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Importance of Academic Integrity in Higher Education

Question

Task: Assignment brief: Write a report in two parts describing and discussing Academic Integrity. This should include:-

Section 1
• An Introduction including a description of Academic Integrity
• A discussion of the importance of academic integrity in higher education
• Discuss the implications of academic misconduct

Section 2
• Reflect on the steps you have taken, and difficulties encountered in producing the game for previous work.
• Reflect on the skills you have learned this academic year and those emphasized in producing your game.
• Write in a grammatically correct style and provide in text referencing throughout, including quotes, referenced according to the Harvard Referencing System.
• Provide a correctly formatted Reference List.

Answer

Introduction
Academic integrity can be called values of quality or honesty toward work. Academic integrity can be explained as putting up all the value and facts on which the Universities and educational communities stand, like the responsibility of work Excellency, honesty, and quality work submission, being reasonably justified to others (Sotiriadouet al., 2020). Academic integrity is the fundamental values of teaching, learning, education, exploration, and analysis in high-standard education centers and Universities. When essential at any university works, learns and teaches with accuracy, honesty, fairness, responsibilities, and respect shows that the essential is taking care of academic integrity values.

Section 1
An Introduction including a description of Academic Integrity
Academic integrity and its values

The academic integrity of any university consists of the following values which are namely, accuracy in reaching the result, responsibilities toward work and other people, honesty in work and with other people, fairness among everyone, and respect towards other people and their work. Academic integrity can help an individual to boost up the accuracy and quality of work done by him. Taking reference to a university an individual can be a student, teacher, staff member, or any scholar related to the university (Ramdani, 2018). The value in academic integrity helps the university of the education community to come up with new and innovative ideas, it can be said that it ensures that the work done by the students or scholars and teacher should be their work, with their mind used in it to make their work innovative and distinct from others. In universities and educational enterprises, academic integrity keeps a standard balance for everyone in the university including students or scholars, teaching staff, and others to maintain fairness among everyone, as giving each and everyone an equal opportunity to work and shine (Curtis et al., 2021). Working with honesty, by creating their own innovative approaches and ideas, and giving everyone equal acknowledgment which deserves. It motivates and reminds you what your responsibility toward work, and other people (students or scholars, teachers, and staff members) areas being in a university. Responsibility of work as an individual in a university is the responsibility of the individual to deliver its best of work, with innovative ideas and own knowledge and skills.

Responsibility toward university and school
In order to avoid plagiarism as you are delivering and also contributing towards your university’s reputation (Javeed, 2018). By delivering a unique, innovative, and accurate work acknowledging everyone who refers and deserves it, keeping it fair for everyone by giving them a proper opportunity to represent and learn from it.

Universities work on the basis of academic integrity values to make sure accuracy, responsibilities related to the university, fairness in opportunities and learning, respectful environment, and honesty toward work and other people, to better understand, learn and succeed. Academic integrity helps educational institutions to work ideally with greater positive impacts on the students and scholars with teachers included in this list also (Ashford, 2020). It is quite different from what you did in school or lower standard like to learn and copy-paste phrases and ideas after reading them from one and constructing projects and work without acknowledging them. Acknowledging someone whenever you are using their idea or work methodology is a good thing which shows that an individual is honest, fair, responsible, and shows respect toward other peoples.

A discussion of the importance of academic integrity in higher education
Fast transition and transformation of technology have challenged and also has favored higher education to open up new possibilities and risks (Awasthi, 2019). The development of the Internet or digital media has made higher education available and affordable through online services. This advancement not only has a favorable effect, but also new opportunities, threats, and uncertainties that affect the future of higher education greatly. The main challenge that is being faced is maintaining academic integrity. Integrity plays an important role that distinguishes a society profoundly and must be at the heart of the organization and its fundamental values (Biagioliet al., 2019). Academic dishonesty is a problem in higher education, which draws many scholars to study. Not only students, scholars, and administrators but external people such as policymakers, public authorities, parents, guardians, and employers also comes under integrity. In reality, honesty or academic misconduct problems have been said to occur in all universities in each country, from the top individual to the student.

In higher education, in college and schools, academic integrity is critical when unethical behavior threatens higher education students' learning and reputation. High academic honesty expectations protect a school or college's image and help in performing favorably by maintaining integrity and add to society's well-being. Violations of intellectual integrity reduce the university and student’s confidence in higher education. A student belongs to a college and is responsible to maintain a higher standard of integrity towards the school and college culture. The perpetuation of these tasks keeps the skills strong and encourages public respect for intellectual values. University learning, teaching, and study require academic integrity and academic integrity enables students and staff to develop innovative concepts, skills, and artistic works while understanding and recognizing other people's work and providing proper credibility without performing plagiarism. Academic credibility entails the continuing promotion of a dynamic network of university-wide policies and tasks. The University must dedicate itself to an educational commitment to the maintenance of integrity recognizing the need to assist students in developing and demonstrating academic qualifications.

Evaluating moral health is an important indicator for maintaining the quality of a school. Undergraduate education is a key nation-building institution for either economic growth or welfare. The topic of Academic integrity maintenance is an issue due to new media adoption and use of the Internet impacted the noble and critical organization. Much research has been carried out on Academic Integrity but there has not been a correct study on the effect on an organization and society due to misconduct. It is important for any University to respond fairly, consistently, transparently, and promptly to academic misconduct. In compliance with the privacy policy and data management policy, a University needs to ensure that records of inquiries and results are kept safe and confidential. A University also needs to ensure a constant quality assurance cycle to track and take measures to correct the main reasons for the prevalence and the nature of cases of academic misconduct. Any type of misconduct a university needs to take action to ensure that the intellectual reputation of any joint partner is upheld in agreements.

Discuss the implications of academic misconduct
Academic misconduct vastly concerns any unfair practice in any academic projects and exams for grades. Any effort is done towards, tries to achieve, or helps others fellows in attaining or trying to achieve academic benefits by dishonest is considered as academic misconduct. There are some ways of academic misconduct that are plagiarism, collusion, contract cheating, and forgery of data as well as the holding of unauthorized substances during an assessment (Cleary and Sayers, 2017).

Entire University students former and currently studying both should know their responsibility and follow the rules and regulations and change their behavior accordingly to not try or do any kind of academic misconduct. If any student tries to overrun the rule then there is some serious implication of academic misconduct based on the severity of the academic misconduct (Kadam, 2018). Academics misconduct can lead the student to expulsion from institutions to suspension from the premises. Some academic misconduct can lead a student to redo the assignment or deduction marks or terminate the individual from the project in which fault has been noticed. There are some cases where the concerned party holds the power to fail the student for misconduct in a particular assignment or from the whole class too; it depends on the severity and behavior of the student (Patra and Das, 2019). There is an option for the supervisor to submit an official complaint against the student to the office of the student council. The supervisor has to send a letter to the office of the student council mentioning the unfair practice done by the student in the assignment given. The student council keeps the record of the academic behavior of the students which has no ties to academic records. When the letter is sent and the complaint is officially registered then the student has the choice to respond to the letter with reason, apologies, or any opinion for concern matter. Which can be added to the student file (Cronanet al., 2018). Or the student can apply for a higher hearing with the discipline committee. The supervisor also has the right to file an official complaint to the discipline committee. The discipline committee is responsible for the disciplinary action against anyone who is part of the institution. They have a proper hearing where they also review old cases against an individual from both sides and decide what should be the consequences should face by a student who has conduct academic misconduct. The individual can also lose the right to the intellectual property of the project as well as recognition gain from the project. There are times when the individual faced legal consequences like jail, court case, fine, etc by the supervisor or any concerned party (Levine and Pazdernik, 2018). This can tarnish the reputation of the individual with the future. Academic misconduct can not only affect student life but can also affect the institutions. The institution wants to be transparent and with minimum flaws, the news of academic misconduct can decrease the goodwill of the institution which can decrease the reliability of the institution and the institution can also face loss. That's why institutions work very hard to minimize the misconduct, by serious consequences and educate their members to work with integrity.

Section 2
Reflect on the steps you have taken, and difficulties encountered in producing the game for Assignment 2

This game is a fun way to learn and test the knowledge about academic integrity. Academic integrity is a moral and ethical code used throughout academic work. This assignment in which I have to prepare the quiz game was a fun experience and learning process. While producing this game I faced some difficulties that need to be dealt with. Some difficulties were, for preparing this game information was gathering. So it was time-consuming as well as I had to study this topic thoroughly. I have to understand this topic word to word to find accurate answers to the questions. Another difficulty was the selection of questions. Many questions could be asked about academic integrity since it is a vast topic. So, while selecting the questions one thing that was needed to keep in the mind was that questions should be of a moderate level so that students can find an appropriate answer in little learning and by a lot of thinking process as this topic concerns individuals morals value as well as theoretical knowledge. If the players will find more difficulties in answering the question then the objective that is learning will become just scoring which will not be an ideal situation. Another difficulty was choosing the options in the questions. I have to think of all the possible answers someone can consider right so that they can identify that morals are more important than grades. Therefore I collected all the options for which individuals follow academic integrity with morality for a better understanding of this topic. Lastly, I have to find resources for making this game more presentable in this manner so that the visuals of the game should be not boring and not overly decorated. I have to go through lots of designs and in the last finalized, the one which can do both fun and formal.

Reflect on the skills you have learned this academic year and those emphasized in producing your game
In the process of completing this game, I learned a lot of skills and used them. This game was a learning experience and taught me a lot of things about academic integrity. This game shows me the importance of academic integrity in academic life as well as its use throughout life. This game shows me practical use and knowledge of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint which I used in making games. There was some function of the software that I was unaware of so I explored the software and learned it and they are now and on my skills. I also learned and improved my technical writing process. I notice my flaws and correct them which helps me to improve my writing abilities. I also learn how to research a topic. Because infinite information is available I learned how to find the right and useful information. I also learned how to be creative informal work. I learned how we can organize the data in a useful way. I also improve my designing skills in the process to complete the game. This project improves and increases my skills and I learn to use them in practical work which boosts my confidence also.

Conclusion
Academic integrity is a moral and ethical code of conduct that an individual should follow throughout the academic year. This is concerned with any unfair activity which is done for academic benefit. It can become a habit in an individual's life and can affect their social credibility too. This kind of activity also decreases the reliability of institutions as well as individuals involved. Therefore institutions try to minimize academic misconduct, do seminars, and try to educate the importance of academic integrity. There are some implications set by the institution which can be used as a punishment for the individual; it can be suspended to expulsion according to the severity of the misconduct. To aware students, a quiz game was used in which students are asked questions about academic integrity and rewarded points for correct answers. All the initiative is done to show the importance of academic integrity and benefits it in real life to encourage the student to follow the rules with morality and ethnically.

References
Ashford, T., 2020. App-centric Students and Academic Integrity: A Proposal for Assembling Socio-technical Responsibility. Journal of Academic Ethics, pp.1-14. Awasthi, S., 2019. Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct: A Systematic Review. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 39(2).

Biagioli, M., Kenney, M., Martin, B.R. and Walsh, J.P., 2019. Academic misconduct, misrepresentation and gaming: A reassessment. Research Policy, 48(2), pp.401-413.

Cleary, M. and Sayers, J., 2017. Academic integrity and plagiarism. Nurse Author & Editor, 27(2), p.4.

Cronan, T.P., Mullins, J.K. and Douglas, D.E., 2018. Further understanding factors that explain freshman business students’ academic integrity intention and behavior: Plagiarism and sharing homework. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(1), pp.197-220.

Curtis, G.J., Slade, C., Bretag, T., and McNeill, M., 2021. Developing and evaluating nationwide expert-delivered academic integrity workshops for the higher education sector in Australia. Higher Education Research & Development, pp.1-16.

Javeed, S., 2018. Academic advisors as valuable partners for supporting academic integrity. Canadian Perspectives on Academic Integrity, 1(1), pp.22-26.

Kadam, D., 2018. Academic integrity and plagiarism: The new regulations in India. Indian journal of plastic surgery: official publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, 51(2), p.109.

Levine, J. and Pazdernik, V., 2018. Evaluation of a four-prong anti-plagiarism program and the incidence of plagiarism: a five-year retrospective study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(7), pp.1094-1105. Patra, S.K. and Das, A.K., 2019. Finding Facets of Academic Integrity and Plagiarism through the Prism of a Citation Database. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 39(2).

Ramdani, Z., 2018. Construction of academic integrity scale. International Journal of Research Studies in Psychology, 7(1), pp.87-97. Sotiriadou, P., Logan, D., Daly, A. and Guest, R., 2020. The role of authentic assessment to preserve academic integrity and promote skill development and employability. Studies in Higher Education, 45(11), pp.2132-2148.

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