During 2019 Strengthening Academic Integrity in Ukraine Project – SAIUP didn’t sit still a single minute. We were traveling across Ukraine, developing partnerships with international and domestic experts, working tightly with Peace Corps and EdCamp Ukraine network. The list of our activities goes further than that.

Academic Integrity remains in the main focus of Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. Significant importance of academic integrity is declared by National Agency of Higher Education Quality Assurance and State Service of Education Quality of Ukraine. We are never getting bored, we are constantly on the go, often falling asleep in one part of the country and waking up in the other. What doesn’t change – is our goal. We gather a critical majority of our society around a conviction that teaching and learning with integrity is a pledge of success and justice.

More of SAIUP 2019 records are summed up in the article below.

Academic Integrity for High School Teachers MOOC

One of the main target audiences for SAIUP are teachers. We direct our efforts to support educators with basic and most necessary information on academic integrity. During the last three years we have been inviting experts to develop it. We were sharing our experience as well as seeking  interesting resources for high school students and teachers. After the range of these activities, we have been working on putting all available materials together. The idea to create an open online course helped us to concentrate best SAIUP practices in one place. These efforts resulted in online course Academic Integrity for High School Teachers, which is hosted at MOOC platform EdEra. The MOOC was launched in September 2019.

As of December 2019 (within 4 month of its availability), more than 10 000 educators were registered with a number of 6000 to have successfully finished the course and got their certificates. We are very proud of this accomplishment. We go through the comments and analyze what aspects of our work we can improve, or what we should add while working further. Now we are utmost happy that Ukrainian community of educators has an opportunity to receive a quality training on academic integrity. And SAIUP is even more happy to be able to bring benefit to the society.

If you want to register for the course, follow the link: https://courses.ed-era.com/courses/course-v1:AmericanCouncils+AcIn101+AcIn2019/about

Modern teaching methodology: Trainings for faculty

Academic Integrity is the notion of a precise definition in the Ukrainian Law on Education, though it is a broad concept. In our work we always rely on data gathered through polling and research. Results of the repeated baseline polling “Students’ motivation towards studying as a determinative precondition of academic integrity” were presented in May 2019. The study showed the following. Students, attending classes of those faculty representatives, who apply modern teaching methodology, update course content, use blended learning at their classes etc, cheat less and resort to plagiarism less. The explanation to this is their increased motivation towards studying.

To help faculty to get introduced to the newest trends in teaching methodology, and to be on the crest of a wave, we have invited our consultant Dr. Liudmyla Kryvoruchka. Dr. Kryvoruchka is the head of Kyiv Mohyla Academy Doctoral School of Yukhymenko Family, and the inspirer of the faculty.

Dr. Liudmyla Kryvoruchka designed a program for the training on course design and learning events planning. She firmly believes that well-planned learning is a powerful instrument to avoid academic integrity violation, and enhance the level of academic culture. Dr. Kryvoruchka delivered trainings according to this program at 5 SAIUP-participating universities. Faculty from Ternopil, Chernivtsi, Uzhhorod, Kyiv and Kharkiv got a chance to work with Dr. Kryvoruchka during two-day training, and update their academic curricula.

We are convinced that teaching according those curricula stimulated students to learn with integrity and responsibility. We hope to keep the support of the colleagues, and continue the established cooperation in 2020.

Conference “Academic Integrity: Practical Dimension”

On April 11-12, 2019, for the first time in Ukraine an international conference on academic integrity took place. “Academic Integrity: Practical Dimension” Conference summarized all academic integrity practices existing in Ukraine since its independence. The conference introduced Ukrainian educators to well-known international experts in the field of academic integrity.

The keynote presentation was led by Tricia Bertram Gallant, a representative of the Board Member of International Centre for Academic Integrity (Canada, USA). Ann Domorad, Senior Managing Director of Field Operations and Programs at American Councils for International Education (USA) joined Panel Discussion “Integrity in Education: Myth or Goal”. Kathryn Nantz, Head of the Economic Faculty at Fairfield University (USA), reflected on SAIUP journey on establishing academic integrity in Ukraine. The conference was hosted by Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, an unchangeable partner for SAIUP and American Councils.

The themes of the presentations varied, and covered a wide range of issues related to academic integrity. Topics of education quality, academic integrity and educational reform, teaching methods, students’ motivation, integrity in the high-end technologies era were covered by sessions. More than 300 Ukrainian educators attended the conference, and watched online streaming of the keynote speakers. Presentations are available at YouTube of SAIUP. 

Materials of the conference are available here.

Academic Integrity, Academic Writing in English and interactive methods of teaching 

It has become a good tradition for SAIUP to invite an English Language Specialist with the support of RELO of U.S. Embassy. This year it has been the third time that Robert Arthur Cote, PhD in SLAT, Director of the Writing Skills Improvement Program at University of Arizona, visited Ukraine. The faculty representatives from Chernivtsi, Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia took part in a two-day workshop, The  workshop highlighted themes of avoiding plagiarism, enhancing academic integrity culture in students of universities and schools, citation styles, writing CVs and motivation letters etc.

Besides his work with the faculty, Dr. Cote conducted an one-day training for English teachers. Teachers had a chance to get introduced to the specifics of high school students learning in the U.S. as well as to approaches of students’ performance evaluation. The topic of creative approaches to English teaching were of extreme interest. Teachers also valued Dr.Cote’s practical pieces of advice on teaching and show-cases of completed by students writing assignments. Dr.Cote brought real pieces of his students’ works to Ukraine to demonstrate them to Ukrainian teachers.

The workshop in Zaporizhzhia got an unexpected follow-up cooperation: one of the attendees got a small grant from the U.S. Embassy. In the framework of this grant, Dr. Cote will be back to Ukraine in March 2020 to provide a workshop on English Teaching Methodology to English teachers from Zaporizhzhia Region.

Participation at International Centre for Academic Integrity Conference in New Orleans, USA

Strengthening Academic Integrity in Ukraine Project – SAIUP has established a fruitful cooperation with International Centre for Academic Integrity colleagues from the U.S. In 2019 SAIUP was represented at the International ICAI Conference by Marta Tomakhiv, SAIUP Project Specialist, and Dr. Nataliia Shlikhta, SAIUP Consultant, the Head of the History Department at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. Ann Domorad, Senior Managing Director of Field Operations and Programs at American Councils for International Education (USA), has joined SAIUP team at this conference. Ukrainian achievements in the field of Academic integrity were represented at the international arena.

The Academic Writing Course, an author course by Nataliia Shlikhta, was presented to a wide international audience. During discussions, Ukrainian legislation and internal regulative documents on AI, being in force at Ukrainian higher institutions, were analyzed. Dr. Shlikhta delivered a presentation “Nurturing Academic Integrity in Ukrainian High School Students”. SAIUP Specialist Marta Tomakhiv presented Ukraine at International Panel. Together with her colleagues from Australia, Chile and Indonesia, they discussed cheating at schools as an international problem and academic integrity as a solution to it.

Building a network of partners: “Students2Pupils” Project’s Activity and cooperation with Peace Corps Ukraine

As a result of one more SAIUP initiative, up to 30 students joined academic integrity presentations campaign at Ukrainian high schools. Active students from 15 SAIUP-participating universities led academic integrity talks with pupils and teachers. Students shared their learning experience at the university, and explained why sticking to academic integrity is important. They emphasized on how it influences the quality of education they are getting at higher education establishment.

Pupils’ responses and interactions on the topic of integrity exceeded SAIUP students’ expectations. Pupils were eager to share their creative ideas and plans about choosing their future professions. Counseling and career choices were becoming the main point of the discussion. Teachers were also actively joining academic integrity discussions, exchanged ideas with their colleagues, and shared feedback on Academic Integrity for High School Teachers MOOC.

Moreover, we are getting an extensive support in spreading academic integrity ideas from Peace Corps volunteers in Ukraine. The collaboration that has been set during numerous conferences and seminars like Camp LEAD has set up an invaluable communicative platform. Having involved teachers, we were discussing ideas, exchanging academic integrity practices as well as teaching and performance evaluation techniques. Many of the PC volunteers initiated delivering seminars and academic integrity talks at schools they are serving at.

EdCamp Ukraine

This year we tightened out cooperation with EdCamp Ukraine. EdCamp Ukraine are (non)conferences for high school teachers where they can promote their professional development. (Non)conferences are a platform for “white crows” (the nickname for participants of the EdCamp events). Ukrainian educators meet at these events to exchange experience, discuss issues arising in education, and hear some new ideas they can later implement in their teaching. Joining the experts at regional (non)conferences, SAIUP team presented at more than 20 events across Ukraine.

We heard unbelievable stories, we were inspiring and got inspired. At one of the conferences in Kharkiv, at Ukrainian Leadership Academy, we have got a chance to attend a session led by a prominent Ukrainian historian Yaroslav Hrytsak. The presentations were attended by hundreds of participants. They discussed issues of integrity as well as analysed SAIUP-developed materials on academic integrity for high school audience. The Fifth National (Non)Conference took place in Kharkiv between July, 7-9, 2019, were SAIUP was presented at its fullest. We sincerely hope that next year will attend even more exciting events, and will have discussions focused around academic integrity.

ІІІ AllUkrainian Students Social Video Ads CompetitionHonesty Starts with yourself

The end of 2019 was as dynamic as its beginning. On December 17, 2019, SAIUP was awarding high school and university students. They were winners of the III All-Ukrainian Students Social Video Ads Competition “Honesty Starts with Yourself”. This annual competition has become a good tradition for SAIUP. Three years in a row the competition is supported by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and organized in partnership with Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, The Support to Anti-Corruption Champion Institutions (SACCIProject in Ukraine (Management Systems International, Inc., a Tetra Tech Company, USAID Contractor), Unicheck Company and Kyiv-Mohyla School of Journalism.

During the whole time of the competition, we had received applications of around 600 video projects from different parts of Ukraine. These applications engaged 1800 participants in total, more than 320 thousand views and 4,8 thousand of hours of viewing time on SAIUP YouTube Channel. This year we have got 183 videos, prepared by a total number of 550 participants. Within only 2 weeks of voting for the viewers’ choice video, the videos got 93 thousand views on SAIUP YouTube Channel.

Awards Ceremony traditionally showed that Ukrainian students have a thorough understanding of academic integrity. They seem to realize why it is important to mention it, discuss it, write about it and film videos on this matter. We are always delighted to see participants of the competition attending the Ceremony with their inspirers – teachers and faculty. Such tandems leave nobody indifferent among SAIUP’s partners. This year, on behalf of the U.S. Embassy, Sean O’Hara, Cultural Affairs Officer, was handing out the Awards. He was joined by Serhii Horbachov, Ombudsmen for Education. Yarema Bachynsky, Director of American Councils for International Education, and Andrii Sidliarenko, CEO of Unicheck delivered welcoming speeches. Representatives of Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports of Ukraine attended the Awards Ceremony as well to congratulate winners.

In conclusion

For SAIUP, 2019 has become a year to draw conclusions, build networks and meet new partners. It has become a year to broaden horizons, and develop future plans. Now Ukrainian educators have an opportunity to learn from Academic Integrity for High School Teachers MOOC. Faculty of Ukrainian universities may deliver Academic Writing and Integrity Course. Universities and Schools work on creating Honor Codes and setting up Ethics Committees. National Agency of Higher Education Quality Assurance and State Service of Education Quality of Ukraine will analyze to what extent these innovations will benefit schools.

What is left for us – to create new materials to help Ukrainian educators master their skills. And not only – we must encourage Ukrainian students to learn with dignity and responsibility. Academic integrity is never over. This is a dynamic specificity of a high quality education process. And as we have learnt – honest education means honest future for all of us.

Article is written by SAIUP Specialist Yana Chapailo and translated to English by SAIUP Specialist Martha Tomakhiv