This week’s NAFSA 2017 Workshop Spotlight series features a conversation with Anne Hayner, associate director for alumni relations at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.
Hayner, along with co-trainers Erin Hillis, associate director of international programs at Rhodes College, and Liz Cosgrove, center director at ELS Language Centers – Dallas, shares insight into why their NAFSA 2017 Current Topics Workshop (CTW), Academic Ethics Across Cultures: Preparing Your Students and Your Campus, is so valuable and timely for international educators today.
“In 2017, the topic of academic ethics across cultures has only become more relevant,” says Hayner. “When charges of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’ are in the daily headlines, how does this affect the way we teach about plagiarism and cheating? In a ‘post-truth’ era, can academic integrity be satisfied by proper citation?”
Discuss the timely relevance of your workshop for international education professionals.
The topic of academic ethics is a burning issue in cross-cultural settings, for which many international educators are seeking resources. Experience has shown us that the line between “cheating” and “sharing” may be hard to define cross-culturally, and that “plagiarism” may not translate easily across cultural contexts, but we also want to avoid the stereotyping of academic integrity issues along cultural lines.
This has been a popular topic at previous NAFSA conferences, relevant to professionals working in all areas of international education. With the ongoing growth of international students in U.S. institutions, particularly undergraduates, and the mounting number of U.S. study abroad students, the need for discussion and tools to manage this issue with cross-cultural sensitivity only becomes more pressing.
Who would benefit most from participation in this workshop?
International student advisers, student services professionals, and overseas advisers responsible for orientation will all benefit from being part of this training as it relates directly to the work they do. In addition, ESL teachers and faculty; administrators promoting internationalization; faculty in highly international and diverse programs; study abroad advisers; and administrators of international scholarship programs each bring a unique perspective to the topic and will walk away with tangible takeaways to strengthen the work they do.
Describe one “take away” from this workshop a participant would be able to apply at their home institution or organization?
A deeper awareness of the cultural influences on academic ethics, and the ways in which issues of academic integrity are approached around the world will be a key takeaway for our participants. We will provide a rich array of resources to develop culturally sensitive training support to prevent cases of academic misconduct among international students and study abroad students, and real-life examples to address academic misconduct if and when it does arise. The roundtable discussion format and the case studies presented will ensure that participants have full access to the content and can learn from each other as they dig into the complexities of this topic.
How will your CTW inspire those who participate?
Participants will hear experiences of other educators around the world that let them know they are not alone in the challenges they face, and that there are resources available to support them. Ultimately, we hope that participants will discover that concepts of academic ethics are culturally defined in complex ways, and they will identify approaches to address and teach these concepts as cultural constructs rather than simply issues of morality or legality.
To learn more about this CTW and all of the workshop offerings in Los Angeles, check out the NAFSA 2017 Annual Conference Preconference Workshops at www.nafsa.org/ac17workshops.
Dawn Cepica is the 2017 NAFSA Annual Conference Committee Workshop Coordinator and lead administrator of faculty and staff immigration services in the Office of International Affairs at Texas Tech University.