Reimaging academic integrity through the lenses of ethics of care and restorative justice to establish a culture of academic integrity
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of human life, including the higher education sector, which had to switch to emergency remote teaching and learning (ERTL). This transition presented additional challenges for students, particularly those in South African higher education institutions, who already faced obstacles such as poor internet access and language and academic literacy barriers. The move to ERTL also led to an increase in academic misconduct cases, and discussions on academic integrity became more prominent, often focusing on using surveillance and monitoring software. The pandemic and the discussions on academic dishonesty prompted institutions to evaluate their understanding of academic dishonesty and how to restore students' academic integrity by reflecting on institutional culture and processes and rethink their approach to providing learning excellence. In this chapter, the authors propose an approach to provide learning excellence by using the lenses of ethics of care and restorative justice to establish a framework of restorative practice as an ideal way to address academic integrity issues. This approach includes inclusive decision-making, active accountability, repairing harm, and rebuilding trust. The authors further suggest implementing an academic integrity course for all first-year students as part of the newly implemented gateway to success program to enhance academic integrity.
Keywords: Ethics of Care, Restorative Justice, Restorative Practice, Academic Integrity, Learning Excellence, Deep and Meaningful Learning, Academic Misconduct