Southwest Regional Consortium for Academic Integrity
The Texas Tech University Ethics Center (www.ethics.ttu.edu) proposes to establish a regional consortium for academic integrity affiliated with the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI, Clemson University’s Robert J. Rutland Institute for Ethics | http://www.academicintegrity.org). The ICAI is a resource for higher and secondary educational institutions that have or are developing academic integrity programs.
The ICAI is establishing regional groups around the United States to provide member institutions with more local support for academic integrity education and initiatives. As one of the ICAI’s 14 Texas member institutions, Texas Tech is ideally placed to lead a group in the Southwest region of the country.
Our goal is to establish a community of scholars interested in Academic Integrity on their campuses and help facilitate discussions between the consortium members. Because the southwest is such a vast area our consortium will utilize Web 2.0 technologies (website, listserv, and an interactive wiki) to conduct most of the discussion and collaboration but we are proposing to host one face-to-face meeting during the Spring 2013 semester. In essence, the new Southwest Regional Consortium for Academic Integrity will provide more constant support for people who are doing AI work on their campuses because otherwise they will lack easy access to others with academic integrity expertise.
The first year (2012-2013) will include outreach to participants, web presence and list-serv development, and one face-to-face meeting at Texas Tech for founding members.
Consortium staff will develop a website hosted by the Ethics Center. This site will include information on consortium members and provide for member collaboration.
Staff will mail a letter of introduction and invitation to all target institutions in catchment area (TX, NM, and OK), highlighting planned face-to-face event in late January 2013. Target institutions include all current ICAI members in the catchment area as well as select ISDs.
Staff will host one one-hour synchronous discussion on the website on a topic relevant to participating members. This discussion will introduce members to each other, leave a trail of activity on the wiki, and set members up for the Spring face-to-face event.
All participants will convene at Texas Tech for a face-to-face meeting. The Ethics Center will pay for attendees’ lunch and the event will include a workshop and/or keynote.
The three major deliverables during the consortium’s first six months will be: (1) introductory and invitation letters; (2) the consortium website; and (3) a Spring 2013 face-to-face meeting at Texas Tech for participant institutions.
(1) Introductory and Invitation Letters
During Summer 2012, the Ethics Center mailed out letters of introduction and copies of the 2011-2012 annual report to peer ethics centers in the state of Texas. These packages included a letter signed by Provost Smith and a note signed by Dr. Louder, and were designed to summarize the TTU Ethics Center’s recent work and also encourage other institutions to build a relationship with us.
In Fall 2012, staff will expand that list by adding ICAI members and affiliated Independent School District contacts in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. An introductory and invitation message will be prepared for this new list. This letter will describe the Ethics Center, the new regional consortium, and the potential benefits of participation.
(2) The Consortium Website
The consortium website will be built during early Fall 2012, and linked to the Ethics Center’s webpage. Because the consortium is designed to help participants communicate with each other, the website will include social web (Web 2.0) features based on TTU’s wiki tool, Confluence.
Confluence provides for members-only access, and can be accessed by off-campus users as well as eRaider credentialed Texas Tech staff. This makes it ideal for the proposed consortium, which will include Texas Tech personnel and non-TTU participants. The tool also allows users to edit pages, add comments, upload documents in several common formats, embed YouTube videos, and post to a discussion board and internal blog without needing prior knowledge of specialized wiki jargon.
Consortium members will use the site to share information about their respective academic integrity initiatives; list upcoming group events and national or international research or assessment opportunities; and host a blog, and members’-only list-serv, and file-sharing portal. Members will be able to share and receive peer feedback on institutional policies and student learning artifacts.
Section coordinator Lisa James will be trained to administer Confluence and provide frontline advice to consortium users. Supplementary support will be provided by the existing administrative web team and IT support staff. There will be no additional costs for the site’s administration.
(3) A Spring 2013 face-to-face meeting
The Ethics Center will host representatives of participating institutions early in January. The basic format for this meeting will be similar to the Ethics Center lunch events hosted at the TLPDC for the last three years. In addition to a workshop/seminar presentation, attendees will also have opportunities to discuss their experiences in small working groups and introduce themselves and their initiative to the full membership. Attendees will be encouraged to network and share materials with other members on-site.
The Ethics Center will staff this meeting and sponsor participants’ lunch.
If you would like more information on the Consortium, please contact the TTU Ethics Center at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 806-742-1505.