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Social media and academic integrity Social media mess (Kexinco 2011)

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1 Social media and academic integrity Social media mess (Kexinco 2011)

2 Purpose of case study Target audience: Tutors, Students, Course Coordinators, Academic Integrity Decision Makers. Key issue being addressed: Ethics and academic integrity issues when using social media Purpose of the case: To assist teaching staff to consider how they might handle students’ use of web 2.0 media in their research and writing practices Materials and preparation needed to answer case:  Copy of full case scenario  Copy of university academic integrity policy and procedures  Eliza Anyangwe (2012) ‘Academic integrity 2.0: maintaining values and openness in a digital world’ The Guardian 6 th July. and-academic-integrity  Waycott, J., Gray, K., Clerehan, R., Hamilton, M., Richardon, J., Sheard, J., Thompson, C. (2010). ‘Implications for academic integrity of using web 2.0 for teaching, learning and assessment in higher education’ International Journal for Educational Integrity, 6(2), Academic Integrity Standards Project

3 Our research Policy analysis only 39% of policies identified the institution as being responsible for academic integrity Interviews with 28 senior academic integrity stakeholders at 6 Australian universities No. 1 recommendation for good practice:  Provide appropriate and on-going professional development for all staff in relation to academic integrity policy and process. 3 Academic Integrity Standards Project

4 Case Study: Lee Lee is a tutor in a first year subject that involves teaching and learning activities across a variety of social media platforms. The major assessment task involves a project that students record on their individual blogs, while following, notifying about updates and giving feedback to their peers and teachers via Facebook and Twitter. One of Lee’s students decides to develop a project about media scandals about celebrities, and the issues surrounding the public/private circulation of information. The student circulates a link to her blog post about the ethics of tabloids publishing pirated mobile phone photos of naked female celebrities. 4 Academic Integrity Standards Project

5 Ethics of circulating images The student illustrates this essay/blog post with samples of naked photos of these celebrities. Lee calls the student in to discuss the appropriateness of circulating such pictures, which could be accessed by all students in the course, as well as tutors and lecturers via the class blog. The student justifies her actions by pointing out that the photos illustrate the argument of her blog post, and have been well referenced. Lee counters this by saying the student actually didn’t seem to understand the ethical issues involved when circulating naked photos taken without permission. 5 Academic Integrity Standards Project

6 Collusion or collaboration? The student responds by saying that, in any case, she and her friends had collaborated writing all of their blog posts before publication in a private wiki, to which the tutor had not been invited. The student comments that she is not directly responsible for the text of the majority of the post, although she had called for ideas on Twitter and coordinated contributions on Facebook. The student points out that although the final blog post was an individual assessment task, she and her friends were enacting the spirit of the subject by using social media to work collaboratively. 6 Academic Integrity Standards Project

7 Questions for discussion 1. Is this an issue of academic integrity, poor ethical research and writing practice, or student misconduct? 2. What does your university policy say about the application of academic integrity standards to Web 2.0 or social media? ? 3. It is acceptable for Lee to investigate the matters further given that she now knows that a group of students worked collaboratively on their individual assignments? How will she proceed and determine individual or group authorship? Brainstorm other academic integrity issues relevant to the use of social media or web 2.0 technologies in assessment design, research and writing practices, and academic integrity. 7 Academic Integrity Standards Project

8 References and resources Anyangwe E (2012) ‘Academic integrity 2.0: maintaining values and openness in a digital world,’ The Guardian, 6 th July academic-integrity Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., East, J., Green, M., James, C., McGowan, U., Partridge, L., Walker, R. & Wallace, M. (2011). Academic Integrity Standards: A Preliminary Analysis of the Academic Integrity Policies at Australian Universities, Australian Universities Quality Forum, 29 June-1 July, Melbourne, Australia. Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., James, C., Green, M., East, J., McGowan, U. & Partridge, L. (2011). Core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy in Australian higher education, International Journal for Educational Integrity, Vol 7(2), pp. 3-12, available online: Kexinco (2011), Social media mess, digital image, accessed on 29 August 2012, This image is used with permission under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Creative Commons License. Waycott, J., Gray, K., Clerehan, R., Hamilton, M., Richardon, J., Sheard, J., Thompson, C. (2010). ‘Implications for academic integrity of using web 2.0 for teaching, learning and assessment in higher education’, International Journal for Educational Integrity, 6(2), Academic Integrity Standards Project

9 For further resources from the Academic Integrity Standards Project, please go to: Support for this project/activity has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views in this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License 9 Academic Integrity Standards Project


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