Digital Ethics Audit

To translate the digital learning mission statement, which has three (3) guiding principles (empowering, holistic transformation, and wisdom in using technology), I conducted a Digital Ethics Audit to the Head of the English Department in a private university in Jakarta through interview. There are seventeen (17) questions in the discussion addressing the Digital Citizen Advocate standard (ISTE Standard 7 for Coaches) and course objectives of four modules in Values, Ethics, and Foundations in Digital Education (EDTC6101). The standards and objectives can be seen clearly in the following parts.

ISTE Standard for Coaches

ISTE Standard 7: Digital Citizen Advocate

Coaches model digital citizenship and support educators and students in recognizing the responsibilities and opportunities inherent in living in a digital world. Coaches:

  1. Inspire and encourage educators and students to use technology for civic engagement and address challenges to improve their communities.
  2. Partner with educators, leaders, students, and families to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology.
  3. Support educators and students to critically examine the sources of online media and identify underlying assumptions.
  4. Empower educators, leaders, and students to make informed decisions to protect their personal data and curate the digital profile they intend to reflect.

Course Objectives:

  1. Identify, articulate, and respond to major ethical issues related to the digital realm, including fair use, plagiarism, piracy, security, and citizenship.   
  2. Articulate, model, and facilitate safe, healthy, and legal uses of digital information and technologies, including developing and curating a digital identity.         
  3. From a theological perspective, articulate, model, and promote strategies for addressing moral issues and character formation in digital information and technology.  
  4. Model and promote diversity, cultural understanding, and global awareness by using digital-age communication and collaboration tools to interact locally and globally with students, peers, parents, and the larger community.  
  5. Model and promote strategies of social justice in order to help students and teachers achieve equitable access to digital tools, resources, and technology-related promising practices.

Digital Ethics Audit Results and Findings

The results and findings cover four aspects, including Philosophical and Theological Foundations, Digital Wisdom, Digital Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Digital Wellbeing.

Philosophical and Theological Foundations

In this module, the audit addresses point 7b of ISTE standard and course objective 3. There are four (4) questions regarding:

1. What strategies does the department have to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in using technology among faculty members and students?

2. What moral issues and character formation does the department promote among faculty members and students using digital information and technology?

3. How does the department promote those moral issues and characters?

4. What challenges does the department have?

Regarding the Philosophical and Theological Foundations, the audit results reveal that the department made netiquette guidelines for students to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in using technology among faculty members and students. The department also agreed that it was also essential to make one for the faculty members.  So, both students and faculty collaborate to create a conducive atmosphere in the classroom. A classroom wherein the teacher encourages positive student behavior provides beneficial learning inside and outside the classroom (Denti, 2012). Explicitly, this practice is an example of empowering students through implementing good values.

The department considered academic honesty a crucial moral value promoted among faculty members and students when using digital information and technology.  Notably, most assignments required students to collect information from the web, including or citing references. In the digital era, faculty members and students partner to use technology, find information, and create products that demonstrate their understanding. To this extent, faculty members guide students by asking the right questions, putting things into the proper context, and ensuring quality and rigor. This way, the new teaching roles that the 21st-century offers are so much better, more powerful, and so much more interesting than what came before that most teachers will, once they get their heads around those roles, rush to embrace them (Prensky, 2012).

However, it was challenging as some students are just ignorant; they say they forgot. To this extent, both department and faculty must keep reminding students in each classroom contract and explicitly stated in each assignment. As we know, the increase in online-based learning facilitates educational advances and poses challenges to academic integrity. Academic Integrity is essential to develop long-term and meaningful relationships with a professional group or community, such as school or university. The integrity of online teaching and learning would be enhanced by articulating and enforcing codes of ethical conduct. However, all stakeholders, students, faculty, and administrators should be active participants in writing and implementing these codes (Coleman, 2011). Therefore, this value is constantly introduced in the department codes and conducts at the beginning of the semester. Moreover, a penalty is applied if academic dishonesty occurs. Further elaboration has been discussed in Promoting Academic Integrity in Online Learning.

Digital Wisdom

In this module, the audit addresses point 7c and 7d of ISTE standard and course objectives 1 and 2. There are four (4) questions regarding:

1. What major ethical issues related to the digital realm, including fair use, plagiarism, piracy, security, and citizenship identified among faculty members and students?

2. What would the department do to articulate, model, and facilitate safe, healthy, and legal uses of digital information and technologies, including developing and curating digital identity?

3. What strategies do the department have to support educators and students to examine online media sources and identify underlying assumptions critically?

4. What strategies do the department have to empower educators, leaders, and students to make informed decisions to protect their personal data and curate the digital profile they intend to reflect?

Regarding digital wisdom practice, the audit results reveal that the most common ethical issue is plagiarism. Remarkably, this ethical issue was found in the writing assignment. The department made an academic writing guide to avoid plagiarism in students’ writing to address this issue. The guide provides examples of how to cite appropriately, subscribing to Turnitin so the lecturers can help check the similarities found in students’ work (essay). McGee (2013) proposed strategies to prevent academic dishonesty related to the offense (plagiarism, false identity, cheating), institutional policies, and technology configurations. They are:

  • Make Academic Integrity Expectations Clear
  • Construct Valid Assessments and Delivery with Foresight
  • Make the Most of the Technology
  • Utilize Pedagogical Strategies

The department has to support educators and students in examining online media sources and critically identifying by providing a “Creative and Critical Inquiry” class. Some faculties provided dummies questions to help students be critical to online sources or pointers to help them.

So far, through the faculty members, the department encourages the students to be careful in curating their digital profile (esp in social media), in posting the pictures they intend to share with others (especially for the public). Mainly, during a time of tremendous and rapid change in the information landscape, a critical consideration will be how best to integrate and inculcate digital literacies in the curriculum so that learners can develop a deep and well-informed understanding of what it means to be a consumer, creator, and sharer of digital content (Jacobson et al., 2019).

Digital Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In this module, the audit addresses point 7a of ISTE standard and course objectives 4 and 5. There are four (4) questions regarding:

1. How would using digital-age communication and collaboration tools interact locally and globally with students, peers, parents, and the larger community?

2. How would the department promote strategies of social justice in order to help students and teachers achieve equitable access to digital tools, resources, and technology-related promising practices?

3. What strategies do the department have to inspire and encourage educators and students to use technology for civic engagement and address challenges to improve their communities?

4. What are some of the challenges you have encountered in promoting equitable access to digital tools? 

Regarding the practice of digital diversity, equity, and inclusion,  the audit finding shows that the department has promoted diversity, cultural understanding, and global awareness by using digital-age communication and collaboration tools to interact locally and globally with students, peers, parents, and the larger community. For example, specifically for students, the lecturers were trained to use several digital platforms for teaching. Some students were also invited (teaching assistants) to participate. Another activity was conducted in a classroom by reading novels from different countries that promote empathy expression. In this activity, the department is collaborating with an American university. Besides, the department encourages students to participate in student exchange programs to experience the cultural and global environment.

To help students and teachers achieve equitable access to digital tools, resources, and technology-related promising practices, the department uses the digital platform that requires minimum specifications so that all students in the class can experience and practice pretty.

Moreover, the department encouraged faculty members to share their teaching expertise and use technology for educators in Indonesia during the pandemic. To this extent, the department was collaborating with the university, organizing a webinar called  Power Up Program. In this program, the faculty members and students were moderating their session, which allows them to be more accessible in using technology for community use. The sessions also allow the teachers from the outer community, learn and feel encouraged and implement the technology used in their classroom.

The department found challenges in promoting equitable access to digital tools due to the different internet access quality, device specifications, cultures, and values. Mainly, the teaching and learning activities were conducted online during the pandemic. Some students found internet connection during the online learning as they had limited quota or internet data. Fortunately, the Indonesian government provided data subsidies for all students, teachers, and lecturers around Indonesia to minimize the internet-connected problem. This program is included in the social protection program targeted at assisting economically vulnerable communities in Indonesia. The Central Government cooperates with the Regional Government to provide this assistance as a strategy for economic recovery and improving people’s welfare during the pandemic (The Business Time, 2021).

Digital Wellbeing

In this module, the audit addresses point 7b of ISTE standard and course objective 3. There are five (5) questions regarding:

1. What ways is the department educating and advocating respect online and responsible technology usage among students? 

2. How successful have these efforts been so far, and what do you feel has contributed to this success?

3. How is the department enforcing these strategies and dealing with the consequences of non-compliance?

4. How can the department involve families in fostering a culture of respectful online interaction?

5. What are some of the challenges you have encountered in trying to partner with educators, leaders, students, and families to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology?

The audit reveals that the department keeps educating and advocating respect for online and responsible technology usage among students regarding digital well-being practice.  For example, the department provides a netiquette guide for students, especially for classroom participation.

So far, the effort it is successful. Students can respect the lecturers and classmates. However, due to the exceptionally long time for the students to learn from home, it might be challenging to stay proper.

The department has enforced various strategies to educate and advocate respect online and responsible technology usage among students by providing socialization prior to/during the pandemic, reminding them once it is too much to handle. However, so far, there are no directive consequences yet for non-compliance.

However, the department has not yet involved families in fostering a culture of respectful online interaction. This way, the department finds some possibilities to organize a parent’s meeting to provide online interaction literacy in the future. It is believed that some challenges appear due to different values, refusal due to different perspectives – although this rarely happens.

References

Coleman, Phillip D. (2012). Ethics, Online Learning and Stakeholder Responsibility for a Code of Conduct in Higher Education, Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, 9(3). Available at: https://encompass.eku.edu/kjectl/vol9/iss1/3

Denti, L. G. (2012). Empowering Students Through Proactive Teaching. In Proactive Classroom Management, K–8. A Practical Guide to Empower Students and Teachers. Monterey Bay, CA: California State University. https://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/46479_denti_ch_1.pdf

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE; 2021). Standards for Coaches.

Jacobson, T.,  Gilchrist, D.,  Head, A., & Lippincott, J. (July 29, 2019). 7 Things You Should Know About Digital Literacies, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. https://library.educause.edu/resources/2019/7/7-things-you-should-know-about-digital-literacies

McGee, P. (2013). Supporting Academic Honesty in Online Courses, Journal of Educators Online 10(1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277197722_Supporting_Academic_Honesty_in_Online_Courses

Prensky, M. (2012). From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom. In From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful essays for 21st Century learning (pp. 201–215). essay, Corwin. https://marcprensky.com/writing/PrenskyIntro_to_From_DN_to_DW.pdf

The Business Time. (August 17, 2021).  Indonesian government’s strategies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/hub/indonesia-76th-independence-day/indonesian-governments-strategies-in-response-to-covid-19

How can digital technologies impact teachers’ wellbeing?

A coin has two sides. This idiom is perfectly matched with the emergence of digital technologies in this disruptive era. The advancement of digital technologies does not only provide benefits but also harms toward the human. Therefore, we can balance them to minimize the harms by developing, using, and encouraging alternative spaces for expression and continue exploring ways to build a more equitable and critical ecology for our digital lives (Ticona & Wellmon, 2015).

In the education context, embracing digital technologies in the classroom is more challenging as classrooms have become emotionally, psychologically, and behaviourally more complex places for teachers to teach and students to learn. The optimists believe that we can build better worlds conducive to human flourishing and a plurality of values through digital technologies (Frischmann & Selinger, 2020).

Therefore, my reflection on digital wellbeing is to address the ISTE standard for Digital Citizen Advocates. This standard coaches model digital citizenship and support educators and students in recognizing the responsibilities and opportunities inherent in living in a digital world. Particularly, point 7b points out that coaches partner with educators, leaders, students, and families to foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Digital Technologies

It is inevitably debated on the emergence of digital technologies worldwide. We agree that we get some benefits from digital technologies. On the other hand, we also realize the disadvantages of digital technologies towards the human. Being wiser to the advancement of digital technologies is a must to minimize the opposing sides.

Let us review some perspectives on this debate. Anderson and Rainie (2018) revealed some concerns over harms regarding digital deficits, digital addiction; digital distrust/divisiveness; digital duress; and digital dangers (see Themes about the future of wellbeing and digital life). Teachers may certainly identify these issues, but they might also be fundamentally associated with particular approaches to and management of teaching. Besides, cited in Passey (2021), Mackin (2018), looking at the effects from an adolescent perspective, highlights other potentially harmful effects on learning that have been raised in a range of previous studies: mental health problems, shallower engagement with written material, shortening of attention spans, reducing reliance on memory, and sleep disruption. Indeed, Harding et al. (2019) pointed that teacher wellbeing affected by student wellbeing and distress could be partially explained by teacher presenteeism and quality of teacher-student relationships.

In contrast, the effects of digital technologies on learning can be positive. Anderson and Rainie (2018) revealed some benefits of digital life regarding connection; commerce, government, and society; crucial intelligence; contentment; and continuation toward quality (see Themes about the future of wellbeing and digital life). Also, as cited in Passey (2021), Mackin (2018) states there is insufficient evidence about impacts on mental processes. However, ways that digital technologies are used can affect mental processes; as Howard-Jones (2011) says in his report on the impact of digital technologies on human wellbeing, “it is how specific applications are created and used (by who, when and what for) that determine their impact” (p. 7).

What is Wellbeing and Digital Wellbeing?

Ryan and Deci in Passey (2021) provide a conceptual basis for considering wellbeing in a broad sense. They identified three essential needs—competence, relatedness, and autonomy. These aspects are essential for facilitating optimal functioning of the natural propensities for growth, integration, constructive social development, and personal wellbeing. In the context of digital technologies, particularly in a teacher practice context, the reviewed literature areas that follow relate to these needs and describe teacher wellbeing, digital wellbeing, practical uses of digital technologies for teaching and learning, digital literacy, and digital agency, all areas that offer varied perspectives.

Exploring the concept of wellbeing through another lens, Dodge et al. (2012, cited in Passey, 2021) propose that wellbeing is “the balance point between an individual’s resource pool and the challenges faced” (p. 230). These authors consider the resource pool and challenges faced to arise from psychological, social, and physical sources. Furthermore, in terms of measuring wellbeing, Longo, Coyne, and Joseph (2017) identified fourteen constructs from previous wellbeing models that they used within their measurement instrument. The instruments included happiness, vitality, calmness, optimism, involvement, self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-worth, competence, development, purpose, significance, congruence, and connection (Passey, 2021).

Meanwhile, JISC (2015, cited in Themelis and Sime, 2019) defines digital wellbeing as the capacity:

  • to look after personal health, safety, relationships, and work-life balance in digital settings,
  • to use digital tools in pursuit of personal goals (e.g., health and fitness),
  • to participate in social and community activities,
  • to act safely and responsibly in digital environments,
  • to negotiate and resolve conflict,
  • to manage digital workload, overload and distraction;
  • to act with concern for the human and natural environment when using digital tools.

In other words, digital wellbeing refers to an understanding of the benefits and risks of digital participation concerning health and wellbeing outcomes. It is a complex concept that can be viewed from a variety of perspectives and across different contexts and situations, as seen in Figure 1:

  • Individual perspective: personal, learning, and work contexts: this involves identifying and understanding the positive benefits and potentially harmful aspects of engaging with digital activities and being aware of ways to manage and control these to improve wellbeing.
  • Societal or organizational perspective: providers of digital systems, services, and content are responsible for ensuring that these are well managed, supported, accessible and equitable. In this regard, the providers need to empower, build capability, engage users to support and improve their wellbeing.

Figure 1: Model showing four aspects of digital wellbeing for individuals (Jisc, 2019)

Teacher Wellbeing

Teacher wellbeing is related to all three needs of competence, relatedness, and autonomy; digital wellbeing is related more to competence and autonomy, and practical uses of digital technologies for teaching and learning are related similarly; digital literacy is related to all three needs, while the digital agency is similarly related (Passey, 2021). The relationship between teacher wellbeing and innovative uses of digital technologies can be seen in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Model relating teacher wellbeing with innovative uses of digital technologies

(Source: De Pablos et al., 2013)

Factors Influencing Teacher Wellbeing

Passie (2021) proposes a conceptual framework detailing factors influencing positive teacher wellbeing when using digital technologies. There are five key factors influencing teacher wellbeing: digital literacy, digital agency, digital wellbeing, activities and outcomes, and effects on physical, social, and psychological wellbeing.

Digital literacy

  • Having a choice of digital technologies
  • Having skills to deploy and use the digital technologies
  • Supporting information and data literacy
  • Supporting communication and collaborations
  • Supporting digital content creation
  • Supporting safety
  • Supporting problem-solving

Digital agency

  • Supporting interactions with parents and guardians
  • Feeling more responsible for one’s actions
  • Feeling security and privacy are ensured
  • Feeling that there has been a positive impact on learning

Digital wellbeing

  • Feeling motivated from digital technology use
  • Feeling the use has value for learning
  • Feeling the school culture and climate is favorable to the use
  • Feeling personal satisfaction
  • Feeling professional satisfaction
  • Feeling positive emotionally
  • Supporting collaboration
  • Supporting recording of evidence

Activities and outcomes

  • Support for planning
  • Support for professional learning
  • Feeling safe and responsible
  • Feeling access is easily feasible
  • Having access to digital technologies to support interactions in class or beyond
  • Having ideas of how positive impact will arise
  • Supporting explanations and modeling
  • Supporting pupil practice
  • Improving assessment and feedback

Effects on physical, social, and psychological wellbeing

  • Feeling more able to switch off and relax
  • Reducing long weekday hours
  • Finding more time to be with family and friends
  • Reducing weekend working
  • Reducing holiday working
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Reducing depression
  • Reducing exhaustion
  • Reducing stress
  • Reducing workload
  • Offering a better work/life balance
  • Improving pupil/student behavior
  • Reducing unreasonable manager demands
  • More positively handling rapid change
  • Reducing problems with parents or guardians
  • Reducing colleague bullying
  • Offering more opportunities to work independently
  • Gaining more trust from managers
  • Reducing discrimination
  • Enabling more physical exercise
  • Reducing reliance on ways to alleviate stress

Taking into account some factors influencing the teachers’ wellbeing, I would say being wiser in incorporating digital technologies in the classroom is compulsory. The wisdom in using technology can balance the impact of digital technologies to increase teachers’ wellbeing. In line with Curts (2019), the first step toward digital wellbeing is understanding the potential adverse effects of technology in our lives and healthily managing our usage. Passey (2021) highlights that four alternatives should cover contexts where teacher wellbeing arises from digital technologies. Firstly, in a purely face-to-face classroom environment, secondly in a purely online environment, thirdly through a blended model where face-to-face and online happen at different scheduled times, and fourthly through a hybrid model where face-to-face and online are happening concurrently. A deeper understanding of how teacher wellbeing in each context can be supported is likely to match the needs for our future in education.

“The wisdom in using technology can balance the impact of digital technologies to increase teachers’ wellbeing”.

References:

Anderson, J., and Rainie, L. (April 17, 2018). The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2018/04/17/the-future-of-well-being-in-a-tech-saturated-world/

Curts, E. (July 12, 2019). Digital Wellbeing – Tools to Balance Tech and Life. https://www.techlearning.com/news/digital-wellbeing-tools-to-balance-tech-and-life

De Pablos-Pons, J., Colás-Bravo, P., González-Ramírez, T., Martínez-Vara del Rey, C.C. (2013). Teacher well-being and innovation with information and communication technologies; proposal for a structural model. Quality & Quantity, 47, pp. 2755–2767. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-012-9686-3

Earp, J. (April 22, 2020). The impact of digital technology on student learning and wellbeing. https://www.teachermagazine.com/au_en/articles/the-impact-of-digital-technology-on-student-learning-and-wellbeing

Frischmann, B., and Selinger, E. (2020). Why a Commitment to Pluralism Should Limit How Humanity Is Re-Engineered. In K. Werbach (ed.), After the Digital Tornado: Networks, Algorithms, Humanity (pp. 155-173). Cambridge University Press. https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/AE64941488BD4012B4461FDACB7FB6AF/9781108426633c7_155-173.pdf/why-a-commitment-to-pluralism-should-limit-how-humanity-is-re-engineered.pdf

JISC. (2019). Digital wellbeing. https://digitalcapability.jisc.ac.uk/what-is-digital-capability/digital-wellbeing/

Mackin, S. (2018). Searching for digital technology’s effects on wellbeing. Nature, 563 (7733), pp. 138–140. DOI: 10.1038/d41586-018-07503-w

Passey, D. (2021). Digital Technologies—And Teacher Wellbeing?. Education Sciences, 11 (3), 117. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11030117

Themelis, C., and Sime, J. A. (2019). Mapping the Field of Digital Wellbeing Education: A Compendium of Innovative Practices and Open Educational Resources. Lancaster University. https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/141210/

Ticona, J., and Wellmon, C. (2015). Uneasy in Digital Zion. The Hedgehog Review, 17(1), pp. 58-71.

Digital Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Online Learning: A Lesson Learned from Covid-19 Pandemic

The increasing use of digital technologies has transformed how we interact, relate to others, access, and consume information. Not only do digital technologies provide a way to connect with others across the globe, but innovation in this space also offers newly enhanced and expanded opportunities for citizens to participate in civic engagement more broadly directly. Educators and learners are in significant transformations in the teaching and learning arenas (Chapman, 2016). Chapman (2016) further elaborates on two kinds of change. The first transformation involves the increasingly ubiquitous ways digital technologies enable people to engage one another (Parson et al., 2009; Turkle, 2005, cited in Chapman, 2016). The second significant transformation is driven by the increasing cultural and cognitive diversity within classrooms, globally, and mainly within multiethnic societies.

Notably, a sudden shift in education occurred at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic regarding the use of technology. Teachers worldwide were expected to integrate technology in their classrooms to shift face-to-face meetings with online learning. Consequently, discrepancies in digital access and skills exist in education. For instance, students from rural and low-income communities have less access to broadband internet access. This fact is in line with Selwyn and Jandrić (2020), who claims that the pandemic has shone a light on a range of disparities, divides, and disadvantages associated with digital education.

Some studies have investigated digital diversity, equity, and inclusion in online learning. Some findings regarding digital inequalities were conducted by a group of researchers at the University of Ottawa. First, inequalities in access to the tools or reliable Internet connection needed to learn online. Second, inequalities in opportunities to develop digital literacy skills — the range of skills needed to navigate, create and participate online. Third, inequalities in power, as digital spaces can recreate social structures that limit participation or silence the voices of certain groups. Thus, not everyone has the same opportunities to develop their digital identity or the agility to participate fully as a digital citizen (Cotnam-Kappel & Woods, 2020), cited in The University of Ottawa, 2020).

Therefore, I raise this critical issue to address the following DEL course objectives and ISTE Standard 7 for Coaches (Digital Citizen Advocate):

  • promoting diversity, cultural understanding, and global awareness by using digital-age communication and collaboration tools to interact locally and globally with students, peers, parents, and the larger community (Course Objective 4)
  • Promoting strategies of social justice in order to help students and teachers achieve equitable access to digital tools, resources, and technology-related promising practices (Course Objective 5)
  • Inspiring and encouraging educators and students to use technology for civic engagement and to address challenges to improve their communities (ISTE Standard 7a)

What is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Cited from Downs (2021), I will elaborate on the definitions of the respective terms: diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Diversity is “a synonym for variety. A diversity focus emphasizes ‘how many of these’ we have in the room, organization, etc. Diversity programs and cultural celebrations/education programs are not equivalent to racial justice or inclusion. It is possible to name, acknowledge, and celebrate diversity without doing anything to transform the institutional or structural systems that produce, and maintain, racialized injustices in our communities.” (YWCA, 2016). 

Equity is “the effort to provide different levels of support based on an individual’s or group’s needs in order to achieve fairness in outcomes. Working to achieve equity acknowledges unequal starting places and the need to correct the imbalance.” (YWCA, 2016). There are two areas to consider regarding access to learning technologies: access to information and devices (Jones and Bridges, 2016). Meanwhile, equitable teaching means fair and just outcomes regardless of the students’ differences in the classroom.

Equity vs. Equality

It is also important to note that there is a fundamental difference between equity and equality. Whereas equality strives to provide everyone with the same resources and opportunities, equity recognizes that people need different resources to succeed. As the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health writes, “Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome” (Downs, 2021).

Inclusion refers to “a state of belonging when persons of different backgrounds and identities are valued, integrated, and welcomed equitably as decision-makers and collaborators. Inclusion involves people being allowed to grow and feel/know they belong. Diversity efforts alone do not create inclusive environments. Inclusion involves a sense of coming as you are and being accepted, rather than feeling the need to assimilate.” (KAPITAN, 2017)

In the context of pedagogy, inclusion refers to whether the courses are online, in-person, or a combination of the two. It asks us to consider how we can help all students succeed. For in-person classes, inclusive approaches include (but are not limited to) creating inclusive learning spaces where students feel valued and included, setting clear expectations about course work and deadlines, and making the learning and assessment accessible and relatable to all students. When in-person classes are canceled and learning shifts to online spaces and methods, these ideas can still be applied–but access and equity can look very different in online teaching contexts and become increasingly complicated when/if students are no longer on-campus (Rise University, 2021).

Pedagogical Implications: Teaching Principles, Guides, and Strategies

Some higher education institutions have shared best practices regarding teaching principles, guides, and strategies to minimize the discrepancies in education, particularly online learning during the pandemic. For example, Columbia University promotes principles of inclusive teaching to help students feel a sense of belonging, ensure they can access course materials, and support them in achieving learning goals. The current context calls for empathy and resilience on the part of both students and instructors (Columbia University, 2020). The five principles of inclusive teaching are outlined in the Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia (Columbia University, 2020).

  1. Establish and support a class climate that fosters belonging for all students
  2. Set explicit student expectations
  3. Select course content that recognizes the diversity and acknowledges barriers to inclusion
  4. Design all course elements for accessibility
  5. Reflect on one’s beliefs about teaching (online) to maximize self-awareness and commitment to inclusion

Moreover, some teaching hacks are suggested by UC Davis (2020), as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Inclusive Online Classroom Strategies (UC Davis, 2020)

There are six (6) inclusive online classroom strategies covering:

1. Ensure access: Evaluating equitable student access to technology tools

  • Evaluate student access to computers, software, cameras, internet to ensure students can participate in online instruction.
  • Evaluate student access to a place to participate in online courses (e.g., minimal distractions, quiet space, etc.).
  • Review student accessibility needs; consider what diverse learning looks like for all students.
  • Identify campus resources, as appropriate, to ensure students have access to technology requirements for successful participation in online classes.

2. Set the tone: Planning your syllabus

  • Think about the climate you want to create for the class: welcome students and explain philosophies behind pedagogies, not punishment.
  • Consider sharing some information about yourself, e.g., why do you enjoy teaching this class? What is your teaching philosophy?
  • Consider flexibility in participation and attendance policies; include statements in the syllabus that consider extenuating circumstances for deadlines, exam dates, etc. (personal illness, family commitments, unexpected work hours, etc.).
  • Identify free online texts and resources and use library reserve materials when possible
  • Provide clear course goals/learning outcomes.

3. Build trust: Establishing a supportive class environment

  • Start classes with short 2-3 min activities to reduce stress, calm anxiety, and help students to focus
  • Seek feedback

4. Engage with content: Supporting in-class learning

  • Focus content on main topics; critically evaluate what the most critical concepts for mastering course goals are.
  • Break material into small chunks (5-10 min each) for synchronous or asynchronous formats.
  • Use several quizzes, polls, iClickers, etc., to periodically check for learning and understanding—keep it fun too! It can be used with both synchronous and asynchronous formats.
  • Pre-lecture quizzes can help identify areas that students aren’t understanding—use part of the next class to discuss quiz results and clarify misconceptions.
  • Use smaller group discussions to engage students.
  • Zoom can be set up to provide mini breakout rooms for students to discuss in small groups.
  • Online discussion forums (e.g., in Canvas) can engage students with content outside of class time.
  • Use written reflection exercises to assess learnings, apply knowledge, encourage connections to course materials, and allow students to express their interests, challenges, etc.
  • Check frequently for understanding.
  • Consider multiple opportunities for graded work rather than a small number of exams worth a high course grade percentage.

5. Create connections: Encouraging engagement outside of class time

  • Establish online office hours, incentivize participation. If you record these office hours, you can then post them on Canvas for those who could not make the meeting.
  • Create opportunities for online study groups; consider making this a requirement for the course. These can build study skills and help students to make connections to peers.
  • Send individual emails to students with a C/C- or lower and encourage them to come for office hours.

6. Be kind to yourself and your students

  • Do not expect perfection of yourself or students under situations with limited time for preparation.
  • Model a growth mindset for your students—believe in the malleability of intelligence and use strategies to grow and develop your knowledge and skills
  • Practice patience and flexibility.

San Diego State University provides another example. They make a guide providing suggestions and resources to help faculty continue teaching in equitable and inclusive ways as they move to teach face-to-face classes remotely (San Diego State University, 2021).

1. Be Accessible

There are three aspects of accessibility, including accessibility for students with physical impairments that may create challenges for reading/seeing/hearing digital files and content. Then, the accessibility for students with psychological and learning differences requires specific accommodations such as extra time to process materials or additional exam time—finally, the accessibility for students with limited access to computers or stable internet service.

2. Be Flexible and Open

The uncertainty and extreme nature of the current situation mean that faculty need to be somewhat flexible if they genuinely want to support all of our students. We do not always know what our students are going through, which may be particularly true once we regularly lose our ability to see them in our physical classroom. Moreover, as should be clear from most of the suggestions in this guide, an essential aspect of equitable and inclusive teaching, in general, is recognizing and working with the diversity of our students along multiple dimensions. As you move your course into a different modality, try to stay open to trying a few new things; you may find that one silver lining to this situation is that you discover new ways of teaching that are both better for your students and more enjoyable.

3. Be Identity-Conscious

A critical feature of equity-minded teaching is the acknowledgment that our students are NOT all the same, that they come to us with sometimes vastly different experiences and those experiences are often tied to their social identities (i.e., race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, first-gen status, etc.). In the virtual environment, and at this particular moment, there are several ways that you can incorporate that acknowledgment into your course in meaningful ways. 

4. Be Proactive and Intrusive

Although “conventional wisdom” is that students prefer virtual learning (as evidenced, for example, by the fact that online sections of courses will generally fill faster and well before face-to-face sections of the same courses), there are still plenty of our students who are self-aware enough to know that they do not perform as well in a virtual environment. One reason for this is that they know they may not have the self-motivation to keep up with the work without the accountability of a class to show up for. A well-designed virtual course will attempt to counteract this by building a great deal of structure and accountability, which you should strive to do as well. In addition, designing for equity and inclusion means being particularly proactive about supporting students who may need some extra attention.

5. Be Relational

While establishing supportive interpersonal relationships with students is one of the most fundamental tenets of effective teaching, it can be essential for students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. If you are moving from a face-to-face class, you have the advantage of already having had the opportunity to establish a personal connection with students; the challenge as you move into a virtual environment will be to maintain that connection.

6. Be Transparent

Faculty, who generally have advanced degrees and often have a high level of self-direction, can sometimes forget that our students are not us. Being inclusive means being mindful that not all of our students are well-versed in the hidden curriculum that faculty may take for granted. When we throw in the additional challenges of distance learning, we must work even harder to ensure that we are not making any unnecessary assumptions about what our students know and can do.

Specifically, the Center for Teaching Excellence at Rice University (2020) and proposed some choices to promote inclusion, equity, and access while teaching remotely as follows:

  1. Address unequal access to technology, hardware, and software
  2. Provide a balance between asynchronous and synchronous tools and course materials
  3. Create an environment that includes and values all students

A good intention is not sufficient to enhance or hinder classroom equity in online learning. Therefore concrete strategies are recommended to make your online/hybrid teaching more equitable. Here are three tools recommended by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology at Illinois State University (2021).

1. Equity review tools

This document is a guided reflection tool to consider inclusivity and equity in your online/hybrid courses. You can use examples of equitable and inclusive online/hybrid teaching practices as your strategies to make your course more inclusive and equitable.

2. Equity-minded Syllabus Review

A syllabus serves to encapsulate our teaching beliefs, values, and approaches, and this article challenges us to reflect on those attributes and engage in an equity-minded review. The exercises in this article will help you better understand whom your syllabus serves and does not and how you can change it to promote the equity-minded practice.

3. Peralta Online Equity Rubrics

This rubric is composed of eight (8) criteria that you can use to evaluate your course in terms of inclusion and equity. The companion document describes “How You Can Start Addressing This Equity Issue” for every eight criteria.

To conclude, I go for the professional development given to teachers since it is critical to the successful integration of digital resources into the learning enterprise. Teachers can share their best practices on minimizing digital discrepancies and skills through a professional learning community. Chapman (2016) stated that professional development should include sessions on learning to operate the learning technology. Instruction on incorporating the technology into lesson planning and lesson delivery activities must be part of any professional development efforts. This richness of training equips educators to reap the benefits of technology and explore how to incorporate it into their teaching practice.

References:

Chapman, R. (2016). Diversity and Inclusion in the Learning Enterprise: Implications for Learning Technologies. In N. J. Rushby and D. W. Surry (Eds.), The Wiley Handbook of Learning Technology (pp. 287-300). Wiley Blackwell.

Columbia University. (2020). Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia. https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/edblogs.columbia.edu/dist/8/1109/files/2020/02/Guide-for-Inclusive-Teaching-at-Columbia_Accessibility-Revisions_15-January-2020_FINAL.pdf

Jones, M, and Bridges, R. (2016). Equity, Access, and the Digital Divide in Learning Technologies: Historical Antecedents, Current Issues, and Future Trends. In N. J. Rushby and D. W. Surry (Eds.), The Wiley Handbook of Learning Technology (pp. 327-347). Wiley Blackwell.

Downs, L. R. (2021, August 5). Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Digital Learning. WCET Frontiers. https://wcetfrontiers.org/2021/08/05/dei-and-digital-learning/

Illinois State University. (2021). Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Online Courses. https://ctlt.illinoisstate.edu/pedagogy/diversity/online/

Rice University. (2020). Inclusion, Equity, and Access While Teaching Remotely. Reflections on Teaching and Learning. The CTE Blog.

San Diego State University. (2021). Maintaining Equity and Inclusion in Virtual Learning Environments. https://sacd.sdsu.edu/cie/cie-resources/maintain-equity-inclusion

Selwyn, N., and Jandrić, P. (2020).  Postdigital Living in the Age of Covid-19: Unsettling What We See as Possible. Postdigital Science and Education 2, 989–1005. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-020-00166-9

The University of Ottawa. (2020, August 12). The Evolution of Distance Education and Issues of Digital Equity and Inclusion. https://education.uottawa.ca/en/news/evolution-distance-education-and-issues-digital-equity-and-inclusion

UC Davis. (2020). Easy Teaching Hacks to Support Equitable Practices with Online Instruction. https://keepteaching.ucdavis.edu/sites/g/files/dgvnsk8756/files/files/page/Teaching%20Hacks%20to%20Support%20Equitable%20Teaching%20in%20On-line%20Courses_March2020%5B11%5D.pdf

Digital Identity, Safety, and Well-Being: Practical Strategies for Teachers and Students

Digital Literacy and Its Significance

Today, the advancement of technology has invaded every aspect of our lives. The digital world offers enormous benefits to us all. It provides various platforms allowing us to connect and collaborate with people around the globe. Also, the world of information is changing at an accelerating rate, with continual developments in the available information and tools. In this context, the capacity to learn new skills is a crucial element of digital literacies.

Moreover, to understand this changing world, we need to analyze, assess, contribute to, and evaluate the impacts of technology on everyday life and work. These multiple types of digital literacies will be critical for the citizens and workers who will thrive in the 21st century. Developing such abilities needs to be an essential part of lifelong learning.

Digital literacy plays an essential role in digital citizenship. As digital citizens, we are responsible for using technology to interact with the world around us. Jacobson et al. (2019) state, “the concept of digital literacy encompasses a range of skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate, use, and create digital information in various forms.” Digital literacies include data literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, media literacy, and metaliteracy, as well as related capacities for assessing social and ethical issues in our digital world. This idea aligns with Bawden (2008), claiming that digital literacy is a framework for integrating various other literacies and skill-sets. However, it does not need to encompass them all. Digital literacies represent the habits of mind that enable individuals to effectively evaluate and critique information and its use in the digital age.

The phrase “digital literacy” stands for a system of capabilities and skills that go beyond the level of mere technical know-how. “Being ‘digitally literate’ means having a deeper critical knowledge about technology and digital transformation, based on which individuals can act autonomously and creatively in the digital world” (Bildungstechnologien, 2021). Therefore, there are six elements proposed in the digital capabilities framework, as seen in Figure 1. This framework has been adapted by Bildungstechnologien, University of Basel, Switzerland, from the Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework.

Figure 1: Six elements of digital capabilities

What is Digital Identity, Safety, and Well-being?

As one of the digital capabilities framework, the issues of identity and safety wellbeing are oblique to all areas of the digital transformation. The consequence of this transformation is that individual online presence has become a central feature of the age of digital multimedia. Moreover, an increasing number of persons expect from others permanent availability and connectedness. This trend can be a source of distraction and stress.

Therefore, being literate in the area of digital identity, safety, and wellbeing means being aware of the benefits and risks online that presence and digital participation entails for identity, reputation, personal integrity, individual property, health, wellbeing, and sustainability, both at the individual and the collective level.

Martin et al. (2019) define digital identity as how one perceives oneself and others perceive an individual’s online activity. Compton-Lilly (2006) describes digital identity as “we view ourselves and represent our knowledge, experiences, and social connections” (Compton-Lilly, 2006). According to ISTE 2021 standards, students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world. Wise and O’Byrne (2015) recommend three different classifications of identity construction, embrace similar identities, establish separate identities, or resist creating an online identity. As digital identity includes establishing beliefs and self-identity to healthy usage of digital tools, digital education should provide students opportunities to develop their digital identity (Kim & Choi, 2018).

Moreover, The Digital Competence Framework 2.0 identifies safety as one of the critical components of digital competence. Safety includes the following aspects:

1. Protecting devices

To protect devices and digital content and to understand risks and threats in digital environments. To know about safety and security measures and to have due regard to reliability and privacy.

2. Protecting personal data and privacy

To protect personal data and privacy in digital environments. To understand how to use and share personally identifiable information while protecting oneself and others from damages. To understand that digital services use a “Privacy policy” to inform how personal data is used.

3. Protecting health and wellbeing

To be able to avoid health risks and threats to physical and psychological wellbeing while using digital technologies. To protect oneself and others from possible dangers in digital environments (e.g., cyberbullying). To be aware of digital technologies for social wellbeing and social inclusion.

4. Protecting the environment

To be aware of the environmental impact of digital technologies and their use.

Bildungstechnologien (2021), adopted from Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework, elaborates literacy in digital identity management and safety, which means the capacity to:

  • develop and project a positive digital identity or identities;
  • manage digital reputation (personal or organizational) across a range of platforms;
  • build and maintain digital profiles and other identity assets such as records of achievement;
  • review the impact of online activity;
  • collate and curate personal materials across digital networks;
  • act safely and responsibly in digital environments.

Meanwhile, at the practical level, literacy in digital wellbeing, health, and environmental issues means the capacity to:

  • look after personal health, safety, relationships, and work-life balance in digital settings;
  • use digital tools to pursue personal goals (e.g., health and fitness) and to participate in social and community activities;
  • negotiate and resolve conflict;
  • manage digital workload, overload, and distraction;
  • act with concern for the human and natural environment when using digital tools.

Practical Strategies in the Classroom

The impact of technological advancement is inevitable. It is mainly how digital technologies impact the learner experience and change learners’ pathways through and beyond their studies. To comply with this trend, teachers must shift their paradigm in dealing with Y and Z generations who are digital natives. To this extent,  teachers are expected to be more technologically savvy as incorporating technology in the teaching and learning process is a prerequisite for supporting the digital natives (Yuyun, 2017).

Moreover, today’s teachers need to find ways to create 21st-century citizens (and workers) who parrot less and think more. This condition requires fully integrating “meta” skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, video, and programming into our teaching, just as we now integrate reading and writing. To make this happen, teachers and students will need to work together in new forms of “partnering” in which students do what they do best—for example, use technology, find information, and create products that demonstrate their understanding—and in which teachers guide students by doing what they do best—for example, ask the right questions, put things into the proper context, and ensure quality and rigor. The new teaching roles that the 21st-century offers are so much better, so much more powerful, and so much more interesting than what came before that most teacher will, once they get their heads around those roles, rush to embrace them (Prensky, 2012).

As society’s understanding of technology broadens and deepens, we need to make sure that learners develop digital literacies to help them analyze and make sense of the digital world and its impact on their lives. To help learners navigate information in an expansive, ever-changing digital landscape, administrators, faculty members, librarians, instructional designers, and others who interact with learners in higher education have a pivotal role to play in helping students understand how information is shaped and shared today across the digital landscape. During a time of tremendous and rapid change in the information landscape, a critical consideration will be how best to integrate and inculcate digital literacies in the curriculum so that learners can develop a deep and well-informed understanding of what it means to be a consumer, creator, and sharer of digital content (Jacobson et al., 2019).

Therefore, the Royal College of Nursing (2021) shares key drivers for supporting learners in developing positive digital identities and thriving in a digital world. Notably, in managing personal and professional identities, digital footprint, recognizing online bullying, and managing time effectively, teachers and students need to be aware of the negative aspects and develop ways to limit these. Being a digital professional carries a responsibility towards digital citizens. They are responsible for sharing data and protecting it. To do so, teachers and students must demonstrate the following domains:

  • the ability to develop, promote and safeguard appropriate digital identity(es) that support a positive personal and organizational reputation
  • the ability to use digital technologies in ways that support personal wellbeing and safety and that of others
  • the ability to recognize and act upon digital situations and events that might compromise personal, professional, or organizational security
  • the ability to demonstrate and champion ethical, positive, healthy, and appropriate attitudes and behaviors concerning digital identity, wellbeing, and safety of self and others.

Royal College of Nursing (2021) recommends some practical strategies to manage:

Identity, image, and reputation

  • I understand that any comment or image I post online can stay in the public domain and contribute to my digital footprint (a digital footprint is the information about a particular person who exists on the Internet due to their online activity).
  • I can identify the benefits and risks of presenting myself in different ways online, e.g., professionally and personally.
  • I use my digital footprint to showcase my skills and professional experience.

Health and wellbeing

  • I know the importance of balancing screen time with other parts of my life.
  • I can identify different forms of bullying, including cyberbullying, and suggest strategies for dealing with it, e.g., screenshot, block, report.

Digital security

  • I understand basic rules for sharing data and data security, e.g., information governance.
  • I can create and use secure passwords, e.g., apply characteristics of strong passwords.
  • I am aware of simple encryption and the purpose, e.g., sending sensitive data more securely.

To support digital safety (security), Ribble and Miller (2013) suggest educational leaders and students the following tips:

  • Educational leaders need to ensure that technology tools and information are protected. Students also need to become aware that even not doing something (e.g., keeping virus protection up to date) can impact themselves and others.

In the context of K-12 classroom, teachers can suggest to students the following tips suggested by The Ministry of Education in British Columbia (Jacobson et al., 2019):

  • is aware that photographic images can be digitally manipulated for positive purposes or to mislead us and distort our perceptions of beauty and health. (Gr. 3-5)
  • understand how the media can play an influential role in shaping our ideas about girls and boys. (Gr. 3-5)
  • understands the social nature of digital media and technologies, and has basic vocabulary and knowledge for discussing the media landscape. (Gr. 6-9)
  • is aware of his/her media habits, the array of media he/she uses weekly, and the role of digital media in his/her life. (Gr. 6-9)
  • understands that presenting themselves in different ways online carries both benefits and risks. (Gr. 6-9)
  • is aware of the gender stereotypes in video games, virtual worlds, and elsewhere on the Internet. (Gr. 6-9)
  • understand the different pressures teens face when editing, posting, and commenting on photos online. (Gr. 10-12)
  • is aware of how he/she and others represent themselves online, and the relationship between online and offline selves (Gr. 10-12)

References:

Bawden, D. (2008). Origins and Concepts of Digital Literacy. In C. Lankshear and M. Knobel (Eds.), Digital Literacies: Concepts, Policies, and Practices (pp. 17-32N). Peter Lang. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.741.4617&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Bildungstechnologien. (2021). Digital identity, safety, and wellbeing. In Framework Digital Literacies. Basel: University of Basel. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://digitalskills.unibas.ch/en/literacy-framework/literacy-6-digital-identity-safety-and-well-being/

Compton-Lilly, C. (2006). Identity, childhood culture, and literacy learning: A case study. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 6(1), 57-76.

Jacobson, T.,  Gilchrist, D.,  Head, A., & Lippincott, J. (July 29, 2019). 7 Things You Should Know About Digital Literacies, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. https://library.educause.edu/resources/2019/7/7-things-you-should-know-about-digital-literacies

Kim, M., & Choi, D. (2018). Development of youth digital citizenship scale and implication for an educational setting. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 21(1), 155-171.

Martin, F., Gezer, T. & Wang, C. (2019). Educators’ Perceptions of Student Digital Citizenship Practices, Computers in the Schools, 36(4), 238-254. https://doi.org/10.1080/07380569.2019.1674621

Prensky, M. (2012). From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom. In From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful essays for 21st Century learning (pp. 201–215). essay, Corwin. https://marcprensky.com/writing/PrenskyIntro_to_From_DN_to_DW.pdf

Ribble, M. and Miller, T. N. (2013). Educational Leadership in an Online World: Connecting Students to Technology Responsibly, Safely, and Ethically. International Society for Technology in Education, 17(1), pp. 137-145. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1011379.pdf

Royal College of Nursing. Digital identity, wellbeing, and safety. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://www.rcn.org.uk/clinical-topics/ehealth/digital-skills/digital-skills-digital-identity

Six elements of digital capabilities figure. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from https://digitalcapability.jisc.ac.uk/what-is-digital-capability/individual-digital-capabilities/our-digital-capabilities-framework/

Wise, J. B., & O’Byrne, W. I. (2015). Social scholars: Educators’ digital identity construction in open, online learning environments. Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, 64(1), 398-414.

Yuyun, I. (2017). Curriculum and Technology Design: A Course to Explore Technology Applications in EFL Curriculum Design. Journal of ELT Research, 2(1), 78–86. http://doi.org/10.22236/JER

Promoting Academic Integrity in Online Learning

ICT and its Benefits

The rapid advancement of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has inevitably changed our lives and world. Floridi (2010) states that the most advanced societies highly depend on information-based, intangible assets, information-intensive services (especially business and property services, communications, finance and insurance, and entertainment), and information-oriented public sectors (especially education, public administration, and health care). Consequently, we will become increasingly synchronized (time), delocalized (space), and correlated (interactions).

The various perspective appears responding to the technology. Some feel pessimistic and doubt about technology, and some others think optimistic about technology. The optimism of technology sees that technology ushers in labor-saving devices and access to information and entertainment, improving productivity and economic growth. Technological optimism sees media and technology as making the world a better place for humanity, increasing people’s choice of available products and services. People also gain social and geographic mobility and control over nature and the human body, such as birth control and reproductive technologies (Floridi, 2010).

Furthermore, technological optimism believes that we have got some benefits from ICTs. ICTs have brought concrete and imminent opportunities of enormous use to people’s education, welfare, prosperity, and improvement, as well as significant economic and scientific advantages. ICTs also carry substantial risks and generate dilemmas and profound questions about the nature of reality and our knowledge of it, the development of information-intensive sciences (e-science), the organization of a fair society (consider the digital divide), our responsibilities and obligations to present and future generations, our understanding of a globalized world, and the scope of our potential interactions with the environment. As a result, they have significantly outpaced our understanding of their conceptual nature and implications while raising problems whose complexity and global dimensions are rapidly expanding, evolving, and becoming increasingly severe (Floridi, 2010).

Along with the ICT development, information sharing inevitably spread without any borders. How can we respond to this limitless information sharing? Floridi (2010) recommends that information ethics be considered to check informational resources’ availability, accessibility, and accuracy, independently of their format, kind, and physical support. Examples of issues in information ethics understood as information as resource ethics are the so-called digital divide, the problem of infoglut, and the analysis of the reliability and trustworthiness of information sources. Thus, information ethics, understood now as information-as-a-product ethics may cover moral issues arising, for example, in the context of accountability, liability, libel legislation, testimony, plagiarism, advertising, propaganda, misinformation, and more generally, the pragmatic rules of communication. Also,  we need to check information-as-a-target ethics, including privacy or confidentiality, security, vandalism (from burning libraries and books to disseminating viruses), piracy, intellectual property, open-source, freedom of expression, censorship, filtering, and contents control.

Moreover, Michael Lynch in Paulus et al. (2019: 57) observes that the expansion of digital knowledge, paired with rapid technological change, is “affecting how we know and the responsibilities we have toward that knowledge.” When accessing information via the Internet, we are required to 1) taking responsibility for our own beliefs and 2) working creatively to grasp and reason how information fits together.” This way, if we are to know in more profound ways and to grow in wisdom, we must become reflective, reasonable, responsible, and active believers in truth.

In the context of education, the presence of ICTs has affected how teachers and students communicate in a virtual world such as Learning Management System (LMS), Social Media, emails, and many others. As stated by Paulus et al. (2019: 53), education includes knowledge transfer, of course, yet Christian education is ultimately about the holistic transformation of people. This holistic transformation involves character formation, which depends on learning that is personal and relational. Therefore, the framework of Community of Inquiry (CoI) raises to emphasize the concept and cultivation of social presence—or how authentic relationships with faculty, students, and content occur through mediated communications—are so important in digital learning environments. This point aligns with one of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, Digital Citizen Advocate. This standard coaches model digital citizenship and support educators and students in recognizing the responsibilities and opportunities inherent in living in a digital world. Particularly, Point 7b points out that partners with educators, leaders, students, and families foster a culture of respectful online interactions and a healthy balance in their use of technology.

“This holistic transformation involves character formation, which depends on learning that is personal and relational.”

To address the importance of Point 7b of the ISTE Standard in the education context, faculty needs to maintain academic integrity in the technology-rich classroom by promoting digital citizenship (Robb & Shellenbarger, 2015).

Figure 1: ISTE Citizenship in the Digital Age Infographic

What is Academic Integrity?

Video 1: What is academic integrity?

Violations of academic integrity, such as cheating and plagiarism, and other dishonest behaviors. Gallant (2008, cited in McGee, 2013) describes five categories of academic dishonesty, stating that these “terms transcend group boundaries and roles” (p. 10):

1. “Plagiarism—using another’s words or ideas without appropriate attribution or without  following citation conventions;

2. Fabrication—making up data, results, information, or numbers, and recording and reporting them;

3. Falsification—manipulating research, data, or results to portray information inaccurately

reports (research, financial, or other) or academic assignments;

4. Misrepresentation—falsely representing oneself, efforts, or abilities; and,

5. Misbehavior—acting in ways that are not overtly misconduct but are counter to general

behavioral expectations.” (p. 10)

Pedagogical Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity

As we know, the increase in online-based learning facilitates educational advances and poses challenges to academic integrity. Academic Integrity is essential to develop long-term and meaningful relationships with a professional group or community, such as school or university. The integrity of online teaching and learning would be enhanced by articulating and enforcing codes of ethical conduct. However, all stakeholders, students, faculty, and administrators should be active participants in writing and implementing these codes (Coleman, 2011). Therefore, educators think of ways to train today’s generation to be responsible and ethical life-long learners of the digital age. Teachers must demonstrate, guide, and help students practice appropriate and professional behavior while actively participating in authentic learning experiences using blogs, wiki spaces, learning management systems, online research, and much more. Then,  McGilvery (2012) in Education World proposed tips to prepare students to be TECH SMART when using technology. TECH SMART covers:

Take Care of Technology Equipment,

Explore Appropriate and Safe Sites for Learning and Research,

Copyright Law, Fair Use Act, and Creative Commons Matter,

Help Prevent Cyberbullying,

Self-image Is Important,

Make Use of Netiquette,

Always Give Credit to Original Source,

Remember to Be Effective, Thoughtful, and Ethical Digital Creators,

Think of how, when, why, and for what purpose

Academic dishonesty is a concern of faculty, students, and the public who trust graduates to have the requisite knowledge for their earned degree (Bassendowski and Salgado, 2005; Harper, 2006; Kenny, 2007, cited in Azulay Chertok et al., 2014). Therefore, the University of Missouri System (2020) elaborates on teaching strategies for minimizing academic dishonesty. The strategies include being present for your students, being explicit about academic integrity, fostering intrinsic motivation, offering more low-stakes assessments with scaffolding, communicating expectations for writing and citation, increasing test security, using tools for minimizing academic dishonesty (Turnitin Feedback Studio, Respondus LockDown Browser, and Respondus Monitor).

“Therefore, educators think of ways to train today’s generation to be responsible and ethical life-long learners of the digital age. ”

McGee (2013) proposed strategies to prevent academic dishonesty related to the offense (plagiarism, false identity, cheating), institutional policies, and technology configurations.

  • Make Academic Integrity Expectations Clear
  • Construct Valid Assessments and Delivery with Foresight
  • Make the Most of the Technology
  • Utilize Pedagogical Strategies

References:

Azulay Chertok, I. R., Barnes, E. R., & Gilleland, D. (2014). Academic integrity in the online learning environment for health sciences students. Nurse Education Today, 34(10), 1324–1329. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2013.06.002

Coleman, Phillip D. (2012). Ethics, Online Learning and Stakeholder Responsibility for a Code of Conduct in Higher Education, Kentucky Journal of Excellence in College Teaching and Learning, 9(3). Available at: https://encompass.eku.edu/kjectl/vol9/iss1/3

Floridi, L. (2010). A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.spu.edu/lib/spu/reader.action?docID=737413

Hamilton, E. R., Rosenberg, J. M., & Akcaoglu, M. (2016). The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) Model: a Critical Review and Suggestions for its Use. TechTrends, 60(5), 433–441. doi:10.1007/s11528-016-0091-y

McGilvery, C. (2012). Promoting Responsible and Ethical Digital Citizens. Education World. https://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/responsible-student-technology-use.shtml

McGee, P. (2013). Supporting Academic Honesty in Online Courses, Journal of Educators Online 10(1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277197722_Supporting_Academic_Honesty_in_Online_Courses

Paulus, M. J., Baker, B. D., & Langford, M. D., (2019). A Framework for Digital Wisdom in Higher Education, Christian Scholar’s Review XLIX:1, pp. 41-61. https://works.bepress.com/michael_paulus/68/

Robb, M., & Shellenbarger, T. (15 February 2015).  Promoting Digital Citizenship and Academic Integrity in Technology Classrooms https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-with-technology-articles/promoting-digital-citizenship-academic-integrity-technology-classrooms/

The University of Missouri System. Promoting academic integrity in your online class. Retrieved 29 September 2021, from https://keeplearning.umsystem.edu/instructors/exams-and-assignments/promoting-academic-integrity-your-online-class

Exploring Creative and Innovative Activities at UKRIDA Department of English

by Ignasia Yuyun

Creativity and innovation have been increasingly important for the development of the 21st-century knowledge society. Teachers and students are dealing with Information and Communication Technology at any level of education. At the tertiary level or higher education, teachers have been dealing with Y and Z Generation students. In this case, teachers are expected to be digital technology and internet friendly. The students are digital technology users, which makes teachers embrace technology-enhanced classroom instructions. This trend is an inevitable trend the teachers should face in this technology era.

Moreover, technologies play a pivotal role in educational change towards an innovative and creative academic environment. They could act as a platform to foster creative learning and innovative teaching and offer various opportunities for constructive change (Ferrari et al., 2010). This way, teachers should foster fun, creative, diverse, collaborative, and intuitive activities (Reimers-Hild & King, 2009) to promote student self-expression, stimulate, engage, motivate, and satisfy in a deep sense. Also, Maley and Peachey (2015) stated that the creative and innovative classroom improves student self-esteem, confidence, and self-awareness. This enhanced sense of self-worth also feeds into more committed and more effective learning.

At the UKRIDA Department of English, creative and innovative activities in EFL classrooms may be various. The followings are some best practices of creative and innovative activities:

Creative and Innovative Activities in EFL Classrooms

  1. Learning Management System (LMS)

UKRIDA has been using an LMS to facilitate e-learning activities; it is called Ukrida Virtual Class. To ease how to access, the university has been collaborating with Google to synchronize the applications. This virtual class is a platform for sharing learning materials, doing online exercises and tests, submitting any assignments, discussing class, etc. The lecturers can make any activities creatively and adjust any settings precisely. This virtual class is to blend between Face to Face (F2F) meetings and online learning.

2. Blog

The university has been collaborating with Google to facilitate lecturers’ and students’ blogs using the google site. Any writing projects can be published and displayed in this blog. Here, students can publish their creative writing products, reflective journals, e-portfolio, etc. Meanwhile, lecturers can monitor students’ work and give any comments and feedback.

3. Digital Story Telling

As a part of the Vocabulary and Pronunciation class, this group project aims at applying pronunciation practice and vocabulary enrichment. The students must find any children’s stories and combine the related pictures and sounds using video editor applications (windows movie maker, VirtualDub, VideoPad Video Editor, etc.).

4. E-storybook Website

This platform is intended to facilitate online publication for any creative writing products written by UKRIDA Department of English faculty members and students. As a final project of Literary Publishing class, all Creative Writing students collaborate with the Directorate of Information Technology to do this project.

The example of an LMS (left above), e-storybook website (right above and left below), digital storytelling (right below).

5. Annual Creative Writing Publication

The annual creative writing publication is an offline publication published by UKRIDA Press and Penerbit ANDI. This way is intended to monitor students’ writing skills and facilitate faculty members’ and students’ creative writing produced from English Grammar, Introduction to Literature, Literary Genre, Reading and Writing, and Creative Writing courses. These publications are then sold in UKRIDA Business Center and bookstores.

Examples of creative writing publications.

6. Annual Drama Performance

This activity is a collaboration work between Introduction to Literature Class and Christmas Celebration Committee. The students are equipped with intensive practice inside and outside the class. Since the beginning of the semester, they share the responsibilities such as director, scriptwriter, costume designer, players, etc. Then, they are expected to perform a drama at the end of the semester as a part of the Final Project.

7. Project-Based Learning

Group projects are assigned in courses such as Reading and Writing classes, Integrated Skills, and Cross-Cultural Understanding to enhance students’ creativity. The students are expected to do Project Exhibition during Christmas Celebration. From Reading and Writing III, students produced paper recycling products. Meanwhile, in the Cross-Cultural Understanding class, students are expected to make a booth displaying Christmas Celebration Traditions worldwide. Another project-based learning activity is conducting a social experiment. In this project, students are expected to ask for help from strangers. They will experience whether they are rejected or not. Another project is doing a demonstration on how to do something in the Integrated Skills class.

The example of Project-Based Products.

8. Active Learning Activities

Some active learning activities can be implemented to deepen students’ understanding of the issues involved, heighten their enthusiasm for learning, and maintain students’ focus. For example, in the ESL Teacher Knowledge class, 6th-semester students are expected to do individual teaching demonstrations in front of their classmates by applying active learning activities. The guide is given beforehand to avoid misconceptions and anticipate classroom management problems. Besides, the students are also doing teaching practice by teaching 1st-semester students in Pre-English for Academic Purposes Class. The guide is provided during the teaching preparation, and the class observation is also conducted to assess student’s teaching performance.

The example of active learning activities implementing student-centered learning.

9. Guest Lecture and Seminar Participation

To balance the theoretical concepts and actual practice, some guest lecturers and seminar participation are conducted. For concentration courses such as Translation and Interpreting classes, Creative Writing classes, and TESOL classes, the students are introduced to experts and practitioners. The students benefit from these activities to broaden their knowledge in the field with current practice and trends. Here, they can compare and analyze the theories they are learning and the practice the speakers share.

10. Educational Technology Softwares and Applications

Mobile-assisted language learning has been implemented to shift classrooms from conventional F2F one to be more flexible in time and space. Lecturers’ anxiety about missing F2F meetings due to a hectic schedule can be solved by using soft wares such as screencast-o-Matic and SnagIt screen capture.

REFERENCES

Ferrari, A., Ala-mutka, K., & Punie, Y. (2010). Creative Learning and Innovative Teaching: Final Report on the Study on Creativity and Innovation in Education in the EU Member States. https://doi.org/10.2791/52913

Maley, A., & Peachey, N. (2015). Creativity in the English Language Classroom. In British Council. https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/pub_F004_ELT_Creativity_FINAL_v2 WEB.pdf

Reimers-Hild, C. & King, J.W. (2009). Six Questions for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation in Distance Education. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 12(4),. Retrieved September 10, 2021, from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/76602/.

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