You can now listen to Episode 3 of “Conversations with Student Affairs,” the podcast managed by the Student Affairs team at Penn State World Campus in collaboration with our many colleagues and partners across the University’s Student Affairs teams.
Title: Be Authentic & Be Who You Are
Participating staff members: Karen Feldbaum, senior associate director, and Deanna Locke, case manager, both from the Penn State Office of Student Conduct
Summary: Learn how to help reduce academic integrity allegations and explore the connection between time management and academic integrity. You will also hear about the role Student Conduct plays in advocacy for students.
- Academic Integrity – Avoiding Violations — Review specific examples of academic integrity violations and get tips on how to steer clear of potentially problematic actions.
- Office of Student Conduct — Explore a variety of resources and information related to student support, safety, and conduct.
Three interesting or helpful takeaways from this episode:
Beware of online services that ask you to provide course work samples or materials. Some websites that claim to offer tutoring services, homework help, or assistance in applying for scholarships will ask the student to upload some of their previously completed course work. If a student provides these materials — which may include answers for assignments, quizzes, or exams — the student may unknowingly be putting themselves in a position of academic dishonesty because that vendor may post the student’s work for others to access.
Poor planning can increase the risk of academic integrity violations. “Over the last few years, when I’ve met with students who have had violations, the most common story is that they didn’t plan well, they were working on an assignment right before it was due, and they start to panic because they get stuck.” Deanna says. “They’re worried about getting a bad grade or not finishing the assignment on time. So they turn to shortcuts. They may ask to look at a friend’s work or Google the topic, which then often leads to copying information from an online source.”
Read the course syllabus carefully — as early as possible. “Students should always be looking at their syllabus to see what the faculty member says about academic integrity,” Karen says. “Sometimes there are behaviors that are more specifically defined depending on the course. For example, collaboration and working with peers on a group project. In some classes that is encouraged, where in others it is expected that students should be doing all of the work themselves on their own.” Deanna adds another reason for studying the syllabus before the semester begins: “This is a good time to get a big calendar and go through the syllabus and write down when everything is due. Taking a ‘big picture’ look at the semester ahead of time can help you identify periods when you will have many things due or may need to strategically plan your schedule.”