A blurb about the ambiguous nature of unintentional misconduct:
Within the field of academic integrity, there are two categories of academic misconduct, each posing an equally serious problem. Blatant misconduct, which is less rampant, is easy to recognize and avoid. Ambiguous misconduct is often committed unintentionally and is mostly attributable to a lack of knowledge, understanding and/or planning. In fact, there is a complex interaction between ‘intent’ and ‘honest error’1 which makes it difficult to recognize ambiguous misconduct. This presents challenges for both faculty and students, making it necessary to clearly articulate what the rules are and above all, what the expectations are of students.
Activity 1 - Misconduct Adjudication
The following activity will help you to recognize academic dishonesty and the common misconduct pitfalls to avoid. With the help ofpages 5 and 6of the"Student Academic Misconduct Regulations", determine how the following cases might be judged.
Would you say the following scenarios do or do not constitute academic misconduct? If you are unsure, find the answer by referring to the regulations or by clicking the link 'Not Sure'.
Misconduct: 2739 votes (81.69%)
Not Misconduct: 449 votes (13.39%)
Not Sure: 165 votes (4.92%)
Total Votes: 3353
Misconduct: 1713 votes (51.8%)
Not Misconduct: 1321 votes (39.95%)
Not Sure: 273 votes (8.26%)
Total Votes: 3307
Misconduct: 3057 votes (96.34%)
Not Misconduct: 77 votes (2.43%)
Not Sure: 39 votes (1.23%)
Total Votes: 3173
Misconduct: 2843 votes (90.31%)
Not Misconduct: 174 votes (5.53%)
Not Sure: 131 votes (4.16%)
Total Votes: 3148
Misconduct: 3041 votes (97.88%)
Not Misconduct: 38 votes (1.22%)
Not Sure: 28 votes (0.9%)
Total Votes: 3107
Misconduct: 2570 votes (82.06%)
Not Misconduct: 456 votes (14.56%)
Not Sure: 106 votes (3.38%)
Total Votes: 3132
Misconduct: 2788 votes (89.59%)
Not Misconduct: 256 votes (8.23%)
No Sure: 68 votes (2.19%)
Total Votes: 3112
Misconduct: 2928 votes (95.13%)
Not Misconduct: 99 votes (3.22%)
Not Sure: 51 votes (1.66%)
Total Votes: 3078
Misconduct: 3000 votes (96.77%)
Not Misconduct: 57 votes (1.84%)
Not Sure: 43 votes (1.39%)
Total Votes: 3100
Activity 2 - Spot Your Inner Dialogue
When it comes to completing your coursework with integrity, your inner dialogue may be challenging. The temptation to rationalize minor acts of misconduct can be compelling, especially when pressed for time. Some thoughts might lead to taking questionable shortcuts which might, in turn, compromise integrity. In the activity below, can you identify the negative thoughts that might compromise academic integrity and the positive thoughts that uphold academic integrity?
Dig a Little Deeper
Mobile App: Integrity Matters
The University of Waterloo has developed an Academic Integrity Mobile App for iPhone and Android devices. It is available in several languages and is free to download from ITunes or Google Play. Use it to enhance your understanding of academic integrity.
If you have time:
Review the Turnitin Plagiarism Spectrum to become even more familiar with the most common pitfalls (practices that could lead to misconduct).
Queen's University offers a few more scenarios to explore. To hone your academic integrity skills, consider the breach of academic integrity associated with each situation.
The University of Toronto lists common academic misconduct pitfalls. Click on the links to discover the strategies recommended for how to avoid each pitfall.