There is growing evidence for the value of short writing reflections as a tool for closing achievement gaps, improving student self-image, combatting impostor syndrome, etc. Also, shared experience plays a strong role in building community and is even more critical during this period of extreme remote engagement. There are many ways that the Anteater Virtue course can be integrated into existing courses as extra credit or low-stakes assignments. This is one example that has the general structure of:
- Assign a short writing sample on a relevant question. (c. 500 words)
- Have students complete all or one of the modules on the Anteater Virtues course.
- Have a second reflective writing sample. (c. 500 words)
- Designate the assignments for participation credit or other low-stakes grading.
For ease of use, in addition to the main Canvas course on the Anteater Virtues, which includes a module on integrity (alongside the other three intellectual virtues noted above), we have also made the integrity module into a self-standing Canvas course. The links to the Canvas courses are below, including the links for students to use to self-enroll on these courses.
EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT FOR INTEGRITY COURSE:
As we have moved to remote learning, assessments in courses may look very different. Also, for incoming students, the culture of assessment and what academic integrity means at the University may be different than what they expect. Often, we do not take the time to establish what academic integrity is and instead simply offer a specific list of things not to do. Leveraging the Anteater Virtues Canvas course module on Integrity can help ensure that all students are on the same conceptual page when it comes to academic integrity issues in your course.
Assign students a 500-word or less reflection due either right as the quarter starts or during the first week of class on the question: In what ways might academic integrity be manifest when doing [name one or more assessment from the course]?
Then assign students to complete the Anteater Virtues Integrity module by the end of Week 2 (as noted above, for ease of use, this is available on Canvas both as a module in the Anteater Virtues course and as a separate self-standing course in its own right).
Assign a second 500-word or less reflection due at the end of Week 3 on the question: Apply what you have learned about the Anteater Virtue of integrity to specific behaviors and actions that should and should not occur with respect to one of the following assignments in this course [list 2-3 assignments].
For both reflections, give participation credit. These exercises will help students take ownership of academic integrity in the context of your specific assignments.
An alternative set of questions could focus on study strategies and habits by having the students reflect on: What approaches to studying the material in this course and doing any assigned homework are consistent with the virtue of integrity?
EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT FOR GENERAL COURSE:
Attending college during the current pandemic presents a unique set of challenges. The Anteater Virtues present a context for approaching course work (and college in general) at this time. Especially important are the intellectual virtues of humility and tenacity, but all four intellectual virtues have a role. Asking students to reflect on this unique moment in time at the beginning of the class and then reflect again in the context of the virtues can provide a conceptual framework for navigating this time.
Assign students a 500-word or less reflection due either right as the quarter starts or during the first week of class on the question: What challenges do I expect to face in this course connected with current events, such as the pandemic?
Then assign students to complete the Anteater Virtues course by the end of Week 2.
Assign a second 500-word or less reflection due at the end of Week 3 on the question: In light of what you have learned about the Anteater Virtues, what are some practical ways in which they can help you navigate your studies this quarter, specifically in this course?
For both reflections, give participation credit. These exercises will help students reflect on how to be intentional in planning the quarter and take control of their studies in these difficult times.