Education & Ethics: Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity

Fact-finding Study: Consequences of COVID-19 on Global Academic Integrity.

How Is Plagiarism Becoming Worse In the Current Times?

Academic integrity is so downgraded these days, and there is an urgent need for improvisation. Writing a research paper has become as easy as the internet has a wide variety of information available. The present education system is responsible for that. Students gather data and copy them to write any assignment.

Well, plagiarism of this type happens because students are unaware of critical thinking, creativity, and rationality. Teachers do not help them to develop these habits. The practice of rote learning is widely accepted as it is easier than doing something of your own.

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The recent pandemic has made the situation worse where online classes are the trend. Students tend to copy the answer from each other during online exams; whereas, the MCQ pattern tests do not judge one’s sound understanding of a topic.

How to Promote Academic Integrity?

To promote academic integrity, the teachers, students, and parents must come forward and play an active part.

  • It is the need of the hour to create a supportive learning environment
  • Establishing shared values and clarifying expectations should be the priorities.
  • The teachers must design the curriculum to maximize learning with fun and minimize pressure.

The Ways to Avoid Plagiarism in Students’ Papers

The pedagogues should encourage their students to write original content. Each student has her writing style and thinking ability. If students plagiarize from ready-made sources, their answers become similar as there are a limited number of sites and references available on the internet.

Students must use an online plagiarism checker to write a journal article. These tools have made the job of writing easy.

One can create a unique article with the help of anti-plagiarism techniques. However, students can enrich their writing by using quotations in relevant spaces. It is crucial to know how to cite sources, and for that, one needs to see the art of citation styles and include the author.

Why Copyleaks?

Although the internet provides various plagiarism detecting tools, one needs to make the most careful choice. Copyleaks is an AI and Machine Learning-driven sophisticated checker that helps combat plagiarism.

The higher studies have made it mandatory to write a thesis devoid of plagiarism to promote academic integrity. Students must aim to write plagiarism-free thesis papers and contribute towards it.

Prevention of plagiarism is compulsory. Even academicians advise using the anti-plagiarism software application and develop original content.

Consequences of Plagiarism

The academicians have a role to play in promoting awareness and discourage plagiarism. The academic mechanism must thrive on working towards academic integrity.

There are laws and fines imposed for academic misconduct. However, we know that if there are laws, there are loopholes too. Often, students are forgiven after a minimal fine. In that case, the academicians must be stricter on their students. Penalties should be rigid, that students fear to perform academically dishonest things.

Some Techniques to Avoid Plagiarism

Apart from the citation, students can use paraphrasing and quote references. Above all, the ideal way of avoiding plagiarism is to write in one’s style. Attribution is mandatory for quoted works. Exemptions from the legal charges of plagiarism are there for proper reference, prefaces, table of contents, acknowledgments, and bibliographies. Students should be careful about including all these things in their writings.

Fundamental & Ethical Values of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is nothing but a kind of commitment. Some primary and ethical values associated with it are honesty, fairness, trust, courage, responsibility, and respect. Ethics talks about morality in behavior. The academicians must teach the values mentioned above to their students from early childhood.

The academic communities must translate these ideas into actions. They must maintain a culture of integrity and honesty in every aspect of research and teaching.

Causes of Plagiarism

Students tend to plagiarise from others for various reasons. Often they opt for last-minute preparation instead of studying for the whole year. Copying in the examination from books or fellow students’ papers is a more accessible option for many. Students wish to fetch good marks at any cost, and for that, they avoid following the norms and regulations.

What Academicians Can Do To Promote Integrity?

It is essential to promote integrity in academic life. Academicians can tackle plagiarism by following specific ways.

  • Teachers must explain the academic and ethical principles and moral behavior to the students.
  • The academicians must choose the assignment topics carefully. Topics should be specific with a particular twist where students are compelled to utilize their analytical and logical ability and critical thinking.
  • The learning atmosphere should be exciting and not monotonous.
  • Teachers must teach time management to their students.
  • Many students have a fear of writing. Students can solve through practicing in class regularly.
  • Academicians must teach citations, attributions, and references.
  • Meta-learning is a good way of summarising what the students have learned from the process.
  • The most important of all is to know how to detect plagiarism. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, it has become easier to detect plagiarism from any content. Plagiarism checking tools like Copyleaks show the percentage of plagiarised portions with the rate of uniqueness in writing. The device also offers the sources of plagiarism. Once a student knows about this, she can edit that plagiarised section and make her content unique, which will fetch her good marks.
  • Confronting plagiarism is another way to avoid plagiarism. Students can take advice from their seniors, mentors, or research guides to take appropriate action.
  • The act of cheating must bear harsh punishment.
  • Promoting an honest attitude is essential for academic integrity.
  • The professors must build collaboration into the process of assessment.
  • The teachers should leave no stone unturned to help their students before the exams with a clear concept and good access to the study materials.
  • The invigilators must perform their duties attentively so that no student can get a chance to plagiarise.
  • A positive learning environment can help build academic integrity and encourage students to behave ethically.

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