Forming Connections: Sharing Experiences. Reflections from the ICAI Book Club

Topics: Spotlight

With barely enough time to keep up with the readings for my doctoral program I did initially wonder why I had agreed to take on additional academic reading in my ‘spare time.’ But at a time where our work lives and personal situations may be lacking in engagement opportunities, for me, a book club seemed like the ideal way to meet others within my field in a less formal setting.

We are currently reading the new book by Phillip Dawson: Defending Assessment Security in a Digital Word: Preventing E-Cheating and Supporting Academic Integrity in Higher Education. It’s certainly easy to read and manageable to engage with at the end of a long day. It has kept me thoroughly captivated through the first three chapters.

What has cemented this book club as an essential for me was the ease at which the book club group openly participated in the conversation. There was that feeling of community right from the start. It made the hour we had together fly by much too quickly! The questions posed by our host, Courtney Cullen, fueled some valuable discussions and reflections, both around the chapter content but also our own experiences and practices. It was a reminder that we share common challenges but most importantly that we are not alone as we attempt to navigate this online landscape and its impact on academic integrity. I know that the reflection below from an ICAI book club member, Jake Kasper, resonates with many of us that were there:

“Reading this book was akin to receiving a medical diagnosis for a mysterious illness. Dawson (2021) put to words what academic integrity administrators face on a daily basis. It has been refreshing to read a thorough and current scholarly research into e-cheating, however, it is also disheartening to see the challenges that lie ahead. I enjoyed our book session because I realized I’m not alone in facing these challenges.” Jake Kasper, Dean of Students Office, Academic Integrity and Student Conduct. Michigan State University

If you are not able to join us for this first book then please do consider coming along to future sessions. I’m already looking forward to the next meeting and am thrilled that the book author will be joining our final session in April. It’ll certainly be a highlight on my calendar.



Lee-Ann Penaluna is the Coordinator, Academic Integrity Programs at the University of Calgary, Canada. Her role includes the development of educational initiatives to support students understanding of academic integrity and managing writing support services. Lee-Ann is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Educational Research (Higher Education).