Academic Dishonesty Policy and Practices Review
As a scholarly community, academic honesty and integrity are values we are committed to upholding to the highest standard. Periodically, it is important for us to review existing policies and practices to ensure that we have the right tools and mechanisms in place to protect these values, particularly as technology and pedagogical approaches evolve.
A review of policies and practices related to contract cheating was conducted in Spring 2018 by Mary Anne Waldron, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria. Mary Anne has a great depth of experience in this area having held positions at the University of Victoria as the Associate Vice-President Faculty Relations and Academic Administration, and Associate Vice-President Legal Affairs.
This review indicated that while readily available technology now makes externally-facilitated cheating a potential threat to post-secondary institutions, SFU has not experienced an unusual or escalated problem in this area. While no large scale gaps in SFU’s approach to the problem were apparent, the review did provide a number of specific recommendations aimed at strengthening the university’s ability to respond to academic integrity issues going forward.
We have already begun to implement many of these recommendations, beginning with recent amendments to the Student Academic Integrity Policy, which were implemented January 1, 2019. The remaining recommendations are being implemented through our focus on the following key areas:
- Engaging and educating students about academic integrity, including where to find appropriate resources;
- Educating teaching staff about contract cheating and providing them with strategies that make this type of cheating more difficult;
- Continuing and expanding reporting in cases of academic misconduct;
- Improving policy and process related to on-campus advertising and solicitation by commercial tutoring services.
The university has recently strengthened its capacity for this work by creating a full-time Academic Integrity Coordinator position. This will allow us to expand academic integrity work and further address the recommendations of this review.
Executive Summary and Recommendations of Mary Anne Waldron's report