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
This activity will help you to recognize academic misconduct and the common pitfalls to avoid. With the help ofpages 6 and 7of the"Student Academic Misconduct Regulations", determine how the following cases might be judged.
Would you say these 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: 10410 votes (77%)
Not Misconduct: 2366 votes (17.5%)
Not Sure: 744 votes (5.5%)
Total Votes: 13520
Misconduct: 6706 votes (50.13%)
Not Misconduct: 5659 votes (42.31%)
Not Sure: 1011 votes (7.56%)
Total Votes: 13376
Misconduct: 12170 votes (94.96%)
Not Misconduct: 408 votes (3.18%)
Not Sure: 238 votes (1.86%)
Total Votes: 12816
Misconduct: 10700 votes (83.59%)
Not Misconduct: 1240 votes (9.69%)
Not Sure: 861 votes (6.73%)
Total Votes: 12801
Misconduct: 12197 votes (97.2%)
Not Misconduct: 227 votes (1.81%)
Not Sure: 124 votes (0.99%)
Total Votes: 12548
Misconduct: 10079 votes (79.64%)
Not Misconduct: 2076 votes (16.4%)
Not Sure: 501 votes (3.96%)
Total Votes: 12656
Misconduct: 11037 votes (88.35%)
Not Misconduct: 1199 votes (9.6%)
No Sure: 256 votes (2.05%)
Total Votes: 12492
Misconduct: 11631 votes (93.93%)
Not Misconduct: 516 votes (4.17%)
Not Sure: 236 votes (1.91%)
Total Votes: 12383
Misconduct: 12032 votes (96.03%)
Not Misconduct: 306 votes (2.44%)
Not Sure: 191 votes (1.52%)
Total Votes: 12529
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, identify the negative thoughts that might compromise academic integrity and the positive thoughts that uphold academic integrity.
Dig a Little Deeper
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).
The University of Waterloo offers 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.