Whether this is your first year at RRC or you’ve been here before, you are probably looking forward to the promise of a new school year. I remember from my student days, the excitement of buying textbooks and school supplies, forming new schedules to get to class on time, and the curiosity of meeting new instructors and classmates. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic brings a new normal where things look a little different than they used to. Still, the opportunities to learn, grow and connect will still be found. Starting the school year off with the intention to succeed and recognizing that there will surely be challenges, is a great way to get mentally prepared for college.
What does academic integrity mean to me?
As you get settled into your program, I encourage you to ask yourself – “What does academic integrity mean to me?” People often reply that academic integrity means “don’t cheat,” and while that is partly true, there is so much more to consider. If integrity is about good character and decision making, then academic integrity is about the good character and decision making in school. We know that handing in assignments on time and being a good teammate in a group project are signs of good character and decision making, but what happens when things get tough? What happens when there is a deadline, and you haven’t started the assignment? What happens when you are writing a test remotely and you want to google the answers rather than think it through yourself? What happens when you are scared of failing your program and disappointing your family and friends?
Six fundamental values
These are the situations where academic integrity gets real. Without a guidebook that tells us exactly how to react in every situation, we need foundational principles to help us make decisions. Academic integrity encourages all members of the college community to be guided by these six fundamental values: honesty, trust, respect, responsibility, fairness, and courage. When challenges come our way, and they will come, we can look to these fundamental values to grow our success.
Use our self-directed tutorial
To help students think about academic integrity and how it is applied at Red River College, Library and Academic Services offers a self-directed tutorial that maps out strategies and resources for academic integrity, to build students’ reputation in the classroom and prepare them for their future careers. You can access the tutorial here: https://library.rrc.ca/self_directed_learning/academic_integrity
You can also visit the Academic Integrity webpage for students at: https://library.rrc.ca/ai_student
I wish you all the excitement and promise of a new school year. Talk to your instructors if you have questions about academic integrity in your course, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Lisa Vogt, Academic Integrity Specialist