Sample English Essays on Academic Integrity Scenarios

According to the International Center for Academic Integrity, academic integrity is defined as the commitment to the five fundamental values that guide the ethical practice of scholarly actions. The five values; honesty, respect, fairness, trust and responsibility form the basis of all academic integrity needs (International Center for Academic Integrity | Cultivating Integrity Worldwide, n.d.). Globally, the principles and concepts that underly academic integrity have been embraced. The embrace can be attributed to each stake holder in the academic institutions including administration, teaching stuff and the students understand that the scholarly goals of learning, research and teaching are best achieved when the ethical standards are upheld. Most learning institutions have come up with an Ethics committee that is responsible for ensuring that the values of academic integrity are upheld at all times. For this essay, we are going to look at the scenario of a student-kai- an international student who has been caught at the cross roads. He is torn between compromising on the academic integrity and feeling sorry for another student who seems not to be as prepared for the assignment. The paper will critically evaluate the role of each stakeholder which involves both students, Dean of Students, topic coordinator and the academic registrar in the said scenario. Additionally, the essay will seek to address the implications and management of the issue if arises.

Kai and the friends are taking the same courses, they have an assignment that Is due the next day. Kai is more confident and prepared to take on the assignments. The friends on the other hand, as much as they meet to discuss the progress of the studies is not feeling as confident as Kai. They have low confidence of their proficiency in English and generally the study. Therefore, feeling like they are underconfident, they want to ask Kai to help out with the assignment. By so doing, the students are willing to compromise on the values of honesty, responsibility and fairness. They want to delegate responsibility and are willing to compete unfairly with others. A study (Academic integrity and plagiarism: A review of the influences and risk situations for health students: Higher Education Research & Development: Vol 32, No 3, n.d.-a) has stated that the involve of an individual or individuals in the breach of academic integrity has to be looked at as the complex issue that it is. It has to take into account the risks and factors that are the driving goal into the entertainment of the taught. Another study by (Bretag et al., n.d.) suggests that among other things, lack of understanding of what academic dishonesty involves, the repercussions of academic dishonest, peer pressure and performance anxiety are some of the drivers towards academic dishonesty. In the case of Ki and friends, its evident that in as much as the friends are unprepared, they are anxious that they need to perform. However, they are unwilling to take the correct route. Kai on the other hand is prepared and ready to take on the assignment. On the flipside, Kai is threading on a dangerous path. Peer pressure ranks very high in the list of influences that cause academic dishonesty. Therefore, by not standing the ground and explaining to the friends the essence of academic integrity. Besides, someone can argue that Kai and the friends are unaware of the consequences of academic dishonesty.

A paper by (Scanlan, 2006) has noted that in academic integrity promotion every stake holder has a role in promoting academic integrity. Each player, the student, the administration and the ethics committee have a hand in enforcing the standards of academic honesty. Take Kai’s case for example, the students have failed in terms of standing by the values. However, in assessing the situation objectively there must be a look into the role of the institution in ensuring the academic integrity is upheld. The institution has three key players in the scene; the topic coordinator, the dean of students’ and the academic integrity transfer. The publication (Academic Integrity as an Institutional Issue: Ethics & Behavior: Vol 11, No 3, n.d.) argues that the institution and the leaders have a role in ensuring academic integrity. The dean of students and the academic integrity registrar are tasked with coming up with strict but fair policies on academic integrity. Besides, they are the people tasked with creating programs and sensitization forums that are educative and equally informative to let the students know of the policies that they come up with. Additionally, the institution should be able to provide support, resources and information relevant to aid the students in their pursuit of quality education. Though on the hypothetical value, the course educator might have played a role in the student feeling insufficient. Therefore, every topic coordinator has to educate the learners and prepare them to feel sufficient for assignments, exams and any assessment.

In every institution, there is a person responsible for Academic integrity. In the case of Flinders university there is the academic integrity registrar. His aim is to achieve 100% academic integrity. Failure to which, the objectives of learning and the teaching goals are immeasurable. It is in essence difficult to give each learner what is due to them in terms of the grades during assessments and assignments if they are not honest. That compromises on the fairness and trust of the system to deliver well prepared learned to the world. Considering Kai’s case, the students are training to be nurses. A noble profession that deals with people’s lives. At times, the nurses at their work stations are the final decision makers on the progress of their patients. For someone much has been given, so much is expected from them. Therefore, compromising on the integrity of academic progress can affect their service delivery. Hence, the reason the values need to be embraced from the early learning stages to the point they become the normal part of their lives.  The scenario in question can actually spin to actual dishonesty. Should that happen, the students must be punished adequately but fairly as per the policy. Besides, the institution can take it as a sensitization and information point to aid other students to abide in the academic integrity guidelines. The students too have a responsibility to seek information and university policy on the issue of academic integrity.

 

Conclusively, the issue of academic integrity is a complex but highly rewarding subject. Therefore, it’s imperative for every player to play their roles and responsibility effectively so as to ensure that academic integrity is maintained as it’s the best way to achieve the learning and teaching goals. Additionally, the scholars and their teachers need to appreciate the matter of academic integrity not as a punishment but as a necessary step to achieving academic goal. The reason for the appreciation can only be anchored in the adage that where there are morals only then are laws sufficient. However, on the other hand, where there are no morals law is impossible to practice. Since understanding the values is an ethical thing, every person needs to inculcate the values without having in mind the punitive measures that may be used against them if they don’t. In other words, the issue of academic integrity is one that should come out so naturally.

 

References

Academic integrity and plagiarism: A review of the influences and risk situations for health students: Higher Education Research & Development: Vol 32, No 3. (n.d.-a). Retrieved March 5, 2020, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07294360.2012.687362

Academic integrity and plagiarism: A review of the influences and risk situations for health students: Higher Education Research & Development: Vol 32, No 3. (n.d.-b). Retrieved March 5, 2020, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07294360.2012.687362

Academic Integrity as an Institutional Issue: Ethics & Behavior: Vol 11, No 3. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2020, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/S15327019EB1103_9

Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M. C., Walker, R., & James, C. (n.d.). Core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy in Australian higher education. 11.

Hoffmann, T. C., Montori, V. M., & Mar, C. D. (2014). The Connection Between Evidence-Based Medicine and Shared Decision Making. JAMA, 312(13), 1295–1296. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2014.10186

International Center for Academic Integrity | Cultivating Integrity Worldwide. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2020, from https://www.academicintegrity.org/

McCabe, D., & Pavela, G. (2000). Some Good News About Academic Integrity. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 32(5), 32–38. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091380009605738

Plagiarism, the Internet, and Student Learning: Improving Academic Integrity—Wendy Sutherland-Smith—Google Books. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2020, from https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=RmgRcMR30RsC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=academic+integrity&ots=HFrwyRHYca&sig=_v8Z6B1jIpAuUxLjDz9ic_3jDKc&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=academic%20integrity&f=false

Scanlan, C. L. (2006, Fall). Strategies to Promote a Climate of Academic Integrity and Minimize Student Cheating and Plagiarism [Text]. Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions. https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/asahp/jah/2006/00000035/00000003/art00010

Strategies to Promote a Climate of Academic Integrity and Minimiz…: Ingenta Connect. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2020, from https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/asahp/jah/2006/00000035/00000003/art00010