Fast facts about the 5th annual International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating

Topics: Blog, Spotlight

The 5th annual International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating took place on October 21/2020 with a record 250+ organizations registering through the International Centre for Academic Integrity (ICAI) website. This event was sorely needed considering all that our world has been through with the pandemic. The day was dedicated to the memory of our trusted colleague Dr. Tracey Bretag who was a beacon of hope and inspiration for all of us working in the field of academic integrity. The main aim of the day was to increase awareness of the practice of contract cheating that runs counter to academic integrity and threatens the quality of our educational offerings. However, this year the international planning committee wanted to increase international participation and communication, as well as increase student participation and involvement. Both these efforts were met in a variety of ways.

First, the international planning committee consisted of experts, educators, researchers, and writers committed to mitigating the practice of contract cheating and promoting academic integrity across all sectors of education. The planning committee consisted of Thomas Lancaster, Irene Glendinning, Zeenath Khan, Evangeline Litsa Mourelatos, Sue Hackett, and Christine Kanawada. The international composition of the planning committee helped ensure an inclusive approach to the day.

Second, the first-ever international student steering group led an innovative social media campaign and provided a kickoff to the twenty hours of live feed that served as the spotlight event for the day. Students heralded from over nine different parts of the world and their enthusiasm and commitment to the aims and objectives for the day demonstrated how committed students are to ensuring quality in their academic careers.

Third, the creative international student contest titled Students Speaking Up for Integrity received a record number of submissions. The top three winners originated from Greece and the United States (https://www.academicintegrity.org/163850-2/). All submissions were inspiring and again spoke to our students’ commitment to academic integrity.

Fourth, a spotlight event titled Twenty in 20 Live Feed — Global Conversations about Contract Cheating supported members in the academic integrity practice community to join and speak to the issues related to contract cheating. This event demonstrated the willingness of international experts to share their ideas and was successful largely in part to their informative sessions and the co-operation of international volunteer session moderators. This effort truly demonstrates that it takes a village!

Fifth, the ICAI website was updated to include current information and resources that remain available and downloadable to interested people around the world. While the IDoA is one day a year, there is an opportunity for us to continue building our relationships with each other and work to continue the discussion, research, and action focused against contract cheating. Dr. Roberts, President of ICAI, issued a statement against contract cheating with practical steps to consider at your organizations (https://www.academicintegrity.org/statement-against-contract-cheating/). The video tapes for the twenty hours of live feed are now available through the ICAI website for viewing.

Coming together for the IDoA demonstrated the power that we hold to speak up and out against contract cheating. Consider continuing your efforts and sharing your ideas and successes so that we all benefit from our combined efforts. If you have questions, comments, or ideas that you would like to share, you may contact the chair of the international planning group at jmiron@academicintegrity.org Please take care, stay safe, and remain positive.

About the Author
Jennie is a full-time professor in the Bachelor of Nursing program at Humber College in Toronto, Canada. She is also an ICAI board member, Chair of the IDoA Planning Subcommittee, Chair of the Academic Integrity Council of Ontario, and a Co-chair of the Faculty of Health Sciences Academic Integrity Council. Jennie completed her doctoral studies in the field of academic integrity. Her final doctoral study is titled Academic Integrity and Senior Nursing Undergraduate Clinical Practice. All views presented are those of the author.
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