Thursday, October 22, 2015

International students and academic integrity #ecil2015

I'm attending a doctoral forum at the European Conference on Information Literacy 2015 and will blog some of the presentations from the doctoral students.

Amanda Click
talked about International students and academic integrity: global perspectives on a complex issue, reporting on emerging findings from her doctoral study. She is investigating how international graduate students studying in the USA conduct their academic research and writing, and how they engage with, and negotiate, issues of academic integrity.

She is using cross-cultural adaption theory (with critical incident technique for data elicitation), and as part of this she has been looking at stress points and adaptions e.g.

Stress - learning a new academic style (adaption is e.g. guidance from lecturers, feedback from American classmates

Stress - fear of commiting academic dishonesty (adaption as e.g. understanding the honor code, learning to cite)

Stress - reading and writing in English (with difficulty in finding adaptions!)

Students felt that in their own countries they did pay attention to academic integrity, but it was more implicit, whereas in the USA they were warned against plagiarism all the time and became afraid about it. There was also worried about unauthorised collaboration - they were unsure what was ok in the many different assignments they took. There was also the issue that lecturers themselves had different approaches to what acceptable behaviour was (e.g. some telling students to avoid direct quotation, others encouraging it).

Research challenges were particularly assessing material as to whether it was relevant, and synthesising information.

In the discussion afterwards, implications of the various interpretations of academic integrity by both academics and students, were discussed (obviously when the academics have different interpretations it is difficult for the students; there was also the question of the phrase itself, whether it is easily understood).

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