Academic integrity at UCL: Student & Staff perspectives

Academic integrity at UCL: Student & Staff perspectives

Some time back in November 2022, before ChatGPT fever hit the mainstream,  Eliot Hoving, Leo Havemann and myself launched a mini project around Academic Integrity at UCL.

The topic had been prevalent for Eliot and myself in our conversations with Faculties around Digital Assessment. There was a concern that moving online and particularly remote online assessment during COVID had resulted in an upsurge in Academic Misconduct.  Although the official number of serious cases that reach Academic Misconduct boards remain relatively small, it appeared that the number of cases being dealt with locally at Department or Faculty level were increasing and consuming a lot of resources –  time, effort and emotional energy for both staff and students.  We wanted to dig into this a bit and find out more about the causes for this and what UCL could do to promote an assessment environment that promoted good academic practice, particularly since digital assessment is here to stay.

In January to early March 2023, we ran a series of focus groups with both staff and students (co-designed by student partners) to explore their perspectives.  The first sweep of results were presented at the recent UCL Education conference – a summary of which can be found on the UCL Education Conference 2023 site along with slides from the presentation.

AI was not the main topic of discussion in the focus groups at that time but since then concerns around Academic Integrity have been turbo charged by the availability of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools. The discussions around creating an environment of trust, openness and good academic practice  in relation to assessment have never been more important, not to mention designing assessments that are resilient, meaningful and which will prepare students for an AI enabled world.

Next steps in our mini project include a poster presentation at the AHE conference 2023 and a session for APT 2023 (Implications and Ethical Dimensions of using Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education Teaching, Learning and Assessment) which will also include material from recent staff facing sessions on Assessment Design and AI that Leo Havemann and myself ran (from February through to present).