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Academic Integrity: A Matter of Academic HonestyNovember 11, 2021
Upholding the principles of academic integrity is important to success in the learning and development process as a student and a professional academic. Dr. Romina de Jong, Academic Affairs Director of Parami University, discussed the importance of academic integrity for everyone being part of the academic community and how Parami encourages academic honesty in the classroom and seeks to build a community of dignity.
What is academic integrity?
Integrity is about being honest and having principles that lead you to make choices that reflect integrity and responsible behavior. A knowledge institute like a university aims for collaboration between individual scholars as well as between faculty and students based on trust. This should result in the exchange of ideas and the creation of new knowledge. Principles to guide academically responsible behavior are built around honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Upholding these principles means you would not cheat, plagiarise, fabricate results, etc.
Why is it important for students?
Academic integrity is important for everyone who is a part of the community that is involved in research, education, and scholarship. Such a community is called academia. It does not matter whether your role in academia is that of a student, a faculty, research assistant, or professor, nor does it matter where your academic community is: it applies to everyone who's in academia. Upholding the principles of academic integrity is a way of protecting the integrity of the community as a whole, but it is also about your own learning and development process as a student or a professional academic. Academically dishonest behavior hurts the community, just as it damages your learning path. In that sense, it really is the same as cheating on exams - you might get away with it, but then, what have you won?
How does Parami encourage academic integrity in the Parami community, especially for faculty members and students?
Parami is finalizing its policies on academic integrity and plagiarism. Faculty now have access to a built-in tool in Canvas to check for plagiarism. However, we prefer not to detect plagiarism at all - which means we will have to prepare our students. While things are still in the process of being developed, part of the implementation plan is a handbook for students on academic integrity, combined with a mandatory self-paced learning course for all our students so that they fully understand what academically responsible behavior means. Just think of the following examples and decide if it's academically dishonest or not: 1) Copy and paste work from someone else in your work without referencing the original source. 2) Put an idea of someone else in your own words without referencing the original source. 3) Paraphrase material from multiple sources to make it seem as if it's your own work. 4) Use an excess of sources just to meet a word or page count. 5) Without asking the faculty/professor permission, use past work that is your own. 6) Take an exam for someone else. 7) Use a student's research paper, idea, or project for your own purposes without consulting the student. Have you ever done one of those things?
Postscriptum from Dr. Romina: I've found inspiration for this interview at multiple places but benefited hugely from the Purdue University website and the MIT student handbook for Academic Integrity.
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