Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 on Academic Integrity: Lessons Learned in the Department of Economics

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipientSepideh Fotovatian, Department of Economics

Project team: TBD

Timeframe: January 2021 to December 2021

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: All courses in Economics are in scope

Description: This project aims to highlight best practices in academic integrity with respect to online learning and assessment methods. COVID-19 has drastically impacted the student learning experience, forcing students out of the classroom and into an online environment. Naturally, this transition has caused instructors and teaching assistants to adapt how they teach, and subsequently, how they assess. Since spring 2020, students have also had to adapt to these new teaching methods. The Department of Economics has noticed a shift in the number and type of academic integrity cases since the introduction of COVID-19. The number of cases has risen, ultimately taxing time and resources: changes that were unforeseen prior to the announcement of the pandemic. With an increase in prevalence in learning outside the traditional classroom, we are hopeful that this project will help set the stage for not only the remainder of the pandemic, but for years to come.  

Questions addressed:

  • How have instructors and teaching assistants adapted their assessment styles since COVID-19? Have methods of risk mitigation been successfully incorporated?
  • How have students responded to the assessment styles? What are their perceptions? How has this impacted their learning experience?
  • Have the number of academic integrity cases changed since the shift to online learning? Have the types of violations changed?
  • What are the key lessons learned, changes in resources, and best practices to mitigate the prevalence of academic dishonesty for online learning and assessments?

Knowledge sharing: We will aim to share our data findings at the departmental meeting November 2021. We do believe that these findings could be useful across SFU, in particular as online learning becomes more and more prevalent.