Sunday, May 1, 2016

My Personal Ethic Belief

My personal ethic belief is concise and lucid to the commitment as a graduate student to abide by and consent to the submission of all assignments, documents, research, and etc. is devoid of plagiarism, any form of cheating, academic sabotage, and falsification. This serves as my moral and ethic obligation to uphold and exemplify the values and principles that protect the quality of life of all people, their human rights, and their diverse backgrounds and cultures. It also aids in ensuring the accountability, trust, and mutual respect in collaborative research I should become involved.

A Graduate Student Perspective

Working in higher education has its benefits and in my opinion, a major benefit with working in higher education is having the ability to impact, impart knowledge, encourage life long learning, and influence individuals to advance and progress their life in a positive direction and transfer the knowledge obtained. Solidifying a solid foundation in understanding academic and integrity is vital in being a faculty member. In effort to establishing a strong foundation, I believe instilling a high ethical component in students is imperative to their academic and professional aspirations.

The collective voice allows everyone to make decisions when it relates to the learning community, which students would have a sense of ownership, self-regulation, and autonomy over what and how they learn by being permitted to have that input and as a faculty member its important to make sure the voice is a representation of quality, and integrity of the research.

Thoughts on Citation Methods

The appropriate use of citations is vital, because it provides the proper credit to the author(s) and devoid the potential to cheat or plagiarize. Citations also aid in allowing readers with the ability to conduct further research and locate the materials and/or information the author has cited and consulted on their own. Citations add credibility to your standpoint in supporting the assertion and indicate that some research was conducted to hold up your point of view.

The best practice in ethics and integrity is to cite your sources and select the appropriate citation style that aligns with your discipline. Also consult the necessary resources or professionals to ensure the style is written correct. The goal is to sustain your academic integrity in writing and/or reporting research, so as researchers we have an ethical responsibility to share knowledge, learn, and produce information appropriately and avoid misrepresentations of information and findings.

Disciplinary Codes

Disciplinary codes are emplaced as a set of ethical standards to uphold professionally as well as guidelines to adhere to in maintaining professional relationships. The importance is to build positive relationships with peers, faculty, community, and staff as well as develop caring, thoughtful collaborative communities of learning within institutions. The codes are a set of disciplinary actions and/or repercussions to reprimand unethical behaviors or deter.

The codes also serve as a foundation to positively include a holistic responsibility and support the structure of moral/ethical accountability within institutions. The disciplinary aspect is a preventative measure, so student discipline should be lucid and representative of just, humane actions for the leaders and community to uphold those values for the prosperity of the individual student and for the community collectively.

The Importance of Copyright Laws & Regulations

The access of the Internet has permitted the ability to readily access information, images, and material without difficulty, so it’s vital to understand or be aware of the importance about the use and knowledge of copyright laws, fair use, and polices.

Appropriate acknowledgement or credit should be provided to the author or creator(s) of the material or images. We have a civic responsibility to make sure we’re citing and using information, images, and/ or material appropriately as well as practicing ethical standards when uploading or downloading works of others.

If the idea isn’t an original thought or creation then it’s our ethical responsibility to provide the necessary credit for the aspiration following our work. The best ethical and integrity practice is to follow and respect copyright laws and polices. The ethical principals of copyright use are emplaced to devoid the use of copyrighting content without the authors consent and/or accessing personal information of others without permission. The principals serve as a moral policy to follow as well as govern the use of information especially on the Internet.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Final Project Progress Report

The current progress on the final project is proceeding into the final stages. The next few weeks I plan on creating the splash page and editing the manual to align more with the ethics of collaborative authorships, since the basis of the website is connecting and collaborating with one another on various research projects. Thus far I haven’t encountered any trouble, but I’m realizing there are a number of ethical challenges to consider when collaborating nationally or internationally (i.e. language barriers, cultural differences, what constitutes authorships, clarity of ethics & integrity, ownership of research, and ethical level of scientific misconduct).

While working on the final project I’ve learned the importance of understanding the ethics of collaborative authorships. When working with individuals’ cross-disciplines whether local, regional, national, and/or international; ethics and integrity, authorship, and publishing agreements are vital topics to discuss before initiating a research project, because there are a number of factors to consider beforehand.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Importance of Collaborative Authorship

Authorship is an important topic especially in higher education. There are a number of collaborative projects occurring between students and faculty, at intuitions, so as a personal and social responsibility its best practice to have open conversations and negations before initiating research project(s) jointly.

Upfront conversations and negations provide everyone involved with a unified standard, expectations, and protection of intellectual property as well as assigning authorship credit on the final product. Having open conversations at the initial stage in the process also permits the ability to establish a blueprint to follow throughout the research process as well as stages to revisit should the plan be altered.

Final Project Proposal | Researcher's Meet Project

Brief Description
The plan is to develop a Research Ethics & Integrity Manual for a fictitious (fake) website "Researchers Meet". The website is a place for professionals, students, researchers, and non-professionals to join on a membership basis and collaborate as well as post and find research interests across the globe. The purpose of this fictitious site is to establish open dialogue/contribution in the sharing of global knowledge conversations. Also to aid assistance in collaboration, knowledge exchange, and increase attention on certain research areas.

Researchers are cross collaborating with individuals in other countries and states, the manual will serve as a source to aid individuals in ethically collaborating and to permit researchers the ability to remain salient in ethical issues, as well as avoid and resolve ethical impasses, while remaining authentic to their ethical obligations and social and professional responsibilities.

Why I Choose this Project
I selected this project for the reason that technology is rapidly evolving and our lives is becoming full to capacity with daily meetings, assignments, projects, family obligations, and personal commitments that we have less time to meet face-to-face to any further extent, so the main purpose of the website is to create a local, international, and global network of all types of researchers and provide fruitful collaborations across cultures, disciplines, and backgrounds. The website is a platform to interchange ideas, new developments, and discussions with other like minded researchers, students, professionals, and/or other non-professionals in the field.

Future Project Aspirations
The manual will also serve on a smaller scale to institutions or universities with a blueprint to establish the "Researchers Meet" website, which will assist as a campus collaboration locator to encourage collaborations across disciplines and departments within the institution. It will also serve as a tool for novice researchers to acquire the opportunity to connect, collaborate and create research with expert researchers as well as have a major role in the scientific progress, gain experience, and insight in the field not necessarily their own.

Connections to Academic Integrity
The connections to academic integrity will focus on ethics and integrity, copyright issues, the honor system, and authorship.

Final Product Plan
- Research Ethics & Integrity Manual
- One splash page of the fictitious website "Researchers Meet"

Why students cheat and plagiarize?

In viewing the interactive movie “The Lab”, the motive behind students cheating and plagiarizing results in various reasons, in which I concur. Students result to unethical violations for a multitude of reasons; succumb to pressures, cultural differences, lack of understanding material, and unrealistic expectations, but as an educator initiating conversations about cheating, authorship, falsification, plagiarism, and etc. have the possibility to teach students the appropriate ways to cite the work of others, practice ethical research standards, and avoid unethical standards.

The overarching goal as an educator is to educate students enough to prevent students from cheating and/or plagiarizing, encourage reporting unethical behaviors of others, and self-regulating their own behavior and setting high standards for themselves as well as others. I believe the explanation for the continuing increase in academic violations is from students’ ignorance surrounding the topic, the devoid of authentic, meaningful assignments, high academic expectations, and deficient planning.

As a preventive measure, the initial step should be to educate students on the topic, then emplace appropriate consequences for unethical behavior(s). According to McCabe, Trevino, & Butterfield (2001) indicate that students who have a negative perception of being caught, leads to a decrease in academic dishonesty. In conclusion, students should have ownership over their own learning, take responsibility for their own behavior(s), and be accountable for the selection of their choices and actions, so we as educators must first provide them with the tools so that they are able to make the appropriate decisions.

Reference: McCabe, D. L., Trevino, L. K., & Butterfield, K. D. (2001). Dishonesty in academic environments. Journal of Higher Education, 72(1), 29-45

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Ethical & Moral Compass of the Graduate Honor System

The graduate Honor Code Constitution serves as a roadmap, compass, or informational pamphlet that navigates and informs the appropriate social and academic standards of conduct to uphold while at the institution, and hopefully a standard that extends beyond the institution. The Constitution is an established standard to ensure that academic integrity is maintained and followed. The Constitution to some degree is a moral and ethical compass that’s provides direction to a personal responsibility in preserving the value of academic integrity and reframing from unethical conduct.

It’s a serious pledge and commitment as a graduate student to abide by and consent to the submission of all assignments, documents, research, and etc. is devoid of plagiarism, any form of cheating, academic sabotage, and falsification. While we are granted academic freedom and independence, we still have an obligation to remain honest, demonstrate a level of integrity, and ethical standard in the work we carry out and practice as well as report any academic violations, and etc.. The current Constitution is lucid, and instills a high ethical component and exhibits a collaboration of faculty, students, and staff in ensuring that the integrity of the work is modeled, upheld, and demonstrated to support and provide academic success.

"Your reputation and integrity are everything. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions." - Maria Razumich-Zec

Monday, February 8, 2016

Moral & Ethic Temperature Check: Be Aware of Your Discipline's Code of Ethics

"Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do." - Potter Stewart

Code of ethics is emplaced to serve as a moral and ethical thermometer. The moral and ethical thermometer is utilized when its a necessitate to check the temperature on ethical decision making in the code of academics and/or professional work, or when its essential to check as a basis for judging the merit of an official complaint pertaining to a violation of professional/academic ethical standard(s). According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH), ethical norms and standards are behaviors that suite a particular aim(s) and goal(s) as well as permit the public to hold those who conduct scientific research accountable. So, ethical standards govern a conduct, but also aids in coordinating actions or activities that establish the public's trust of the discipline as well as construct public support.

It's important to understand moral norms, scientific conduct, and humanist conduct because it serves as a conduct of ethical standard for academic and/or professional behavior as well as an obligation to uphold and exemplify the values and principles that protect the quality of life of all people, their human rights, and their diverse backgrounds and cultures. It also aids in ensuring the accountability, trust, and mutual respect in collaborative research.

As Social Scientist, we want to make sure we collect the necessary data, information, and materials, but we also want to make sure we’re protecting all parties involved as well as exercising appropriate judgment between right and wrong and having the ability to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. As we conduct research or collaborate, it’s noble to have unsystematic temperature checks to make sure that a level of academic/professional standards is being maintained as well as the trust, quality, and integrity of the research.

Temperature Checks Should Include the Following:
  • Honesty & Trust Worthiness,
  • Equal Opportunity/ Fairness,
  • Distribute Proper Credits,
  • Honor/Protect Human & Animal Rights,
  • Respect All Parties Involved, and
  • Continuously Uphold the Code of Ethics
  • Monday, February 1, 2016

    The Purpose of Higher Education in the 21st Century

    The purpose of  higher education or continuing education is rapidly changing as well as the context and students' exceptions of the institution. In providing high quality education, institutions should align and be prepared to remain abreast with the emergence of technical trends, educational environments, and various teaching and learning pedagogical strategies. Higher education is leveraging these developments to make the most of students’ learning experiences and choices.

    The future of higher education is leading more in the direction of curricula reform, offering more multi-disciplinary programs in STEM majors or cross-disciplinary programs, fostering relationships with K-12 sector, finding balance between non-traditional/informal learning (i.e. MOOC's or distant learning) with traditional learning, investing in technology and apps, recreating space for increased class sizes, and finding unique ways to increase retention and enrollment rates.

    Maintaining the balance of non-traditional and traditional learning is adapting to innovated or contemporary pedagogical approaches while retaining the foundation of traditional methods. There is no absolute way of knowing the future of higher education or make certain an institutions success in the future, but the objective is to empower students, establish an inclusive environment, and strengthen transfer.

    Sunday, January 24, 2016

    Exploring Academic Integrity!

    Hello GRAD 5104!

    My name is Casey Bailey. I’m a graduate student in the Educational Psychology program. I’m currently the Graduate Assistant (GA) for VT-STEM as the Volunteer Coordinator and Web Master. My research interest is understanding how informal learning influences Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) engagement outreach opportunities for undergraduates in acquiring skills and knowledge for college success and/or career readiness. The primary focus is on undergraduates’ social and cognitive development within informal service learning environments.

    Defining Academic Integrity:
    • My initial impression of the VT Principles of Community statement is specific and measurable from an individual sense of duty and a group or community obligation/responsibility. The Principles of Community demonstrates a shared enterprise or ownership in maintaining the practice and success of the core values, principles, and respect for one another collectively as well as the Tech community and surrounding communities we reside. It serves as an outline that encourages collaboration from the Tech community as a whole as well as individually to learn and develop in a way that meets the need(s) of the principles and the populace it serves.
    • Principles verses laws, beliefs, and facts, are principles entail a collective unit formation of a standard(s) that can be altered according to the need(s) of the populace within the community, verses laws, beliefs, and facts are established by a sole authoritative entity in a community and imposed on the populace and serve as a complete truth with rigid alterations.
    • In reading the acknowledgment that the university includes, in part, “a legacy that reflected bias and exclusion” suggest that past discretions of marginalization and bias toward groups based on race, gender, and sexual orientation is recognized, but no longer considered legitimate. [I’m not sure of the specific significance or meaning, so this is purely an assumption.]
    • The statement might reveal a university’s integrity in being moral and ethically responsible in divulging historical beliefs and inheritance. In some degree this builds trust within the university and encourages the sharing of ideas that is essential to scholarship, learning, and growth.
    • The principle most intriguing is “the value of diversity because it enriches our lives and the University”. This principle resonated the most, because it insinuates the varied collaborations to knowledge and the construction of knowledge as a whole and an individual contribution to the University as well as the lives being encountered.
    Side Note:
    We are preparing for our Kindergarten-2-College (K2C) college and career pathways program for children from across Virginia! As part of my role, we’re recruiting Volunteer Leaders to assist with leading groups of 5th grade students from STEM academic experiences to the Spirit of Tech experience, sharing insight about the college experience including academics, student life, living learning communities, and extracurricular activities. So, if you know of anyone interested in volunteering in the Blacksburg area, please have him or her contact me directly for more information.

    Please feel free to share the Volunteer Leader flyer widely!
    Download flyer here!

    I look forward to interacting with everyone! Have a great week & stay warm!


    Casey B.