Laurie McNeill is Chair of First-Year Programs in the Faculty of Arts and an Instructor in the Department of English at UBC. She discussed how her Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund project, which received funding in 2017, is helping to teach students about ethical research and academic integrity.
How did the idea for this project emerge?
Laurie McNeill: This project emerged out of my own experience, and my co-applicant’s, Stefania Burk’s, experiences as part of the institutional apparatus that responds to academic misconduct. So as Chair of First-Year programs, academic misconduct cases in Arts One, CAP [the Coordinated Arts Program] and ASRW [Arts Studies in Research Writing] are reported up to me, and then I meet with those students. In Stefania’s case, as Associate Dean Academic, cases that I report up go to her and then she also meets with students.
So I had been having these encounters with students under very challenging circumstances for them. By the time they got up to me, they realize they’re in some serious trouble. But I had such productive, interesting, informative experiences in working with those students in what were supposed to be disciplinary meetings; they gave me real insights into where we as an institution were failing to meet the needs of students. Most of the cases were not students who had intended to cheat, but who either ran into a set of circumstances that made it impossible for them to see what other options they had or who just lacked basic understanding of how to do research in ethical ways.
Heather McCabe interview January 9th, 2018