Common Knowledge

Common Knowledge

What leads people to cheat? What personal, interpersonal and systemic factors are at play? Common Knowledge provides a variety of examples of how academic integrity issues are play out on campus.  The examples are based on lived experiences and external research of academic dishonest behaviour.

Confusion abounds as first year students are expected to quickly learn a lot of insider knowledge that is common place to those well versed in the academic culture; such as, what are the expectations placed on their academic work, determining what is common knowledge, sorting the different citation methods and learning how to cite.

The decisions to plagiarize, hire ghost writers, and cheat during exams, among others, are underpinned by issues of fairness, integrity, authenticity and justice.

Common Knowledge represents just a few of the themes the have emerged and that are embedded in the performed vignettes. The scenes examine moments of decision, dealing with the consequences and the effects on others beyond self.  The larger underlying question are:

  1. What can educational institutions do to create learning environments in which all parties move beyond the mechanics of assessment and accreditation to the intrinsic and altruistic purposes of learning for the betterment of self and others?
  2. Whose responsibility is it?
This challenges us (students, faculty and staff) to find ways to move away from an “I/It teaching/learning relationship to an I/Thou one (Buber, 1987) in which all parties act with integrity toward one another.
To view Common Knowledge, please click here.


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"Quote" of the Month

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

- Samuel Johnson