The Educational Development Working Group of the Alberta Council for Academic Integrity (ACAI) is pleased to host Dr Paul Sopcak of MacEwan University, on the topic of: Rethinking the Promotion of (Academic) Integrity – The Case for Restorative Practices
This event is being held as part of Alberta Academic Integrity Week (Oct 18-22, 2021) and will be held on:
Thursday, October 21
1:30pm - 3pm MST
Online (The Google Meet link will be emailed to registrants closer to the date.)
Integrity is often referred to as doing the right thing when no one is looking. The rapid move to remote, uninvigilated assessments due to the pandemic, and the stark spike in academic misconduct that followed and continues to follow, proved to be a grim benchmark of how successful efforts to promote (academic) integrity, rather than mere rule-compliance, have been. The well-documented, historical reluctance of faculty members to deal with suspected academic misconduct according to institutional policy and procedure has further increased, due to the significant strain on emotional and material resources that pandemic measures and the spike in incidents have imposed. Likewise, the pandemic has added emotional and mental health pressures on students, leading to less vigilance and resilience related to ethical decision-making. Students with strong ethical sensibilities related to their academic work have been frustrated by the perceived prevalence of cheating and lower GPAs for those who refuse to do so as a result.
In this session, I will present MacEwan University's application of Restorative Practices (RP) principles and procedures in response to misconduct and to the building of a culture of integrity. Specifically, I will speak to the potential of RP processes as social-emotional learning opportunities that help prevent misconduct, increase faculty and student engagement as well as satisfaction, and provide meaningful connection at a time of increased isolation and emotional stress. I will also address frequent misunderstandings about hesitancy toward RP. Ample time will be allocated to Q&A and the discussion of issues such as the integration of RP into policy and the generation of buy-in, training of facilitators, and necessary resources.
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