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Academic Integrity

Honor Bound: Assessing Library Interventions into the Complex Problem of Academic Integrity Book Chapter

Poster Presentation at ALA Annual Conference, June 2014

Honor Bound: Assessing Library Interventions to the Complex Problem of Academic Integrity

Fairfield University AiA Team:
Jacalyn Kremer - Library,
Elizabeth Boquet - Writing Center,
Kamala Kiem - New Student Programs,
Christine Siegel - Academic Affairs Assessment

Summary of Assessment in Action Project

The goals of the AiA research are to determine the effect of library created learning modules on first-years’ (a) understanding of academic integrity, and (b) knowledge/skills for citing sources to avoid plagiarism.  The two modules embedded into the First Year Experience program are:

•     Academic Integrity Classroom Lesson, assessed by a graded essay rubric

•     Online Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial, assessed with a multiple choice test

Our findings include:

  1. The Academic Integrity Classroom Lesson developed by the Library and taught in the First Year Experience program positively impacts first year students’ ability to relate academic integrity practices to their own behaviors and identify solutions to their own behaviors.  Students’ knowledge of shared responsibility in academic integrity and expectations of the Honor Code were weak.
  2. Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial results indicate first-year students come to us with solid conceptual knowledge about plagiarism, although the assessment results indicate their ability to apply that knowledge is weaker. Their paraphrasing skills need improvement. 

Actions we took:

  1. In Summer 2104, the Academic Integrity Classroom Lesson was modified to include concepts of shared responsibility and expectations of the Honor Code. An exciting result of this AiA assessment  is all First-Years  participated in a communal Honor Code signing ceremony in Fall 2014.SInce then, all first year students recite the honor code at Fall Convocation.
  2. The Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial was changed in Summer 2014 to improve paraphrasing skills. In Summer 2016, the Library did a total redesign  to include more than avoiding plagiarism.  Issues tackled in the tutorial include the scholarly conversation, why citations are important, the importance of academic integrity to the community and also  paraphrasing skills. You can learn more about our new Academic Integrity tutorials here.


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