12 episodes

The Score is a podcast about academic integrity and cheating with Kathryn Baron.

The Score is a podcast series of interviews with people who know what’s really happening in our classrooms. We’ll talk with a journalist who writes about academic integrity, and we’ll talk with several leading researchers and working educators about this multifaceted issue challenging academia today. Each of our guests has published either research or is a published author about the challenges faced in education institutions. We’ll delve into each of our guests’ scholarly work and ask them to share either personal experiences or their opinions on academic integrity.

Some of our questions are pretty challenging such as the question about where the responsibilities lie for addressing instances of cheating. We’ll ask if the problem really is as serious as it seems, Or is it actually worse? And, we’ll ask our guests to weigh in on regulatory and legislative action, and other policies that they think may work.

The Score The Score

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The Score is a podcast about academic integrity and cheating with Kathryn Baron.

The Score is a podcast series of interviews with people who know what’s really happening in our classrooms. We’ll talk with a journalist who writes about academic integrity, and we’ll talk with several leading researchers and working educators about this multifaceted issue challenging academia today. Each of our guests has published either research or is a published author about the challenges faced in education institutions. We’ll delve into each of our guests’ scholarly work and ask them to share either personal experiences or their opinions on academic integrity.

Some of our questions are pretty challenging such as the question about where the responsibilities lie for addressing instances of cheating. We’ll ask if the problem really is as serious as it seems, Or is it actually worse? And, we’ll ask our guests to weigh in on regulatory and legislative action, and other policies that they think may work.

    The Score on Academic Integrity - Special Supplemental Episode - Kylie Day and Sarah Thorneycroft, University of New England (Australia)

    The Score on Academic Integrity - Special Supplemental Episode - Kylie Day and Sarah Thorneycroft, University of New England (Australia)

    On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Kylie Day and Sarah Thorneycroft, leaders in the field of design and implementation of online examinations. Kylie Day is the manager of exams and e-assessments at University of New England, in Australia, and Sarah Thorneycroft is the director of digital education at UNE. Due to the length of our discussion, these interviews cover two episodes of “The Score” – episodes 9 and 10.

    Episode 10

    Kylie Day (03:58):
    … we do have a central team and that's been a feature at Australian universities for a long time. But what we've seen at other universities in Australia lately is that's being distributed back out to academic areas. And I think I would say that's a loss because I think it requires professional expertise to run what is probably the largest event a university will hold, high stress, high stakes, high numbers of people, really, really quite important.
    And to pull that expertise in terms of how do I wrangle 10,000 people without making them cry, to be a little bit cynical, but that's a skill. How do I communicate with people to achieve compliance with lots of different rules? How do I get people to actually do what they need to do so that everything coincides nicely for everyone and everyone has a good experience and how do I manage academic integrity issues well? I think distributing that out to academics who already have plenty to do it might not be their area of expertise, but to outsource that to them as well. I think you lose something there.

    Kylie Day (07:43):
    COVID helped us because we were at about 25% online exams before COVID, in the before times. And then we had a very rapid shift to 100% of all exams had to be held online with a 24-hour window in the online proctoring. So that really helped tear the bandaid off. And I think it helped people just take that step that they might not have been keen on doing. What we, my team put a lot of effort into was to make it really safe for them and massive amounts of support for students and for staff, so that nothing was too hard and that nothing went badly. And that's why we put effort into being on call till 1:00 AM so that there were no stories from students about how they were just left at midnight with no one to help them. And I think that really helped. And when we did have people who wanted to be a bit innovative, we went out of our way to support that.
    And so those then became the stories, the good examples that we could say, Hey, your colleague tried this and here are the metrics where we can see that student success increased. Students are happier. Students have more agency over all the demands on themselves. So they're much more settled and more engaged. And just supporting that in a really safe way with a lot of support. The whole flexibility piece did take a lot of time for people to get their heads around. And I think that exams exist as a cultural archetype, that they're hard, they're tricky, they're secret, they're tough. You have to turn up or else, all this stuff that people have embedded in their brains about exams. Helping people realize that the way exams have been managed in the past is not necessarily the way exams should be managed and really calling into question every assumption that people have consciously or unconsciously about assessment and exams and flexibility and students. So it really has been a long change piece.

    Sarah Thorneycroft (10:45):
    Access too is key for students that don't have to engage in geographical travel to get to locations. That can sometimes be a real barrier for our demographic. So being able to access online in your own home makes a real difference for a lot of students.

    Kylie Day (11:02):
    We had a student early on who actually rang crying tears of happiness and no one rings, right, to say what a wonderful exam they've just had, right? It's a occupational hazard in our line of work that you only ever hear from people who have a bad time, but this student

    • 20 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity - Kylie Day and Sarah Thorneycroft, University of New England (Australia)

    The Score on Academic Integrity - Kylie Day and Sarah Thorneycroft, University of New England (Australia)

    On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Kylie Day and Sarah Thorneycroft, leaders in the field of design and implementation of online examinations. Kylie Day is the manager of exams and e-assessments at University of New England, in Australia, and Sarah Thorneycroft is the director of digital education at UNE. Due to the length of our discussion, these interviews cover two episodes of “The Score” – episodes 9 and 10.

    Episode 9

    Kylie Day (07:06):
    … if we put our effort towards the student's feelings and attitudes and decisions before the exam ever starts. So, in the same way as a community safety program or a community health program, you would do population-wide communications to talk about the risks involved, expected behavior, alternatives to risky behavior. In the same way that the highway patrol police are not expected to catch every single person who might speed, they have a presence and that serves a purpose to make it risky, to dissuade people from speeding.

    Kylie Day (07:49):
    But that's not the only thing that one would do if you wanted to reduce say the road toll or the incidents of people breaking the road rules, you would expect to have a community safety program and narrative happening along with that. And when we catch people who might be cheating it's not a good outcome for them, it's not a good outcome for us as an institution.

    Kylie Day (10:05):
    … we see flexibility and easy flexibility as a key factor in letting students manage their own pressures in ways that allows them to succeed and not have to cheat to do that.

    Sarah Thorneycroft (10:17):
    That changes the cost benefit analysis.

    Kylie Day (10:20):
    So, we work with online exam proctoring service where our exams live in our learning management system, but we have highly skilled and trained supervisors who can... They have a view of the students’ screen. They can use software to lock down that student's computer in ways that we ask them to, and they can also watch the student.

    Kylie Day (12:01):
    And that's the first thing that our faculty said when we started having conversations about flexibility, flexibility is an F word, if I can be cheeky. Students will cheat, and so that's when we talk about design. The assessment needs to be designed in the mode or in the context of the mode that it's held. It should not be that we are just doing paper exams on a web page, it's a whole second order change.

    Kylie Day (12:31):
    So, the design features might include using a question bank. So you would have just enough. I get a different question one to you. It's still the same topic, same degree of difficulty. But if I say, "Hey, what did you put on question one?" That kind of collaboration will be disrupted because we get different question ones.

    Sarah Thorneycroft (15:12):
    This is where it's really useful to help people make comparisons between the paper examination paradigm in which somebody is watching them, and often in more embodied ways of walking up and down and patrolling the physical room that people are located in. But we've also discovered, because online the proctor and student relationship is one to one, whereas in an exam hall it's one to many. Yes, that proctor is watching because that's the cultural condition for examinations that we've agreed on regardless of where they're held.

    Sarah Thorneycroft (15:49):
    But the proctor can actually also provide support in situ, which can be both technical support or general encouragement. And we've had a lot of comments come through student evaluation that actually talk about how helpful and supportive the proctor was. So that's one of the key reasons that we focus on human invigilation, not AI only invigilation, because of that personalized element and the ability to also provide benefits, not just stress and monitoring.

    Kathryn Baron (22:57):
    Do you have online practice exams to help students as well? I thought I had read that.

    Kylie Day (23:05):
    We do, and that's one of our fa

    • 35 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity – Jennifer Wright, Program Manager of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity at UCF

    The Score on Academic Integrity – Jennifer Wright, Program Manager of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity at UCF

    On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Jennifer Wright with the University of Central Florida, where she facilitates workshops and seminars on ethical decision making and is Program Manager of Student Conduct and Academic Integrity in the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities. She has been working on academic integrity issues and initiatives at UCF for nearly 12 years, including the simple but effective “Take the Zero” campaign.

    Jennifer Wright (05:50):

    I have a workshop also that I do that is called Bs and Cs Get Degrees. And again, it's not easy for students of today to go ahead and get a C, take a zero. It's interesting how they have the ways of looking at that zero on a 10-point quiz and manifesting it to, "I can't be a doctor. I can't become a lawyer. My parents won't be proud of me. I'm going to let my siblings down." Zero out of 10 will move a student to go, "It's all over." I'm trying to get that concept across to them that it is okay.

    Jennifer Wright (08:20):

    But I can tell you because there is not a week that goes by that I don't meet with a student and I don't have somebody who is literally crying about what has happened, and that release they do a lot with me. Yeah, they do admit to it. They get it. There' s no other way because they were there when it happened. They can't blame it on anybody else.

    Jennifer Wright (15:11):

    Because professors for a final grade are looking at student behavior over a 14-week period over a semester. We're looking at one act that has occurred on a day. We're determining the egregiousness of that act. And with that, we look at, what was the intent, what was the impact that it had, how many were involved, were other students brought into this, did other students benefit from a student committing academic misconduct.

    Jennifer Wright (15:46):

    With the Course Hero and with Quizlet, with Chegg and all of that, other students end up participating as well in that. We look at a lot of things with it to determine what the outcome will be in violation. We have six levels of violations, and they range from a warning to probation to deferred suspension, suspension, dismissal, and expulsion.

    Kathryn Baron (16:24):

    You talked about intent. I kind of think of it as, what, premeditated cheating versus spur of the moment cheating.

    Jennifer Wright (16:32):

    I look at it and say, "Was there enough of an opportunity or a moment where the student could have stopped what they were doing?" For example, if there was a student who paid another person to do their work for them, there's contacting somebody, getting it set up, changing usernames and IDs, giving them access, having a lot of conversations, that could have stopped at any moment. That person could have said, "Wait a minute here, what am I doing?" And could have stopped.

    Jennifer Wright (17:08):

    Continued it, that's where it rises a little bit higher. A student who puts a cheat sheet together the night before, puts it in their pocket, walks with it to class, they could have just said, "I'm not going to take it out. Nobody would be the wiser," but then you chose to take it out. We know what was going to happen there. Those kind of run to a higher level. I also engage with forgery as well of whether it's a medical document or forgery of an email to try to get out of taking an exam or getting an extension on an assignment.

    Jennifer Wright (17:51):

    We've had that before. Forgery, you knew what you were doing. You know it's not your name that you're signing. Those kinds of things rise to a higher level of it.

    Jennifer Wright (18:45):

    Those of us in academic integrity lands, we really have a very, I do, and I know many of my colleagues do, have a very visceral reaction to Chegg and to other websites who their sole mission is to convince students that their sites are safe, good, and helpful, and nothing could happen. Nothing could happen if you use us. That's not true.

    Jenn

    • 47 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity – Special Episode for World Education Summit

    The Score on Academic Integrity – Special Episode for World Education Summit

    In this special episode for the 2022 World Education Summit’s Podcast Corner, host Kathryn Baron discusses the overall theme of The Score with different clips from the podcast’s first 6 episodes. She notes that all the guests have agreed that cheating is a significant problem with serious repercussions for society but disagree on what constitutes cheating and what to do about it.


    https://podcastthescore.com

    • 10 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity - Melissa Ezarik, Contributing Editor of Inside Higher Ed

    The Score on Academic Integrity - Melissa Ezarik, Contributing Editor of Inside Higher Ed

    On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Melissa Ezarik, a contributing editor at Inside Higher Ed, where she manages survey based content for the Student Voice News Hub. She recently wrote a series of articles based on responses to a survey focused on student behaviors and perspectives related to academic integrity. Melissa has been covering higher education since 2005.

    Melissa Ezarik (02:17):

    Only 10% [of students] say Googling on homework is unacceptable. One student wrote in that small assignments actually should not be of concern to faculty in terms of cheating. Thought that was interesting.

    Melissa Ezarik (02:36):

    Another surprise to me was getting perspective about low numbers of reports for cheating. Professors are definitely under reporting cheating for a variety of reasons. That includes that they don't trust the systems in place to manage accusations, or maybe they worry the institution may be too hard on a student, or they may just think that reporting will reflect badly on them as an educator.

    Melissa Ezarik (11:30):

    I think we saw some write-in comments to that effect, that it's not fair that the professor might handle it one way for one student, a different way for another student. If you don't have strong policies in place, just how much a professor has a connection to a particular student, some sort of rapport built already may make a determination whether he or she reports or what the consequence would be, if you did cheat.

    Kathryn Baron (12:23):

    I think that one big question though is, why do students cheat? I don't think that your survey asked that directly, but it did ask why student in general might cheat, and I'm wondering if you can talk about that. What are the factors that they say today lead them to cheat, even if they don't see themselves as a cheater?

    Melissa Ezarik (12:47):

    Sure. The top response that we found is something that was a contributor to academic cheating, according to students, was pressure to do well, and that's from family or academic requirements. The second biggest reason was lack of preparation for exams and who's that on? That's on the student for that one. And the third was heavier unrealistic course loads, and the fourth was actually the opportunity to cheat. So, "It was there, so I took it."

    Melissa Ezarik (13:18):

    One expert that I spoke to framed it as, everyone has their price. It's stress or family pressure, time constraints. Everyone's got some sort of breaking point, and most students are able to reach that breaking point over the course of a particular semester, is his thought.

    Melissa Ezarik (14:16):

    We didn't ask this directly, but experts noted that there's a shift from most students going to college to develop the meaningful philosophy of life, and now it's most students going to college to get a job. So you've got that extrinsically motivated focus that sets the scene for more cheating.

    Kathryn Baron (14:32):

    That's true. One person I spoke with said college is now transactional, in part because it's so expensive. "Well, I'm giving you $60,000, and I expect a degree." That's the way it goes. And they do want the job. They want a better job. They want a better chance of getting into grad school, that type of thing.

    Melissa Ezarik (17:14):

    I've got another quote from a student that relates to stress that I thought was interesting. The student says, "Stop assigning work as if students are only taking that one class and dedicate their entire life to school. Many students are taking multiple classes on top of having a job, extracurriculars, events, networking, possible illnesses, families and loved ones to take care of. People sometimes have to make compromise and sacrifice a grade in one class to do better in another because there's only so much time in a day. If people didn't feel like they have to compromise, perhaps they wouldn't feel so compelled to cheat or to use shortcuts."

    Melissa Ezarik (19:4

    • 33 min
    The Score on Academic Integrity - Dr. Amy Smith of Straighterline & Dr. David Emerson of Salisbury University

    The Score on Academic Integrity - Dr. Amy Smith of Straighterline & Dr. David Emerson of Salisbury University

    On this episode of The Score, we're speaking with Dr. Amy Smith, a longtime leader in online learning, and the Chief Learning Officer at StraighterLine, which provides low cost online college courses. Also with us is Dr. David Emerson, an Associate Professor of Accounting in the Franklin P. Perdue School of Business at Salisbury University in Maryland. Dr. Emerson and his colleagues conducted groundbreaking research on the different motivations for cheating in school.

    Dr. Amy Smith (03:01):

    [another] thing I think universities really owe students are accountability systems that are clear, that are well defined, and that are consistent. We often see in the research, and the literature shows us that a lot of times, a faculty member, for all the right reasons, will help a student out or try to manage or monitor cheating, and not really report it for a variety of reasons, and I'm sure we'll get into that much throughout this podcast, but that also goes around the actual accountability system the university sets up. So, universities, different colleges, different majors, different fields report incidents differently, and then that makes inconsistencies in the accountability. So, if I'm a student and I don't know how I'm going to be held accountable, like what's going to happen to me, I don't make a fully informed choice when I do make choices of how to navigate my education.

    Dr. Amy Smith (16:05):

    So, let's talk a little bit about deterrents, let me expand on that. So, take these 45,000 students. We have three things at StraighterLine that we set up to monitor or to prevent cheating, like you just have to try to prevent it. I'm going to go back to Dr. Emerson's opportunity, you just don't make it opportunistic. It isn't available. One way we do that is everything you turn in at StraighterLine, you have to turn in through turnitin.com. So, we have a mechanism to check, "Hey, is Amy's paper really Amy's, or did Amy borrow Catherine's paper, because it was a little bit better, and she submitted Catherine's sections as her own?" We definitely do that.

    Dr. Amy Smith (16:43):

    The second thing we also do is all final exams are live proctored. I mean, your browser will shut down if there is any hint of suspicious behavior in any way, while somebody's watching you take your exam. So, that's the second part. And the third thing that we do at StraighterLine is there's actually a team in the academics side of the house that watches postings, watches online constantly. This is their job, right? This is what they do, is make sure that Amy didn't decide to post a quiz somewhere online, and then everybody's got the answers to a StraighterLine course. So, we have preventative measures, which are, we feel, deterrents, but humans are humans, and that's actually what Dr. Emerson's talking about, that decision making that really happens. I'll pause with that. Dr. Emerson, thoughts about what I just said?

    Dr. David Emerson (17:34):

    I agree completely. I mean, it sounds like you're doing everything right within the online arena, right? Is denying them that opportunity, and like I said, we did find that these online real time lockdown browsers, and continuous monitoring, and proctoring of live exams, it is going to be effective, absolutely. I mean, the cheating behaviors I was referring to were unmonitored, unproctored, and the experiment that we did, when we implemented an online proctoring service, the incidence of cheating went down 87%. It went from about half, down to about 5%.

    Dr. David Emerson (18:27):

    So, it didn't eliminate it, but it greatly reduced it, because the problem is when you're using an online assessment integrity tool, it only works on a machine on which you're taking the assessment. There's no preclusion that prevents them from looking up the answer on a different device. Now, you state that you're not finding StraighterLine materials on other websites. Have you gone to Chegg to look to see whether or

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
1 Rating

1 Rating

You Might Also Like