Structure of the cases

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The core of Integrity Games is the cases.

There is a case on citation practice and plagiarism, one on collaboration and getting help on individual assignments and several on collection, analysis and presentation of data.

The data cases address different issues and will be relevant for students in different disciplines.

The qualitative data case deals with issues commonly faced by students in the social sciences and humanities working with qualitative data. This includes protection of sometimes vulnerable interview subjects.

The quantitative data case deals with issues commonly faced by students in the natural and quantitative social sciences working with anonymous quantitative data.

The introductory quiz

To help students decide which cases are most relevant for them, and to spark their interest in the different topics, the students are encouraged to start by taking the introductory quiz.

Once finished, the students will be provided with recommendations of which cases are most relevant to them.

These recommendations are accessible continuously through the “My Cases” tab in the main menu, which will appear as soon as the student has completed the quiz.

The structure of the cases

All the cases have the same basic structure: Three levels of dilemmas tied together with a narrative that is realistic and engaging, ending with a page on how the narrative ends (Fig. 1)

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Figure 1: The basic structure of the cases

The first level contains only one dilemma. When the students have chosen what they want to do in this dilemma, they are taken to a page called “This is what happened”.

Here we show the consequences of their choice. We have deliberately abstained from moralizing here – telling the student that their choice was wrong – and sometimes there is a cost to doing the right thing.

This page also includes an “About your choice” section with a more general reflection of the dilemma (see below).

Students then proceed to one of the two dilemmas on level 2. Which dilemma the students will see depends on their choice at level 1.

Students that chose a course of action that is not in line with good practice (although it is not necessarily cheating – remember this is all about grey zones) are taken to a dilemma that is less subtle than the one at level 1. Conversely for students that chose in line with good academic practice.

Figure 2 illustrates the progression in subtlety.When students have made a choice at level 2, they are again taken to a “This is what happened”-page, and then onto one of the four level 3 dilemmas, again depending on their choice at level 2.

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Figure 2: The progression towards ever more or less subtle dilemmas ensures that the student is continuously challenged through the case.

Explanatory texts

Throughout the cases, accessible explanations of central concepts, underlined with green, are explained in mouse-over windows (See Fig. 3). Some of the concepts – like ‘plagiarism’ and ‘falsification’ – may be foreign to the student. Others, like ‘teacher’, will be very familiar, but can mean slightly different things across countries. All explanations are also accessible through the Key terms tab in the main menu.

About your choice

When students play the cases, they are immersed in a specific narrative. However, the dilemmas presented to them are of a more general nature, although the solution to them may be highly context dependent. To ensure that students do not lose this broader perspective, each concrete choice is accompanied with a short text explaining what the dilemma was about at a more abstract level (see Fig. 3). Often these texts will also highlight the context dependence of their choices. For instance, in the collaboration case, students face numerous dilemmas involving “Kim” who is presented as a close friend. But what if Kim was just an acquaintance? Does that change the situation? We know from the research that the case is partly based on that many students think so.

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Figure 3: “About your choice” is displayed on all “this is what happened”-pages, but may have to be expanded. Note also the words unlined with green. An explanation of these will open when the curser in on top of it.

Do the students agree with each other?

In some uses of Integrity Games, it may be useful for teachers to know whether their students agree on the answer to the dilemmas, and if not, which dilemmas they disagree on. At the same time, students may not be comfortable revealing to the class that their honest choice led them to be kicked out of university. To allow for more neutral ways of asking students what they chose, we display the page identifier on each page (see Fig 4). If students note which page they ended up on when playing a case according to their conviction, this information will allow the teacher to identify dilemmas that the students disagree about.

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Figure 4: Page identifiers are found in the bottom left corner of all pages. On this particular page, the identifier is also visible just below the title.

For instance, if a class plays the plagiarism case and the majority end up on a page called “pl3-1” followed by a letter, then it follows from the structure of the case illustrated in Fig. 1, that they have all given the same or very similar answers to the dilemmas at both level 1 and 2. However, depending on the letter at the end, they have given different answers at level 3. By the same logic, students that end on a page called “pl3-2” followed by a letter agree with those that ended on page “pl3-1” on the level 1 dilemma, but disagreed on the dilemma on level 2. Similarly, those that end up on a page called “pl3-3” or “pl3-4” disagree with those ending up on a page called “pl3-1” on the dilemma at level 1.

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