Solving the Academic Integrity Problem in Higher Ed

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Eric Gibbs, President at Ouriginal, joined the podcast to talk about how higher ed can navigate the academic integrity issues that have always been with us but which have found new form during last year’s massive migration to online education.

So percentage of totals who admit writtenor test cheating sixty eight percent. So I'd stop there and just say althoughcheating is common in education, it's changed over the years in both character andbody. You're listening to enrollment growth university from Helix Education, the best professionaldevelopment podcast for higher education leaders looking to grow enrollment at their college or university. Whether you're looking for fresh enrollment growth techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's get into the show. Welcomeback to enrollment growth university, a proud member of the connect ETU podcast network. I'm Eric Olsen with Helix Education and we're here today with Eric Gibbs,president at original. Eric, welcome to the show. Thank you very much, Eric. So excited to talk with you today about how higher d canhelp navigate some new academic integrity issues.

Before we dig into that, canyou give the listeners a little bit of background on original? Absolutely so.Original is a set of online academic integrity tools and services that are utilized bySecondary Post secondary in corporations to assist and ensuring originality and authenticity of were writtenwork. The company was launched in September in two thousand and twenty, whento European tech similarity to textion leaders or Ken from Sweden and plag scan fromGermany, combined with over three decades of knowledge and expertise to launch the originalbrand and organization. It's an interesting launch timeline, given what we've seen happens. Hired had to navigate new issues over the last year. To kick usoff today are perhaps you can give us that overview on the current academic integrityproblem in higher ad and if this year's large push to online education has helpedeither accelerator exacerbate it? Yeah, absolutely, Arec so I think what I'll dois, you know, I'll I'll...

...kind of set the baseline for probablythe well most wellknown study referring to academic integrity and higher education, and thatwas compiled based upon student surveys that were conducted between, you know, fallof two thousand and two and spring of two thousand and fifteen by the lateDr Don McCabe and the International Center for Academic Integrity. So the number ofuniversity students who admitted to cheating in some in some form, which I feelsomewhat concerning. So you know, the number of respondents not not a smallsample size. So we'll look at undergraduates. Roughly about seventy onezero students. Thepercent of who admitted cheating on test roughly about forty percent, so thirtynine percent. Number of percentage of who admitted cheating on written assignments. Sothis is where an original would actually be able to kind of deter students inactually any either plagiarizing or cheating. Sixty two percent. And then kind ofthe aggregate, so percentage of totals who...

...admit written or test cheating, sixtyeight percent. So I'd stop there and just say although cheating is common andeducation, it's changed over the years and both character and body. The charactercheating refers not only the appearance and form of cheating but also to the perceptionsof cheating. So if you look at you know, you ask the questionof coming out of the pandemic. Yeah, what is it exacerbated? If anindividual was to review a summary of last my marches, International Center ofAcademic integrities annual conference sessions or skin the headlines from any D teg publications,you could potentially conclude the cheating cases and trends or tipping this skate scales towardsidentifying new ways to cheat during the remote online learning. But I would arguethat, you know, it's basically just a magnifying glass that's simply been loweredto expose an issue that's already been going on for years. It's just moreat scale today. Yeah, I think...

...that's a great summary. The issueis always been with us. The scale, the modalities open up new challenges wehave to navigate. Eric, I think both of us lean on thetech optimistic side of things, but can technology alone solve for these academic integrityissues that we see? Yeah, that that's a great question. Eric.I think you know, technology such a great efficiency tool, but it's notgoing to it's not going to be the single silver bullet. It's not goingto solve the issue. So a tool like original, when you think abouta plagiarism prevention tool, and I call it a plagiarism prevention tool because there'sno such thing as a plagiarism detection tool. That's such a misnomer in the market. So technology can assist but at the end of the day plagiarism preventiontools are part of the overall process. It serves its purpose as a deterrencemeasure, so that deterrence is a piece of the puzzle that interconnects with supportservices, potentially for the learner on campus.

Good course design. I'm a bigproponent of compassion and to be able to set expectations of what is acceptableand not acceptable within the class. So it's really just a complex approach andjust how we can provide, you know, it original authorship authenticity tools to provideinsights as to if a student road a paper based upon, you know, either ai personality traits or stylometry in the writing styles from prior submissions.But at the end of the day that's not going to solve the issue inan institutional academics and integrity initiative. So it's a multifaceted approach really, youknow, to for such a complex problem or issue. Yeah, I lovethat. So if the prevention issue is multifaceted and we have to think aboutexpectations, we've to think about student support, we should think about tools and technologythat we can utilize and we need to address our pedagogy as well.How should we think about integrating or adjusting...

...our course design within the realities ofwhat you refer to as our new digital sharing economy. Yeah, that that'ssomething you know. Certainly I had mentioned good course, design, authentic,authentic assessments. You know, I think for us, what is the biggestissue today for to the causes concern? For me, I've been talking aboutthe digital sharing economy for a while now, but these academic file sharing sites posea real threat or risk to academic integrity. There's no easy solution tofile sharing sites, but it's imperative for at least the educational community and parentsas well to know that these sites exist. I think we find ourselves in akind of whack a mole type of scenario when you one gets exposed ora sease and assist orders a executed, another pops up and you know it'sjust an exponential pace that that's unsustainable. So universities and school administrators first andforemost need to be familiar with this and...

I don't think that we're yet ata pace where where individuals understand the magnitude of content and, when I saycontent, that authentic assessment that they have taken hours for the instructor or professorthat's created. That now is a part of this machine. From what thisdigital sharing economy that students have submitted and is out there now in circulation,which could be a quiz, a lab manual and essay exam. You know, I think we would all agree that that student collaboration is should be encouragedwithin an educational setting. But where it crosses the line is when those artifactsare shared by students when in fact those artifacts, I call them, areowned by the instructor or potentially university with those commercial providers. So, youknow, the companies then provide credits to the students and promotes the fuel forexponential growth. So you know, once this type of behavior becomes the norm, the learning process and instructors hard work...

...becomes diminished and kind of that's wherethe learning process goes out. So you know, even though we have theauthentic learning design, it really needs to be put into perspective from the institution'sperspective to be able then to implement and have that have that good course designfor the instructor. Yeah, that reminded me of a in the age ofNapster, when metallicul decide is let's sue every individual that we find downloading oursongs and looking back, that seems foolish or at least non scalable. Buthow should we navigate those issues? Should we ignore the problem, bear thesand? Should we change how we evaluate? Should we eliminate testing all together?Would that be a better salt here? If you're on the administrative side,on Hirre at, how do you think about those next step challenges?Yeah, I think it is, is a it's a collaboration. It's firsthaving the conversation of what it is within...

...this digital sharing economy. Again,it's not normalizing the the issue or the process. You know, we don'twant to. As I said, we don't want to normalize the behaviors thatare currently trending. You know, I think the study smarter, quicker,faster. That's not the direction that higher education was built upon. We wantto move away from that model that rewards Attainin of degrees and and one thatidentifies or approves or certified skills. You know, that certainly is desirable fromfrom the workforce, and so that's where we should be moving on. Soit's, you know, the question as it pertains to integrity. I thinkthat's the conversation, and so that integrity of the degree, certificate or skillscould be related back to the services that's provided by an original it's fundamental thatthe learners, whether they're submitting a high stakes assessment, group, research presentationor a research blog post, it be authentic and it be original. Andyou know, I think the original the naming convention. That's part of thatconversation. But it's up to that institution...

...to ensure that the delivery and thehonesty and a ethically be attained. I would also say that, you know, are urgency to solve this issue stems from employers staying that the institutions aregranting degrees to students that they do not have those basic skills that are neededto function in the business, marketing or, you know, maybe we say thenon specialized jobs. So, you know, maybe I'm getting out ofmy lane here, but now, is this simply a legacy or qualitative commentfrom a survey or do we need to move to more of a skills basedmodel that matches those needs of the employers with the outcome skills attained by theinstitutions of higher learning? And maybe, with that said, maybe I'll leavethat for the next brandon a bust eat or wally boss Boston Pud podcast.Yeah, you I think you're not overstitting it there. The integrity of ourdegrees are at stake here. So perhaps leave us with this, because ifI'm an administer listening to this, there's...

...so many rabbit holes that I wantto chase you down. Some of those stats that you mentioned make me justso curious about the student motivations. You know, what is the the fearin their heads that that is deciding that they need to do this? Whatis the expectations that we're setting that can curtail that? What can we doto make the motivation or the temptation less? If you're an administrator and you're havingin all campus meeting with your technology heads, any next steps, advicefor how to start thinking through what should our academic integrity plans be moving forward, given this new reality we're in? Yeah, it's a perfect time toreevaluate or the conversation we're having with institutions a modernize your academic integrity process.You know, I think it really starts with building a culture of academic integrityand I and I would recommend to your listeners that utilize great resources, thatthe International Center for Academic Integrity, you...

...know, academic integrity dot org oreven European listeners. You know, European Network for academic integrity, and that'sacademic integrity dot EU. You know, I would say that when you seethese types of cases. So if there's an academic case increasing four hundred percentor a large scale cheating case, we shouldn't close that down way and thinkabout you know that this is the resistance or a deflection. It's a conversation. So research and experience which suggests that, you know, certainly the most successfuland academic integrity on campus. Change begins kind of at that grassroots level. So instead of pushing this down from the top down, I'm hopeful thatkind of faculty and students will act as champions to do the right thing andkind of ensure the moral compass points back in the direction of integrity. Soutilize those resources. Certainly original is there to have that conversation. We're nothere just to promote the deterrent software.

It is a conversation that we're lookingto have with institutions. There are a lot of great institutions out there doinggreat job incorporating the student voice. And again, if you're incorporating the studentvoice and taking that perspective. First and foremost, you really can't have somethingthat's fail proof, because it's it's they are the ones that's at the heartof this, the researcher, the Faculty member that's that's publishing their their dissertationor their their research. These are the individuals that should be at the heartof that conversation. Eric, thanks so much for your time today. What'sthe best place for listeners to connect with you if they have any follow upquestions? Absolutely, you can always reach us at originalcom. That's Oh youare ig I n a lcom or certainly on Linkedin. I'd be more thanhappy to connect, certainly personally. It's Eric Dot Gibbs. That's ear.I see Dot Gibbs at originalcom as well.

I would encourage and walk them thefeedback, as well as just any engaging in any comments as well.I'd be happy to provide you with individuals that can assist you with your academicintegrity policies and procedures if you are looking to modernize them, because it isan ever changing world out there, especially with this digital sharing economy. Awesomegreat intice today, Eric, thanks so much for joining us today. Thankyou very much, Eric. And again thank you for your listeners for givingus the time. Attracting today's new post traditional learners means adopting new enrollment strategies. Helix educations data driven, enterprise wide approach to enrollment growth is uniquely helpingcolleges and universities thrive in this new education landscape, and Helix has just publishedthe second edition of their enrollment growth playbook with fifty percent brand new content onhow institutions can solve today's most pressing enrollment growth challenges, downloaded today for freeat Helix Educationcom. Playbook. You've been...

...listening to enrollment growth university from HelixEducation. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the showin Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening.Until next time.

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