Beginning this fall, every incoming student from the schools of Arts & Sciences and Engineering will be required to complete Tufts’ Academic Integrity Tutorial. Students will access the self-paced, case-based, interactive online tutorial via Trunk, Tufts’ next generation learning management system.
Completing the Academic Integrity Tutorial is also mandatory for all matriculating ASE graduate students. Lynne Pepall, Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, believes it is important that students who will be serving as teaching assistants and graders are well-versed in Tufts’ standards for academic integrity, “The tutorial is an excellent way to foster a climate of scholarly integrity at Tufts. Teaching and mentoring undergraduates is an important dimension of the graduate student experience and teaching and mentoring require knowledge of our standards of academic integrity. Also it is often in collaborative learning and research that ethical issues arise. These issues are complex and require skills for identifying and assessing the problems and solutions. The tutorial is a good place to start.”
Individuals from across the University collaborated on the Academic Integrity Tutorial to bring knowledge of policy, content, technology, and process. “The tutorial was developed over the past two years by staff at the Academic Resource Center and University Information Technology (UIT), as well as by graduate students Rachel Mansfield (Ph.D. 2010, Drama) and Barbara Orton (graduate student in English),” says Carmen Lowe, Dean of Academic Advising and Undergraduate Studies. Insight from current Tufts students was integral in establishing the proper tone for the tutorial. “We had several rounds of usability studies and employed student feedback to fine-tune the content, navigation, and visual design. Ryan Stolp (B.S. 2011, Engineering Psychology) designed the tutorial’s icons and illustrations, which bring some playfulness to a serious subject.”
Associate Dean of Engineering Lew Edgers supports the Academic Integrity Tutorial because it speaks to the interconnectedness of real-world and academic ethics: “Engineers are keenly aware of their ethical responsibilities because of the possible effects of their work on public health and safety. The School of Engineering has been actively engaged in lively discussions of ethical issues, including both professional ethics and academic integrity. This past spring, more than fifty students and faculty were initiated into the Order of the Engineer, a national organization whose purpose is to promote ethical awareness and behavior in the engineering community. I strongly endorse the Academic Integrity Tutorial. It will not only serve you well as a student at Tufts but also enrich your education as an engineer.”
The Academic Integrity Tutorial was designed as a resource and teaching tool that reflects the unique academic community that exists at Tufts. “We created the tutorial so that incoming students have a consistent, thoughtful, and thorough experience that would inform them of Tufts’ standards and policies and dispel misconceptions about university research. The Academic Integrity Tutorial also addresses issues students may face involving collaboration, peer pressure, and ethical dilemmas,” says Lowe. Tufts began offering informative academic integrity workshops as part of first-year orientation in 2004. It wasn’t until 2008 that all current Tufts undergraduates had some training in standards of academic integrity during orientation. “We’ll still hold academic integrity workshops during orientation but now their focus will be on academic writing.”