Teaching International Students: Academic Integrity

Teaching International Students: Academic Integrity

August 19, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


– I’d like to welcome
everyone to Teaching Students from Around the World,
Perspectives on Academic Integrity. I’m Ellen Dussourd, I’m
Director of the Office of International Student
and Scholar Services. And in an effort to promote cross-cultural understanding at UB, our office organized this workshop in conjunction with Keith Otto of the English Language Institute, and Professor Namsook Kim of the Graduate School of Education. We have five student presenters today. All responded to our announcement on our International Student Listserv, inviting international students to help develop the workshop. The students who responded
are all undergraduate and master’s students who are diverse in their national origin,
gender, and major. Our workshop will therefore
primarily focus on undergraduate integrity at
the undergraduate level, since we have no Ph.D.
students as presenters. As I mentioned, since we
have so many presenters, we have rehearsed our workshop to be sure we don’t go
over the time limit. And we expect to have
15 minutes at the end for Q & A, that being the
case, we would ask you to please hold your
questions until the end. The workshop content is original. It is based on our presenters’
ideas and experiences, so represents their unique perspectives. Although we feel their
perspectives are representative, we acknowledge that
there are certainly students from the same countries as our presenters whose perspectives may be different. We also surveyed international students on academic integrity and
will present the results of that survey so you
will have the opportunity to hear other perspectives. Our goals today are two-fold. First, we would like to increase awareness of the cultural dimensions
of academic integrity. And help you communicate your
academic integrity policies more effectively to
international students. Let me begin with a few
cultural assumptions. I think you all would
agree that it’s risky to assume that all cultures are the same. And that the same action or behavior has the same meaning everywhere. And that what you
understood in a situation is what was meant, and similarly, that what you meant in a
situation is what was understood. It’s also useful, I
think we will all agree, that most people behave rationally in the context of their culture. So, when you encounter
international students who do things that don’t
make sense in this context, it’s helpful to consider
that what they are doing may be entirely rational
where they’re coming from. I’m going to develop this notion
of cultural assumptions momentarily as it pertains to our topic. I’d ask you to reflect on a few questions. The first is how you
define academic integrity in your classes and to your students. And to also ask yourselves,
“Do your colleagues “define it the same way? “Do you have a clear policy
on academic integrity?” “And do your colleagues
have a clear policy?” “How do you enforce your
academic integrity policy?” “Do your colleagues enforce their policy “in the same way you do?” So let’s talk about what I feel
are some useful assumptions from a cultural perspective
about academic integrity. I think it’s safe to say
that, the general concept of cheating is the same in all cultures. I worked overseas for eight years on three different continents. I never encountered a single instance where I concluded that the
people I was working with or interacting with had a different idea about cheating than I did. And I mean cheating in a general sense. Cheating in a social sense,
cheating in an academic sense, cheating in a financial sense. But it is true that, there may be no word for academic integrity
in some languages. There may only be words for
cheating and dishonesty, and you’ll hear examples of that today. It’s a fact that, there
are cultural differences in the way originality is interpreted. According to our co-presenter,
Professor Namsook Kim, in South Korea, the
traditional, not the current, but the traditional concept of originality or the traditional
belief about originality is that there’s no such
thing as an original thought because all thoughts
incorporate other’s thoughts. So, we are quite committed to this concept of original thoughts and original work. But I think it’s helpful to keep in mind that international students and others, international scholars at UB, for example, may have an entirely different
concept of originality and certainly of intellectual property. It’s also true that the
interpretation of what constitutes cheating may vary from
country to country, and from assignment to assignment. Just as it does from professor
to professor in the U.S. So I want to give you a few examples that we give international
students when they come here. We tell them, “Every
professor has his or her own “definition of academic integrity, “and his or her own policy,
and you need to find out “what it is in each of your classes.” In some classes, you may
have take-home exams. In others, you may have closed-book exams, and in others, you may
have open-book exams. When you go to a closed-book exam with quote, a cheat sheet,
that’s cheating in that class. Whereas, in the class where
there’s an open-book exam, consulting your notes and
consulting your textbook is entirely permitted. Let’s also talk about group projects. In a lot of classes, students
are assigned group projects. And they work together on the project, they’re assigned the same grade
based on the group effort. In certain departments at
UB, students are not allowed to talk about a homework
assignment with another, with a classmate, to look at another classmate’s
homework assignment. That constitutes cheating and will result in a
failing grade in the course. So we tell our students,
“This is a complex landscape. “You have to figure out what the rules are “in each of your classes in order to know “what you can and cannot do.” The consequences to cheating also vary from country to country as they do in the U.S. from
professor to professor, from class to class, and
from school to school. I think it’s widely known that some professors look the other way when they encounter incidents of cheating, whereas, some professors
pursue the students. Now, if you consider the
fact that in every culture there are rules that people follow and rules that hardly anyone follows. For example, the
55-mile-an-hour speed limit. I don’t know how many of you never drive above 55 miles-an-hour on the thruway. But I think that’s a rule
that is generally ignored. But please consider that
when someone comes here from another country, they don’t know which are the real rules and
which are the rules that are, sort of, you know, rules
that everybody just ignores and there are no consequences to doing so. So, again, in conclusion, I would say that our students may have an imperfect understanding of what constitutes academic
dishonesty in the U.S. They may not understand, the possible consequences
to cheating in the U.S. They might not know, the
likelihood that they will face consequences if they cheat in the U.S. And they may have, no idea
of the potential severity of such consequences. And this is where faculty
and academic advisors and those of us who organize
international students, international student orientation come in because we have to make
it absolutely clear what is permissible and
not permissible here and at the end of this presentation, we’ll have some tips for faculty on how to effectively
communicate their policy to our students. And now, Mahathi is going to talk to us about learning style, thank you. – Hi, I’m Mahathi, and I’m from India. I grew up in a very
urban, cosmopolitan city in South India, called Bangalore. And over the course of my schooling, I’ve been to seven different schools and experienced five different
boards in India alone, education boards, so I
have personally encountered a wide variety of learning styles. So to begin with, most of the other presenters here today that I’ve discussed the concept
of the learning style with agree that most of us come from countries where the learning is
focused on memorization. So we’re expected to memorize
and reproduce verbatim sections from textbooks
and from the classes in exams and in assignments. So, I grew up in a country
where we were expected to, where originality was not valued as much as simply reproducing what
the teacher expected us to reproduce in exams and assignments. And to give you an example, in the fifth grade, I had
a social studies teacher who would assign questions
from the end of the chapter and she would mark out
sections of the textbook that we simply had to
copy into our notebook as the answers to those questions. And those were the same answers we had to reproduce in the exam. And I’ve also been to schools
where language teachers even, you know, for English
and for second languages, would simply write down the essays and we could, although we didn’t have to, we could just memorize the
essays and reproduce them even though, you know, an
essay is not an assignment that’s generally thought of in such a way. And I’ve been to schools
where this is not the case, but I’ve also been to schools
that this is the case, because it’s such a large country. And if, even if within the country, there’s so much variation learning styles, you can imagine how much it
varies from country to country. For the most part,
students aren’t exposed to much information outside of the textbook. There’s not much internet
research or creative assignments, so access is generally limited to just the single textbook
that’s assigned by the school. Kyoungah, who is another
presenter today, from Korea, she was mentioning that there
was an incident recently where students from Korea who had prepared to take the CPA exam were flown to Guam. And they had all studied
in the same center in Korea in preparation for the
exam, and they had all memorized the same answers
to the same questions. And they all put down the
same answers in the exam, down to the preposition, verbatim. And it was such a big deal because obviously, there were
concerns about honesty and about cheating, and
the proctor had to fly down to Korea and check with the
center, and it was huge deal. And this is a professional
exam at a very high level, it’s not even school or
college, and at that level, if this was level, this
was the learning style that was implied, you can imagine that’s how culturally embedded the notion of memorization and byhearting is in our cultures. I mean, there’s a very high
premium placed on memory and on just absorbing information. So, yeah, I would say
that the learning, I mean, students who come to
the U.S. may be exposed for the first time to an
entirely different style. And they have to re-orient themselves to what is expected of them in an entirely different academic context. I mean, the whole, it’s a shift of perspective
that has to take place from merely absorbing information to actively pursuing information, you know, actively
looking for information, actively creating work. So this is, I think, a
re-orientation that, you know, school resources and professors need to assist students in making. Thank you. – Thank you, Mahathi. My name is Kyoungah Lee from South Korea. I am a second-year master’s student in Higher Education
Administration program. I have a story about my
brother that illustrate what Mahathi just said. My brother graduated from
high school in South Korea and came here last summer
to study in the ELI, English Language Institute at UB. He was so excited and received
his first homework assignment which asked him to write sentences using given vocabulary words. So he confidently looked up the words in the online dictionary, and
he copied those sentences, which is how Korean students
do homework in South Korea. However, his ELI teacher
wrote, “No plagiarism,” on his paper and my brother
asked me what it meant. Then he realized it was different here. I’m sharing this story
because he’s doing well now. (laughter) The role and purpose of the
homework can be very different. In some countries,
homework tends not to have big impact on the final grade. According to our discussion,
in India and Pakistan, homework does not count at
all towards the final grade. In Japan, it counts very little. In Korea, it counts
towards the final grade, but anyone who so missed the
homework gets an A easily, which means that homework assignment part is base points that
everyone can get for free and that have no real
impact on the final grade. Homework assignment tends to be easy. An example of an homework
assignment in South Korea would be teachers collecting
the students’ class notes including what teachers
wrote on the blackboard and giving full points
for the homework part. Another example from a
history class would be write about World War II. In such cases, students
tend to copy word for word from Wikipedia or blogs and
teachers seldom spend time carefully checking the
content of the homework. Instead, teachers spend time writing difficult exam questions in order to differentiate
the students from one another in class ranking, because class ranking
is what really matters for students to get into a good college. Also, teachers do not warn students about copying the homework
from the internet or friends, although they know students will do so, because copying is not a
bad concept in South Korea, rather, sometimes using
online resource is encouraged. Students submit the homework
without any citation and references and they
get full points for it. Even though some teachers
might not like to see everything copied from the online source, the consequences for doing so are minimal. For instance, teacher may
just deduct five points from the homework assignment. Because of competitive study
environment in other countries, taking time to do homework might be viewed as wasting your time that you could have spent
studying for the national exams. And now, Momoko will talk
about Writing Assignments. – Good morning, I’m
Momoko and I’m from Japan, I’m graduate student in Library and Information
Studies program. And I’m gonna talk about
writing assignments. The purpose of K through
12 writing assignments is usually to practice
what one is learning, rather than to produce original ideas. That is, educational systems
emphasize word memorization. Student may be expected to reproduce what they memorize from textbooks or other academic materials
in writing assignments, rather than to produce
original theories or ideas. Writing assignments merely
serve as a learning support that enables a student
to practice learning. So it may not matter if one
uses other works in them. Again, the purpose is to
help students reproduce what they memorize or learn so as to reinforce their
understanding and ability to use the knowledge
and ideas by themselves. So using others’ ideas may
even be viewed positively, and result in extra points because it showed that the student actually did some research to look for other sources
for the assignments. For example, one student from China who worked with us on this presentation say that it is considered good to start an essay with a quote and then explain it in essay in China but in this case, the quotes are not put in
quotation marks or cited. On the other hand, in
Japan and South Korea, K through 12 students
may use quotation marks when quoting someone, but it’s unlikely that anyone would check a K through 12 writing
assignments for plagiarism. Teachers may not care about it. And in some countries,
downloading writing assignments from internet may be common,
and K through 12 teachers tend not to show any concern
about such activities. Although they may be aware of them. And speaking from my experience in Japan, there are two types of writing assignments in K through 12 education. One is an essay that
students are given a topic to write about and the
other is a reflective paper that student write about a book they read. And in a lot of case,
which is reflective paper, they write about what they learn and what they thought about
it, about the book they read. And for me, the distinction between essays and reflective papers isn’t so clear as for most types of writing assignments. Students are expected to write about what they learned from a given book or other materials they found. So citing or summarizing
other’s work is common in order to demonstrate their learning and to convey their thoughts. But when we quote from a
book or other resources, in K through 12 in Japan,
we use quotation marks but student may not always cite sources, especially when they
paraphrase their thought, their materials from textbook
or information resources. So some K through 12
teachers even expect student to include the bibliographies
at the end of the paper although they have no
specific citation styles. And others teachers do
not have this requirement. And now, Aniruddha will talk more about citing other’s works, thank you. – Good morning, I’m Aniruddha,
and I’m going to present on citing other’s work. So, when I came over,
I’m going to start off with an experience of my
own because I don’t want to focus on facts, I rather
want to focus on insight and experiences, so
when I came over to UB, I ready start for ENG-201 course, and I felt pretty confident about myself because before leaving India, I had a pre-departure orientation which gave me a brief idea
about what plagiarism was. So I wasn’t worried about it. However, I soon enough
learned that plagiarism and citing was not as
simple as I had anticipated. I made quite a few
mistakes which were like, not indenting block citations, not paraphrasing properly, combining MLA and APA
citation styles, and so on. At that point, I went and
seeked help from my professor and she referred me to a
resource known as Purdue OWL and also conducted several class workshops to inform me about how
citation and plagiarism worked. The reason for this is, in
India, I’m used to using direct quotation marks
instead of proper citation. And the resources to overcome this were extremely beneficial
to help me get acquainted with the American system of citation. Plagiarism as comprehended by countries UB students come from vary drastically. For example, in India,
there is no specific term which exists for
plagiarism, where in China, according to one of the
contributors in this project, it is encouraged as a practice to use, to exercise plagiarism to honor the person who has done the work involved. In India, there was no
specific term introduced to suggest something like plagiarism and its understanding
was extremely limited to the narrow definition of copying. Use of several sources
was highly encouraged, and citing work was not required. If an idea from an renowned
person in the specific field was used, quotation marks were necessary, and I include the name, for example, Person X said so and so,
within quotation marks. However, if the person is not as renowned or if it’s a result of
some general research, it would be enough to
include a general statement such as, research tests show so and so. The American concept of plagiarism has not been introduced
during K through 12 years. And even at undergraduate level. On the contrary, citing as a practice, is often considered irrelevant and pertaining only to graduate students. Which is why I would like to conclude with the fact that it is essential to introduce the concept of
citation and plagiarism in depth and discuss
resources such as Purdue OWL to help international students
get acquainted with it. And now I would like to invite Farheen to elaborate more on tests and exams. – Good morning, my name is Farheen Ansari. I’m from Pakistan, and I’m
an undergraduate senior, Biomedical Sciences
major, and today I will be talking to you about
tests and national exams. Curricula may be test-based. Papers, projects,
presentations and homeworks may not count as much
towards the final grade. This encourages students
to devote and study for the most part for the
tests and doing well on them. Tests may consist of
multiple-choice questions, as well as short-answer questions. Usually, in order to obtain maximum points on the short-answer questions, students tend to reproduce memorized work. This limits their chances
of making a mistake. And teachers may not mind this because students are
likely to answer correctly when they have answers
committed to memory. There are typically no consequences to using memorized work on, memorized work on K through 12 tests. Some teachers may notice, they may take off a point or
two, they may give a warning, but since there is no serious consequence, students are likely to
not pay attention to this. Now, let’s talk about national exams. Circumstances under which
students take national exams are very different. National exams are considered important for students’ entrance into
the next level of education, which makes it important to
ensure academic integrity and it is taken much more seriously than a regular class test or exam. There is high security. It may consist of no
cell phones, no internet, any kind of electronic device, and there’s also surveillance, police, and students are checked multiple times before they enter into the exam room. There are alternative testing sites. Students from different schools would be told to go to a
particular testing site different from their regular school. There is randomized seating arrangement. Students from different
classes within the same school and within different school are shuffled. And the seating arrangement is such that students are far enough so that taking a glance at a
student’s paper next to them or in front of them is impossible. There are also multiple
versions of the test. Sometimes there are multiple proctors, some in the front of the
room, some in the back, some are circulating. And proctors are different from the students’ regular class teachers, they may be from another school, and students are not aware of who they’re gonna be proctored by. Exams are graded by different people, not the student’s regular
teacher or proctor. On a national exam, there
is usually one person who will grade one
question only on the exam, and this will ensure
the grader’s security. Now, Kyoungah will talk about relationships among students. – Thank you, Farheen. In terms of relationship among students, students in other countries collaborate more than American students unless it affects their final grade. For instance, students in other countries may not hesitate to ask another student for their class notes
or homework assignment. Also, they will not mind sharing them, because class notes
and homework assignment do not play a big role in
determining their final grade. Also, students from other
countries tend to be more collectivistic
than American students. Because of this culture,
if anyone refuses to share, he or she may be viewed as mean, and treated as a social outcast. Because we have a competitive
study environment, and class ranking really
matters in South Korea, some students may worry that a friend might get a
higher grade using their notes, since tests are based on what
the teacher said in class. In that case, they will not
want to share their class notes, especially with a student
who slept in class, or didn’t do any work. However, if the other student
had a family emergency or sickness, a valid reason, most students will be very willing to share their class notes
and homework assignment. Now, Dr. Kim will talk
about the survey results. – Good morning, everyone,
I am Namsook Kim, faculty member in the
Graduate School of Education, Department of Educational
Leadership and Policy, and Center for Comparative and
Global Studies in Education. Today, I am going to present
some of survey results of the recent online survey
with our international students. First, when we asked the students about their value for
academic integrity by asking, “Do you think it is
important to comply with UB’s “and your professors’
academic integrity policies?” Almost all students said, “Yes.” And I’ll introduce the
general concept of cheating or academic integrity seems universal. It’s good news for us that
our international students agreed to the importance of following academic integrity policies here. Then, when the students were
asked whether they were taught about academic integrity
in their high school or college or university
in their own countries, more then 70% of the respondents
said they were taught, not 100% but this may not seem bad news. But what I like to ask you to
understand is what they were taught about academic integrity
policies of their countries, not the policies that we practice here. Then, a germane question for us is, would be, whether the students were given any information about
how academic integrity is interpreted and enforced in the U.S. before they come to the U.S. As you can see, just more
than half of the respondents were exposed to American
concept and practice of academic integrity. Now we have a better idea, understanding, they are not truly ready
upon their arrival. In addition, they may
have incorrect assumptions that they have a good
understanding of the actions that constitute academic dishonesty in each of their UB classes based on their
understanding of the concept and practices in their home countries. Almost all students think they
have a good understanding, as you can see, however, again, I ask you to be mindful of
interpreting this result as they may not be very
confident about understanding and how to practice academic
integrity here, in fact. Thus, this result may help
you to better understand what our international students think constitute academic dishonesty based on their knowledge and experience. Students were asked to
choose all that apply. The higher in this
table, the more commonly or clearly considered to
be academic dishonesty. Clearly, to them, copying a
friend’s answer to a class quiz, bringing a paper or cellphone to an exam, or pretending to be another student is considered to be academic dishonesty, but fewer than half of
the students respondents considered summarizing
someone else’s ideas in their own words without
giving proper citations of the true author or
helping his classmate with a homework assignment
to be academic dishonesty. To add more details,
additional open-ended comments to relevant questions
includes students remarks on communitive learning, or
intellectual collaboration that they value highly. They claim, verbatim, “Giving
the answer is one thing. “Helping to understand “certain aspects of the
assignment is another.” They even wonder, “Why
would there be consequences “if someone helps his or
her classmate with homework “as we are encouraged to help
each other with homework, “so everybody understands the concept.” Thus, our international
students’ perspectives on academic dishonesty and integrity may be very different from ours. Now we understand what our
students need to be taught and what we need to be clearer about. Then I hope we also
understand the students may not have a good understanding
about the consequences to violating the policies here. For example, when we ask,
“What are the consequences “in your home country
to helping a classmate “with or receiving help
on a class test or exam?” First, the range of the
consequences is wide. And also, the consequences
seem to be lighter than we practice here. When caught, they may
receive an F or Zero grade or encounter dismissal
from class or the school. The consequences depend
on the type of the exam, professors, or the university. But they also added
that it is very common, and generally we are given a lower score, but never failed. Or there may be no consequence at all. Now I present to you
another notable difference in the consequences to buying or selling academic papers for
submission for a course. The responses vary, notably, receive an F is lower than 50%, other responses include surprising comments such as, verbatim, “It’s actually encouraged
to buy the old exams “for more practice.” As students in some
cultures were encouraged to reproduce the test to
honor the idea of others and also learn the subject and the content matters more thoroughly, it is highly likely that they memorized the keys to the old exams, the whole essays or whole paragraphs. It is also possible that
some of the respondents might have misunderstood the question. But still, these results
sheds some insights for us on different perspectives, understandings and their practices here. The other important result that I want to share with you today is about international
students’ lack of knowledge or different understanding
about the requirement to cite the true author. As these figures show and also additional comments suggest students added, verbatim,
“There is no citation required.” And also they said, “There is often a prevalent understanding “all what we have known “are the collective
intelligence of others.” In other words, we seem to assume that all knowledge is built on others, thus, the concept of citation is not as important as it
is in the U.S. context. Specifically, “In the field
of academia,” they said. This is another area on which
our international students need good guidance and instruction. And now, Keith is going
to share some detailed suggestions for U.S. faculty, thank you. – Thank you, everybody. So, as we wrap up here,
in the last few minutes, we just wanted to summarize
with a couple general tips. First of all discussing the
philosophy on originality so that your students understand
the reason for your policy. So you might think of this as the Why, why you have a particular policy for academic integrity in your class. Secondly, clearly stating
the policy in your syllabus with the actions that are
allowed and not allowed. So this is sort of the details, the What, the Why and the What. As we’ve heard from our presenters today, there is a wide range
students have experienced in their K through 12 systems
or in undergraduate programs before coming here to UB. And I could hear some of
you making little sounds of agreement, or I could
see some of you nodding during the presentation. We’ve also, you know, we’ve
grown up here in the U.S. or in an American system of education, we’ve seen some diversity as
well in our own experiences. So this is a classic
example of what’s good for international students is also good for the domestic students
to make sure everybody is on the same page. Our third tip is consider
discussing how the violators will actually be detected. This idea that we all know
that there are some things that are right or wrong, but you know, maybe it’s not enforced, or
maybe it’s not really important leads to questions like this, like, well how is anybody going
to even know, you know. In some majors, they
have very specific means for detecting cheating,
including using software to analyze students’ homework
assignments or projects. So, helping the students
to understand the detail, I think, gives them a better understanding of what is important. Next, explaining what will happen if they commit an act
of academic dishonesty, giving examples whenever
possible, or telling students, telling stories about what
other students have done and what has happened to them. Again, on this campus,
there’s a wide range of what is normal in
different departments. There’s a wide range of professors with very different ways
of punishing students, everything from just doing it
over to just a verbal warning to failing the entire course. So our recommendation for faculty is to be as clear as possible in terms of what you and
your specific course will do, again, with examples if
possible to really emphasize, yes, this actually will happen. This isn’t just a rule, but this is what has already
happened to other students. Last one here, be clear about
the likelihood, so not just, “This is the policy, this
is what could happen,” but how likely is it
that violating the policy will lead to some sort of
punishment or consequence. So, if students have this
idea that it’s not enforced, or that it’s really not important, you know, maybe it’s a
requirement from the department that they have to say
this on the syllabus, but the professor doesn’t
actually think it’s important, I think there’s a lot we can
do to make that more clear. Of course, this doesn’t
solve everything entirely, but these are our tips, and
we think that this would help to make it a little
bit less of a problem or to make it more of a shared
understanding for students. A final tip is, if you don’t teach
things like how to cite, or if you’d like resources
to refer students to, many of them exist online,
UB’s own library web pages have some good resources as well. But the classic one that
you’ll hear people reference again and again is the
OWL website from Purdue, Online Writing Lab, I think is the OWL. The Purdue OWL, Google
that, and you’ll find that, and there’s great resources there that you can share with students. And our final tip, or
final recommendation, would be for faculty
to consider looking at some of the other webcasts which have been created here at UB,
these all feature content generated by international
students from UB. So their words, their ideas. Most of the students, many of the students who contributed to these
are our Ph.D students here who aren’t necessarily new students, so they have a more nuanced understanding of some of the differences between the American educational
system and home country, so you’ll see that there’s a
variety of different countries that have been focused
on over the years here. And we’re right here
at, right on time here, at a quarter to two, so we’ll be happy, we meaning the students
primarily, hopefully, would be happy to answer
questions you have. And just to be clear, the
slides that you’ve seen, these are mainly the points
of shared understanding between the students. You heard some specific
comments where they said, “In my country,” or, “In this country,” but most of the slides that
don’t have that preface were things that were
considered to be fairly common between the different countries. So that’s what you got here today. – So, in South Korea, we don’t really do, we don’t do like
criticizing others’ opinion. Especially, we do book
review, we do have some, but it’s more like reflection paper. So I write about my opinion,
oh I like this book, this point is great, but
we don’t really critique. But when I wrote my book
review, I felt, at first, I felt, can I critique it, because the book author
has more knowledge, the book author has
higher authority than me, how can I critique that opinion. So that’s how I felt, but
later on, I gradually learning about it, but that’s what I felt at first. – So I didn’t do any criticism
in my high school years. And generally critiquing
comments from teachers are widely accepted,
however from fellow students it’s more of a matter
of their personality. They might take it and hurt their ego or they might take it constructively. So depends from person to person. And generally, it’s not introduced
in high school in India. – I am originally South
Korean, and I interact with a lot of international
student from diverse cultural backgrounds, and they are strong, they are strongly trained with the memorization skills
because this is one of the greatest ways to thoroughly
understand a concept. Understanding the concept
is the most important, and this is one of the
best ways they think, that they work with their
student in their countries. So they are focused on the comparisons in the country, they are good with it, and most of the test
items require students be able to respond to those needs. And the national exams, the
local and regional exams, are focused on those skills. So that’s why, as you
mentioned, critical thinking and the creativity are
one of those key areas many international
students need to work on and need, so that means we need to work on developing those skill
areas when they are here and because those are
important 21st Century skills for our students. As you already know,
there are different ways of knowing and many
international students are trained and encouraged to learn the ways from authority figures because again understanding the concept,
memorization the most important and then after then they will be possible if there’s room still
in the school systems and they will be trained to do more. And some of the students,
if they are lucky enough to meet those mentors
and they will be engaged in those enrichment
opportunities to engage in critical thinking and
discussions and debates but this is limited
because one of the goals is entering the prestigious
national university in that case. So when I’m working with the
student, international student in my graduate and undergraduate classes, some of the ways that
I intend to incorporate is using peers in the
classroom so I have them lead the discussion of the
week, so week after week, they are the leaders of the session. But I am behind the scene,
so they are reluctant to lead a discussion, graded discussion, but I am there the week before they submit their proposal
of their questions how to labor their
question how to facilitate and to question and how to group them and with my feedback, and then they really design the forum in the
session online or in class, they are the leaders and their peers perceive them as competent leaders. This is how I think we
can help them grow to be critical thinkers and
also critical leaders in the classrooms, and now our UB classes. – I was thinking I have taken
a few philosophy classes and I thought that was very useful, so if you could do a tiny
introduction to the concept of critical thinking
itself and the concept of questioning authority and of sources, if considering where
information comes from, and of the vested interest or the biases that the originator of the information has and the very concept of
questioning something that’s in the textbook even,
or something that’s online, something that’s considered published but not, may not
necessarily be 100% accurate can still be questioned, the Why concept, you know, is I think a
good thing to introduce. And also maybe stating
clearly, which I mean, you probably already do that, is you know, telling your students
that I would like to hear your opinion on this issue
and specifically requesting it say, “Has anybody had any
experience to do with this? “Does it have something that
they think would be useful “to add to the discussion,”
maybe starting off slow and then leading up to
more intense participation. – One of the recommendations
I can make for you is to make networking so you
can have ambassador programs from your programs, the different majors an international student, so that they can share their stories, some successes or some trials
and errors and difficulties. So how to tackle the disciplines
in the fields in the U.S. And also the global positions. So that would be helpful
for international students. – I personally struggled
with this question myself although I’ve been
lucky because my parents didn’t force me into
any particular stream. But I would suggest, I
think, the Career Office, Services Office already
suggested students take the My Plan Assessment which
is actually quite interesting. I mean, it’s very
extensive and it tells you what your strengths and weaknesses are and that sort of thing. But also I think to help
with parents and that sort of thing, it might be helpful to have students find what
their prospects are with a different major
and to think about a job and career because that’s
what usually parents are worried about and that’s
what they’d like to hear about is concrete prospects.