Review of CRADLE’s International Symposium Keynote Presentation – by Rebecca Awdry

CRADLE International Symposium 2022 – “Challenging Cheating


This year’s Symposium considered the challenges that cheating poses to education, to questioning the very idea of cheating, and beyond. As well as the intensive closed portion of the event, two interactive public events were held as pivotal highlights of the Symposium program. These include a Keynote Presentation and a Panel Session. In this post Rebecca Awdry, CRADLE PhD candidate and symposium delegate, provides her reflections on the Keynote Presentation and the controversial and big issues arising out of the discussions surrounding cheating.

Keynote presentation – Dr Sarah Eaton

Dr Sarah Eaton of University of Calgary presented “Academic Integrity as a Transdisciplinary Field of Research, Policy, & Practice” on 12 October 2022.

Sarah’s keynote presentation discussed the historical approach to conceptualising academic integrity, framed by places of learning, and the move from a moral approach (of discipline and wrongness directed more at student’s families) to a policy approach (where education institutions were expected to discipline breaches of expected conduct), to a teaching and learning approach (where educators began to explore more why students were cheating and choosing not to learn).

Moving towards a framing of integrity by introducing equity and advocacy in what educators are doing in this space, institutions can view breaches and teaching of integrity through a more inclusive and equitable lens. This lens should also be transdisciplinary as different perspectives can give us better understanding and awareness of ways to conceptualise integrity and cheating. A transdisciplinary approach encourages the sharing and use of different methods, theories and constructs and encourage increased knowledge discovery though limiting monodisciplinary thinking.

In working on her own project, Sarah said that she had gained different perspectives from collaborating with colleagues in Engineering, English and Accessibility services. She certainly got me thinking about better ways to combine disciplines, and the chat was full of people talking about the ideas behind equity in academic integrity, and per Sarah’s words, avoid intellectual snobbery.

Interestingly there was a connection of law enforcement to the same issues as educators. These webs of connections were found between companies providing assignments to students, fake certificates, and other forms of fraudulent material. It was fascinating to know that the FBI has been involved in some cases!

She concluded by calling us to action to think about the ways that we connect, use language and cultivate our own approaches to integrity, stating that ‘Academic integrity is about than student cheating.’

You can view Sarah’s presentation on our YouTube channel or our Blog Symposium page.

About Sarah Eaton

Dr Sarah Eaton is an associate professor at the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. She has received research awards of excellence for her scholarship on academic integrity from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE) (2020) and the European Network for Academic Integrity (ENAI) (2022). Dr Eaton has written and presented extensively on academic integrity and ethics in higher education and is regularly invited as a media guest to talk about academic misconduct.

Dr Eaton is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal for Educational Integrity. Her books include Plagiarism in Higher Education: Tackling Tough Topics in Academic Integrity, Academic Integrity in Canada: An Enduring and Essential Challenge (Eaton Christensen Hughes, Eds.), Contract Cheating in Higher Education: Global Perspectives on Theory, Practice, and Policy (Eaton, Curtis, Stoesz, Clare, Rundle, Seeland, Eds.), and Ethics and Integrity in Teacher Education (Eaton Khan, eds.). She’s also the editor-in-chief of the Handbook of Academic Integrity (2nd ed., Springer), which is currently under development.

CRADLE Symposium Dates 17-19 October Banner

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