic Learning Materials: Developing Academic Integrity in Your Students

Generic Learning Materials: Developing Academic Integrity in Your Students

Helen Durham (University of Leeds, UK), Samuel Leung (University of Southampton, UK) and David DiBiase (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-980-9.ch008
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Academic integrity (AI) is of relevance across all academic disciplines, both from the perspective of the educator and the student. From the former perspective there is the need to increase the awareness of AI amongst the student population whilst monitoring and enforcing the rules and regulation regarding plagiarism within their institution. On the other hand, students need a full appreciation of the importance of AI and a clear recognition of the penalties for flouting the regulations in order to steer a successful passage through higher education and on into their professional career. By repurposing learning materials originally developed by the Pennsylvania State University (USA), the Universities of Southampton and Leeds (UK) have developed academic integrity guidelines to support students in their studies and provide an assessment of their understanding of AI concepts. This chapter describes the development of these learning activities and examines the technical and content issues of repurposing materials for three different institutions. It also reflects on the success of embedding the guidelines and assessment in geography programmes at two UK universities, examines the effect of using the online plagiarism detection service, Turnitin, to police plagiarism cases and summaries the lessons learnt in helping geography students to enhance their study skills.
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What do we mean by academic integrity? Academic integrity refers to a standard of behavior expected from all members of the academic community in which all work produced should be one’s own and if ideas and material are used from other sources, then these should be attributed appropriately. It is not just plagiarism (the representation of someone else’s ideas, words or intellectual property as one’s own) that is under discussion; hence the broader terminology “academic integrity” is used in this chapter. The term academic integrity is a more positive view of the concept emphasizing the need for correct citation, full referencing, relevant and well-punctuated quotations, and accurately represented paraphrasing. These, in addition to avoiding plagiarism, all constitute academic integrity. Hinman (2002) identifies academic integrity as consisting of five core values required for academic life to flourish: honesty, fairness, trust, respect, and responsibility. Anyone employed or studying in the academic sector is expected to show integrity in their work whether, for example, they are students submitting assignments or academics producing papers. Submitting work that is not wholly your own, or using ideas or quotes from other sources without citing and referencing correctly, is cheating.

Understanding and agreeing to the terms of academic integrity is an important step to help students avoid inadvertent plagiarism resulting from ignorance, lack of understanding, causal attitude, and cultural differences. All of these have become sensitive issues facing the academic community in the light of widening access and an internationalized education market. When cheating has been detected, is the transgression a result of poor scholarship or rather an intention to gain unfair advantage? Larkham and Manns (2002) discuss the difficulties of distinguishing between these two situations and highlight the complexity and practical problems of identifying plagiarism cases and penalizing appropriately. McCabe (2000) suggests that there is a growing perception among students that many of their peers are plagiarizing to gain unfair advantages without being caught; while most students would prefer a truly honest and level studying environment, many are “unwilling to become moral heroes” and thus reluctantly follow suit. This view of gaining unfair advantage by plagiarizing is supported by studies carried out among staff and students at UK universities by Dordoy (2002) and Barrett and Cox (2005). Student perceptions of cheating and plagiarism are also reported in Ashworth et al. (1997), concluding with the message that it is important to stress to students the positive reasons for correctly attributing work and that students should consider themselves part of a scholarly community. From these studies it can be seen that it is essential for students to realize that academic integrity goes beyond a good grade and that the adherence to it is an important quality in their career and personal development.

This chapter sets out to emphasize the importance of academic integrity across the board of learning, teaching, and research, and describes the repurposing of existing learning resources to guide the academic community in their understanding and application of “good practice”. This is achieved through focusing on a case study from the Joint Information System Committee (JISC) and National Science Foundation (NSF) funded DialogPLUS project, part of the Digital Libraries in the Classroom program of work. It draws on experiences of academic staff from one United States of America (USA) and two United Kingdom (UK) universities and explores the development and embedding phase of repurposed learning material from the initial identification of a generic learning resource through to the examination of usage in current study programmes.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Lou McGill
Chapter 1
Philip Rees, Louise Mackay, David Martin, Gráinne Conole, Hugh Davis
Technologies offer a range of tantalizing potentials for education—in terms of providing access to media- rich context and for students to visualize... Sample PDF
Developing E-Learning in Geography
Chapter 2
Samuel Leung, David Martin, Richard Treves, Oliver Duke-Williams
In contrast to other Web-based resources, e-learning materials are not always exchangeable and shareable. Although transferring electronic documents... Sample PDF
Exchanging E-Learning Materials, Modules, and Students
Chapter 3
Helen Durham, Katherine Arrell, David DiBiase
Collaborative learning activity design (CLAD) is a multi-institution approach to the creation of e-learning material from the design phase through... Sample PDF
Collaborative Learning Activity Design: Learning about the Global Positioning System
Chapter 4
David Martin, Philip Rees, Helen Durham, Stephen A. Matthews
This chapter presents the development of a series of shared learning materials prepared to facilitate teaching in human geography. The principal... Sample PDF
Census and Population Analysis
Chapter 5
Stephen Darby, Sally J. Priest, Karen Fill, Samuel Leung
In this chapter we outline the issues involved in developing, delivering, and evaluating a Level 2 undergraduate module in fluvial geomorphology.... Sample PDF
Using Digital Libraries to Support Undergraduate Learning in Geomorphology
Chapter 6
Jim Wright, Michael J. Clark, Sally J. Priest, Rizwan Nawaz
There is an inherent antithesis between environmental management as professional practice and as concept or philosophy. Not only does this... Sample PDF
Engaging with Environmental Management: The Use of E-Learning for Motivation and Skills Enhancement
Chapter 7
Louise Mackay, Samuel Leung, E. J. Milton
In our experience of earth observation (EO) online learning we highlight the usefulness of the World Wide Web in terms of its software... Sample PDF
Earth Observation: Conveying the Principles to Physical Geography Students
Chapter 8
Helen Durham, Samuel Leung, David DiBiase
Academic integrity (AI) is of relevance across all academic disciplines, both from the perspective of the educator and the student. From the former... Sample PDF
Generic Learning Materials: Developing Academic Integrity in Your Students
Chapter 9
Karen Fill, Gráinne Conole, Chris Bailey
The DialogPLUS Toolkit is a web-based application that guides the design of learning activities. Developed to support the project’s geographers, it... Sample PDF
A Toolkit to Guide the Design of Effective Learning Activities
Chapter 10
David DiBiase, Mark Gahegan
This chapter investigates the problem of connecting advanced domain knowledge (from geography educators in this instance) with the strong pedagogic... Sample PDF
Concept Mapping to Design, Organize, and Explore Digital Learning Objects
Chapter 11
Terence R. Smith, Marcia Lei Zeng
We describe a digital learning environment (DLE) organized around sets of concepts that represent a specific domain of knowledge. A prototype DLE... Sample PDF
Semantic Tools to Support the Construction and Use of Concept-Based Learning Spaces
Chapter 12
Richard Treves
Teaching geography at university level involves students in study of complex diagrams and maps. These can be made easier to understand if split into... Sample PDF
Simple Geography-Related Multimedia
Chapter 13
Karen Fill, Louise Mackay
This chapter is concerned with the evaluation of learning materials and activities developed as part of the DialogPLUS project. A range of... Sample PDF
Evaluating the Geography E-Learning Materials and Activities: Student and Staff Perspectives
Chapter 14
Louise Mackay, David Martin, Philip Rees, Helen Durham
In this book we have illustrated the materials, software, and experience of developing and delivering geography e-learning courses and learning... Sample PDF
Reflections, Lessons Learnt, and Conclusions
Chapter 15
Sally Priest
This chapter discusses the design, technical development, delivery, and evaluation of two online learning activities in environmental geography. A... Sample PDF
Online Learning Activities in Second Year Environmental Geography
Chapter 16
Dion Hoe-Lian Goh
With the rapid growth of digital information, there is increasing recognition that digital libraries (DL) will play important roles in education... Sample PDF
Learning Geography with the G-Portal Digital Library
Chapter 17
Shivanand Balram
This chapter describes the origins, boundaries, and structures of collaborative geographic information systems (CGIS). A working definition is... Sample PDF
Collaborative Geographic Information Systems: Origins, Boundaries, and Structures
Glossary of Terms
About the Contributors