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Academic Integrity Tutorial: Explore Academic Skills Development

Understanding Scholarly Conversation

Scholarly conversations, unlike social conversations, are part of the academic research that you will engage in and possibly contribute to as a university student. This is an active process where you seek out what other scholars are already saying about a topic. Similarly, scholarly information, unlike popular information, is often a more reliable source of information because it undergoes a rigorous peer review process, is subject specific and geared toward scholars and experts in a field. That said, there are times in your academic studies when you will access and use popular information so, for the purpose of this tutorial, it is important simply to recognize that there is a difference between scholarly and popular information.  

Using the interactive activity below, can you distinguish between scholarly and popular information, and by extension, scholarly and social conversations?

The Importance of a Growth Mindset

Having a growth mindset has become synonymous with a willingness to learn and develop new skills. According to Dr. Carol Dweck, having a growth mindset is associated with better academic performance. Her findings suggest that students with a growth mindset achieve grades almost three times better than students with a fixed mindset and the gap tends to widen over time.1

Have you ever wondered whether you have a fixed or a growth mindset? Watch the video, "Growth Mindset Introduction" or the "Carol Dweck Mindset Interview" to learn about the difference between having a fixed and a growth mindset. Then, complete the Mindset Questionnaire to determine which way you lean.

Dr. Carol Dweck is a professor from Stanford University and author of the book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success".2 

Growth Mindset Introduction

Source: "Growth Mindset Introduction: What it is, How it Works, and Why it Mattersby Trevor Ragan is licensed through Standard YouTube License

Meet Carol Dweck

Source: "Carol Dweck: Mindset interviewby Mike Bell is licensed through Standard YouTube License

Your Academic Skill Set

As you complete the activities in this tutorial, it should become clear that academic success at university is associated with having a growth mindset and with developing some key academic skills.

Completing your work with integrity [honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage] is a big step in the right direction but on its own, cannot guarantee academic success. Success is determined by hard work and perseverance, by adopting a ‘growth mindset’, and also by developing the practical skills of active and effective reading, writing, researching, studying and help seeking. Combined together, these skills represent a proactive approach to managing the demands of university life. 

The following represents some of the key academic skills that are essential to managing these demands. Developing these skills can help mitigate the risk of academic misconduct and make it possible to complete your work with integrity. 



Engaging Ethically in Scholarly Conversation

Remember that engaging in research at university means contributing to an ongoing conversation about a scholarly topic. This means understanding the difference between scholarly and popular information and being able to use that information responsibly and ethically. When you consult sources such as books and journal articles, you enter a scholarly conversation that has already begun. If you incorporate the ideas from those books and articles into your assignments, you are obliged to acknowledge the conversation by citing those scholars. Giving credit to other academic scholars is an essential component of working with academic integrity.  In contrast, not giving credit or failing to cite your sources is considered plagiarism, constitutes academic misconduct and, as we learned in Module 2, can have serious consequences.

The following video illustrates the ethical use of both print based and online material and emphasizes the importance of accurately quoting, paraphrasing and citing the sources you use in your research assignments.

Source: "Nobody like a Copy Cat: The Ethical Use of Information" by La Trobe University Library

The learning activities that follow will help you identify​

  • the gaps in your academic skill set
  • the learning supports available to help you close the gaps in your skill set

1. "Decades of Scientific Research That Started a Growth Mindset Revolution." The Growth Mindset - What Is Growth Mindset - Mindset Works. 
2.  Dweck, Carol S. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008.