At the outset of a new academic year, we'd do well to reflect on how we pitch academic integrity—and the concept of cheating—to our students. Not only does it affect how they see us as teachers and scholars; it also affects in profound ways how we see (or don't see) students as complex human beings. And this asks us to go against our gut reactions to the apparent moral legibility of cheating. If we understand cheating as an evasive concept, and as a product of our institutions, we're much less likely to incentivize it.
In response to the American Bar Association's new learning outcomes for law students, Professor Roberta Harding adapted strategies from digital humanities and gamification to legal education. Using the Ivanhoe software, Professor Harding designed a semester-long, role-playing, digital game in order to reimagine how students approached casework in an introductory criminal law course.
As a university committed to creating inclusive learning environments, we must remember that our pedagogical practices and philosophies are not crafted in insolation from our social, political, and cultural environments. The psychic and emotional injury spurred by the events of this past summer will continue to reverberate across campus as we move into the fall semester. When we boldly address the lingering effects of trauma through our pedagogical practices, we demonstrate how the campus actively creates space for the civic development of students, staff, faculty, and administration.