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Thursday, June 23 • 15:00 - 16:00
CON08.07a - Using Anonymized Cases to Foil Plagiarism and Improve the Academic Integrity Environment

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Do you use case assignments in your business-related courses? Have you been frustrated (and amazed!) by students’ resourcefulness in obtaining unauthorized access to the solutions to published cases? Many business programs involve the use of cases in several courses; cases have been shown to be effective in developing critical thinking and communication skills (Boyce, Williams, Kelly & Yee, 2001). However, when students refer to or plagiarize case solutions, they sidestep our efforts to help them develop these skills. This session will describe an intervention used to reform a case assignment assessed within an accounting course. The intervention is a case refreshing and dissemination strategy that makes cases appear unique to each group of students. Because the cases appear unique each time they are used, it’s much more difficult for students to obtain or share information about them. The aim of the strategy is to motivate students to engage with the case rather than look for a shortcut. After this strategy was introduced, there was a dramatic decrease in plagiarism that has now been sustained across three iterations of the course. The elements and outcomes of the strategy will be explained in the session, after which participants will be invited to share the academic integrity challenges they have faced in their courses, and the interventions they used to address them.

Session learning outcomes:

  • Recognize the connection between preventing academic misconduct and motivating learner engagement

  • Appreciate the damage that even small numbers of academic misconduct perpetrators can inflict on the academic integrity environment of a course

  • Examine how instructors themselves sometimes contribute to a weak academic integrity environment by unintentionally enabling cheating behaviour

  • Learn about the elements of an assignment redesign intervention that dramatically reduced the incidence of academic misconduct

Boyce, G., Williams, S., Kelly, A. & Yee, H. (2001). Fostering deep and elaborative learning and generic (soft) skill development: The strategic use of case studies in accounting education. Accounting Education 10(1), 37-60.


Sandra Scott

Sandra Scott, MBA, CPA, CA, CFA is an assistant professor of accounting in the College of Business & Economics at the University of Guelph. Her research interests include the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Thursday June 23, 2016 15:00 - 16:00 EDT
UCC 60