Classes, tutorials and learning activities to help students understand the meaning and importance of academic integrity and ethics are now common practices in many, if not all, tertiary institutions. Their aim is to emphasise to students that being a university graduate goes beyond studying and getting good grades; having sound academic integrity and behaving ethically requires proper conduct for their personal development and also their future profession and career. Yet, despite our efforts, even with enforcement of students’ declarations and severe penalties for misconduct, cases of plagiarism, disregard for intellectual property, data fabrication and breaching of rules specified for the conduct of examinations still arise with alarming regularity. Worse still, the advent of information technology (IT) seems to have exacerbated the issue of observing academic integrity. While there are seemingly unlimited information and resources readily available on the internet, guidelines and principles on how to properly use such resources are sparse and often unclear.
This project aims to make use of IT to combat an important issue brought on and worsened by IT itself. It will make use of the latest advances in augmented reality (AR), coupled with mobile technology where appropriate, to bring scenarios of academic integrity and ethics to real-life situations for students. The scenarios can be developed based on subject matter, e.g. in health sciences or medicine, where students will face cases of ethical dilemmas specific to their disciplines. In a general situation, for example, with geolocation data mapped out for a university campus, students can walk through an ‘ethical induction’ learning trail. Students can make use of their mobile devices to retrieve different information, produce different responses, and even consider different ethically related decisions under different circumstances and in different locations. Furthermore, their responses can be gathered and further discussed online within a learning management system (LMS), or in-class within relevant ethics-related courses.
By immersing students into situations where additional information and resources are available via AR applications, and the consequences of their decisions and actions can be played out, it is envisaged that such an approach, particularly when used to support and complement classroom engagement, will reinforce the links between theoretical learning about academic integrity and ethics, and the practical application of such learning in real-life contexts.
A learning trail “Trail of Integrity and Ethics ″ (TIE) developed by Hong Kong Baptist University (Center of Holistic Teaching and Learning) was conducted in December 2014. Students showed high level of engagement, and students’ feedback on the overall user experience of the trail is positive.
Different TIEs successfully conducted, please click here to view more.
Information about Trails of Integrity &Ethics.