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LOEX2008: 9,000 Freshmen, One Common Foundation

Posted by comartslibrarian on May 3, 2008

Presented by Joe Buenker, Leslee Shell, Julie Tharp of Arizona State University

ASU Libraries developed an academic integrity module for the ASU 101 course, required for all freshmen. The ASU system spread across four largely-autonomous campuses with 60,000+ students. New university administration sought to unify these campuses under one accreditation, and give students better flexibility to take courses on two or more campuses.

The previous “FYE University Success” course was:

  • Coordinated by “University Academic Success Program:
  • Taught by graduate students
  • Not required for all freshmen
  • Colleges not participating directly, have little/no awareness of course content

ASU 101 course:

  • Coordinated by Provost’s office
  • Taught by administrators, faculty and advisors
  • Required of all incoming freshmen
  • ALL colleges and departments participate

Librarians approached the Task Force planning this course and were asked to do “academic integrity” module. This course would be taught online (Blackboard) and in-person (5 meetings). Each module in this course, including academic integrity, had the same format including an assessment component.

Dr. Donald McCabe of Rutgers has studied and surveyed academic integrity issues involving 80,000+ students and 12,000+ faculty at 80+ U.S./Canadian institutions. McCabe also helped establish the “Center for Academic Integrity.” Peer influence is greatest deterrent to academic misconduct; the use of plagiarism detection tools, and an “institutional culture” such as an honor code can also contribute to this.

Academic Integrity module in Blackboard had these components:

  • Learning Objective
  • Pre-survey
  • Lesson Content – a Flash presentation
  • Discussion Forum
  • 4-question quiz, with a rubric for whomever would be teaching and grading the course.

Librarians had to train the instructors (though only 3 of 400 attended); not necessarily librarians teaching or assessing this module!

Within their handout, they give very specific examples of how to cite and paraphrase sources.

Students and faculty surveyed indicated that ~79% felt that the academic integrity module was helpful. ASU is now working to develop a much broader library instruction module (focused on services, locations, resources, etc.). They do not receive any data from the Provost’s office on assessments from the Blackboard course, i.e. they don’t know how well students are grasping this material based on the quizzes or forum postings.

Powerpoint will be posted at the LOEX website. Disclaimer: The underlined sections above note areas of sympathy/commiseration on the part of this librarian. :-/


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