Majan University College in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, has organized several Academic Integrity events over the years. The College hosted the country’s first Academic Integrity Workshop by Turnitin in 2015.
In 2017, Roshan Kolar, Head of e-Learning and Innovation received an honorable mention in the Turnitin Global Innovation Awards. In 2019, Associate Professor Cath Ellis, from the University of New South Wales – a world-renowned expert on academic integrity issues – presented a workshop at the Majan campus on contract cheating in higher education.
Majan has been actively marking Global Academic Integrity Day, popularly known as the ‘International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating’ since 2016.
This year was different as the campus is closed for students because of the pandemic, and all interactive activities were organized online. The e-Learning and Innovation team started the awareness campaigns a week before marking the official day of the event. The campaigns involved having striking quotes from famous people as slides on the official e-Learning portal because at the moment students rely on the portal for their online learning.
For the engagement part, students were asked to participate in an exclusive Academic Integrity quiz as part of their weekly ‘Learn and Engage’ quiz. The College plans to reward the best three participants with exciting prizes at the end of the month. Learn and Engage is an open-to-all quiz where students participate in a general knowledge quiz every week.
The winners are listed on a leaderboard and by the end of the semester, the team chooses a Semester Star (maximum wins in the least possible time) and the Dean presents him/her with a trophy. It’s a fun and an educational quiz that is loved by both students and staff. Widespread participation has now become part of their weekly e-learning schedule.
Since 2016 the activities during the ‘Day of Action Against Contract Cheating’ were all physical and in-campus, but obviously, this year was different, so the College decided to take the engagement off-campus.
Audiences were asked on Instagram to respond with a video to the following question: “Why is Academic Integrity important to you?”. The e-Learning and Innovation team decided to select three winners from the ones who participated.
The team also planned a special video made in collaboration with the Head of Faculties and Deans that went on all the College’s social media channels on the big day. A special news post was shared on the website and the e-Learning portal for students to explore more about Contract Cheating and Academic Integrity with links from previous events and multimedia resources from academicintegrity.org.
The College is committed to briefing all students on academic integrity during student induction every semester, with particular attention to new students. Dishonesty in academic affairs is not tolerated at all, and the lecturers make this absolutely clear in class and through academic advising sessions. For plagiarism checking, the College uses Turnitin which is integrated into the Moodle Learning Management System.
Majan University College looks forward to Global Academic Integrity Day in 2021 and hopes that by then the world will have returned to something like the old normal.