Where is the tipping point?

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Where is the tipping point? Tackling the increasing threat of 'contract cheating' and Academic Integrity.

There is growing concern across the sector about the rise in 'contract cheating' and how HEIs can effectively address it. The Government has recently pledged to tackle the issue of 'contract cheating' and has asked online platforms to stop facilitating access to essay mills. However, it could be argued that, while it is a serious issue facing HEIs, the issue of 'contract cheating' and Academic Integrity is far more complex and multifaceted than simply reducing access.

As part of a national Enhancement Partnership instigated by the QAA we are participating in an Academic Integrity and Assessment project with the Universities of Warwick, Glasgow, Birmingham, UCL, and Nottingham. As part of the project we are exploring our own university's response to the increase in academic misconduct.

Questions we are asking include: Do we have a shared understanding of what tips a student into committing academic misconduct? How do we engage with students about the implications of AI for them, their awards and for their future career? Are we clear about the line between misconduct and support? What can we achieve through assessment and curricula to reduce the risk of misconduct? How might we futureproof our policies and procedures in the light of ever more accessible tools and services? In this workshop we will outline the goals for the project and the types of practical actions this may lead to. We will invite discussion from colleagues about their experiences of dealing with academic integrity, and use this call to action to address this highly topical issue.

Recorded live at the University of Liverpool's Centre for Innovation in Education 2019 Learning and Teaching conference.

Dr. Francine Watkins presented alongside Professor Kristyan Spelman Miller and Ann-Marie Fowles.


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