Using video vignettes to enhance discussion of RCR Jeffrey A. Engler Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Graduate School University of Alabama at Birmingham Drs. Harold Kincaid and Sara Vollmer Dr. Julia Austin, Jennifer Greer, Kellie Carter
UAB has made a long-term commitment to RCR education for biomedical graduate students “Principles of Scientific Integrity” GRD 717 • Started in 1991 • Required of all graduate students in biomedical sciences and all postdoctoral fellows on training grants. • Covers all the areas of responsible conduct: • Mentorship - trainee relationships ○ Misconduct • Clinical Research - Human subjects ○ Peer Review • Collaborations - Conflicts of interest • Intellectual Property - ownership • Animal Research – protection of animals used in research • Authorship and Publishing - plagiarism • Record Keeping - Data management
Expanding RCR activities to Natural Sciences, Math and Engineering • Engage faculty and students in the discussion of RCR issues on a continuing basis. • Develop short video segments to dramatize case studies in current use or to be developed by our faculty • as resource materials both for an introductory course in the “Principles of Scientific Integrity” (GRD 717) • for subsequent continuing education of graduate students in the Schools of Engineering and of Natural Science and Mathematics (NSM)
CGS/NSF project: 2006-2008 • Establish faculty and student focus groups to develop RCR materials • 9 members in each group • Promote faculty and student buy-in • All are volunteers from the Schools of Engineering and of Natural Science and Mathematics • Reviewed published articles about plagiarism and whistleblowing • Contributed ideas based on incidents of which they were aware (cultural miscommunication; data manipulation)
“Query-Videoclip-Query” (QVQ) Approach (Sara Vollmer) • Engage undergrad and graduate students • Broad based pre- and post-questions to stimulate thought • Dr. Nancy Matchett at the University of Northern Colorado • Video • Facilitated discussion • Summary of questions and student responses at the end of the presentation • Advantages: • Video draws student interest • Students are actively engaged in discussion • Learning modality superior to online tutorial • Students realize they may have more to learn
“Decision-tree” Approachto Online Videos Decision tree adapted by Dr. Sara Vollmer from the earlier work of Dr. Betsy Holmes and Chad Sain
Challenge: How to engage students to discuss scholarly integrity on a continuing basis? • GRD 717: “I know all I need to know, because I passed the course.” • Some faculty are resistant to added courses that “distract” students from their immediate research. • Our solution: traveling workshop on “Avoiding Plagiarism” – Julia Austin, Jennifer Greer, Kellie Carter, Jeff Engler • Given to small groups of graduate students and honors undergraduates and faculty (>350 so far) • Identify student concerns (“free write”), show video, address scenarios, small group discussions, writing exercises, summarize (brochure) • Labor-intensive!
“Avoiding Plagiarism” Workshop Questions to discern student perceptions: Is plagiarism against the law? Do you worry about “accidentally” committing plagiarism? Can your professors easily detect plagiarism? Do you believe that you need more training in order to avoid committing plagiarism? What should you do if you discover that someone else has plagiarized? Consider “Amanda’s Dilemma”
Plagiarism Self-Evaluation Students are given five brief written scenarios They are asked to decide which of these do, or do not, represent plagiarism Correct responses are then provided for discussion Students recognize potential deficiencies in their understanding of plagiarism Our scenarios were developed by staff at Empire State College of the State University of New York and have been used with permission.
Sample self-evaluation question You find an article that is perfect for your research paper. You know you should not copy entire sentences word-for-for word. Instead, you rearrange the sentences and replace the descriptive words with your own. You also add a complete footnote citing the page and the source. Is this an act of plagiarism? Answer: YES. Even if you footnoted the source correctly, your paraphrased text is unacceptable. To paraphrase correctly, you must restate the original passage in your own words and in your own style. Reordering sentences or replacing adjectives is not enough.
Where Do Students Learn about Avoiding Plagiarism? Number of Respondents (286) Gave me a definition of Plagiarism that was clear Explained how to avoid Plagiarism Discussed Plagiarism at the start of a major assignment Plagiarism is academic dishonesty Discussed Plagiarism throughout the course
Perceived Confidence Level after Workshop 1 to 5 scale, with 1 being “not confident” and 5 being “very confident
How Serious Do You Think the Problem of Plagiarism Is? Number of respondents: 286 (213 graduate students and 73 undergraduate engineering students
“Ethics of Paraphrase” • Brochure designed to reinforce good habits to avoid plagiarism • Given to each student who completes the “Avoiding Plagiarism” workshop • Summarizes the content of the workshop • Available at: http://www.uab.edu/graduate/publications/plagiarism.pdf
Goals: • Develop a panel of workshops • Engage faculty, grad students, and postdocs as facilitators • Expand the approach to other disciplines • Embed RCR education into curricula, not just one course; • Assess the efficacy of educational approaches Challenges: • Video development is labor intensive and expensive. • Obtaining faculty buy-in and participation • Providing faculty training as needed • Developing tools for continuing education • Adding content into already crowded curricula