Friday, July 13, 2007

Educating Students on Academic Integrity....

...Via a Bb Online Competition - session from Dalhousie University.

This session was actually pretty interesting - quite a lot to take away. To start with, just as an aside, the presenter explained how he uses the technology in his classroom - he teaches a class of 250 students. His sessions get a face to face attendance of approx 60 students, with around 100-120 following it live and remotely (via wimba and impatica combo). Each student in the room or online gets 1 attendance point for the session. Those students that can't make the synchronous session have 1 week to "make it up" asynchronously and get the attendance point. The points allegedly count towards the overall grade but as the grading is out of 1000, and there are only 24 sessions, maximum attendance would rack up a massive 2.5% grade bump!...but it seems to work and a lot more student-centred than uninanny.

OK, onto the session itself - they have an Academic Integrity Week (2nd wk of 2nd semester) within which they run a Plagiarism Challenge Competition that is designed like a knock out sports tournament. Structure is basically:
Day 1 am - orientation, warm-up/practice game based on institutional treasure hunt
Day 1 pm - round 1 quiz general questions around academic integrity
Day 2 am - round 2, pm - round 3 both of these are about general citation approaches
Day 3 am - round 4 APA referencing techniques
Day 3 pm - round 5 MLA referencing techniques
Day 4 all day - quarter finals
Day 5 am - semis, pm final
(days 4 and 5 reuse mixtures of questions from banks used earlier in the week)

With very minimal marketing and promotion they got approx 1000 site visits, 685 students participated first day, 228 completed all 5 rounds, 80 were advanced to 1/4s, 40 to semis and then top 10 to final (so all in the final would get a prize...more on this in a minute). Once the final is live, the contents of the final is also open for free participation - approx 40 people completed the open version just for fun. Interestingly there was a version of the competition also available to grad students and staff - about 30 had a go.

Quick note on the prizes:
Undergrad - 1st prize C$500 off tuition fee, 2nd and 3rd C$250 gift vouchers for bookstore, next 5 (hence all 10 in the final) C$100 on their dalcard (catering/printing etc)
Grad and Faculty - 1st prize C$100 bookstore vouchers, 2nd prize lunch for 2 at Uni Club, 3rd/4th edu-branded laptop bag and coupons for staff development events.

All this and more available at

Also of possible interest if you are interested in plagiarism (be warned - 107 pages! that's what you call a comprehensive report)

Overall it was a very interesting session and I'm sure there are elements that we could think about for academic integrity and/or digital fluency.

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