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Beyond the classroom: How an incident of academic dishonesty kept someone out of prison

October 29, 2021
Dr. Sheri Fabian

The ISTLD recently hosted the first in a series of presentations called "Beyond the Classroom."

Our first presenter was Dr. Sheri Fabian, faculty member in the SFU School of Criminology and Director of the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines. Her presentation is titled: “Beyond the Classroom: How an incident of academic dishonesty kept someone out of prison.”

In this session, over 60 colleagues from across Canada joined in as Sheri shared details about her experience with remote teaching and academic dishonesty in her 200-seat, introduction to Canadian Criminal Justice System that ran in summer 2020.

Background: In June 2020, Sheri learned, quite by chance, that 41 of 200 students cheated on their closed book “midterm celebration of learning.” Ironically, students looked up the due date of the upcoming quiz on academic integrity in the learning management system - a one-point bonus question on a 90-point exam.

After considerable thought, Sheri used course concepts and applied a restorative justice approach in her response (the theme of restorative justice runs throughout the course) and invited students to reach out and take responsibility. The magnitude and content of the student responses were surprising and Sheri quickly realized she needed to study what happened more formally and obtained a small grant to support the research.

In this session, Sheri presented the findings from this study, some of which were unanticipated. Not only did she learn more about how the pandemic was affecting student learning and their perceptions of integrity but she learned that because some of her students cheated, someone didn’t go to prison.

Watch the recording