TAPP Radio Ep. 25 TRANSCRIPT
Promoting Academic Integrity in Our Course
The A&P Professor podcast (TAPP radio) episodes are made for listening, not reading. This transcript is provided for your convenience, but hey, it’s just not possible to capture the emphasis and dramatic delivery of the audio version. Or the cool theme music. Or laughs and snorts. And because it’s generated by a combo of machine and human transcription, it may not be exactly right. So I strongly recommend listening by clicking the LISTEN button provided.
Episode 25 Transcript
Promoting Academic Integrity in Our Course
Kevin Patton: The novelist Harper Lee once wrote, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Aileen: Welcome to The A&P Professor, a few minutes to focus on teaching human anatomy and physiology, with host, Kevin Patton.
Kevin Patton: In this episode, we start off with a song and move on to lymphatic capillaries and finally, academic integrity. I follow the HAPSblog. That’s the blog from the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, HAPS, and if you do too, you may have seen the recent posting by Dr. Greg Crowther in which he puts out a friendly challenge to A&P teachers about using songs to get our A&P students thinking about the core concepts of the course.
Greg Crowther sings A Physiologist’s Blessing
Kevin Patton: I have a link in the Episode page and in the Show Notes, so I strongly recommend that you go to that blog post and look at his challenge and consider joining in. I think it would be a fun thing to do. One of the things that he puts in there is a link to a song that he uses on the first day of class. It’s called A Physiologist’s Blessing, and I’m going to play it for you in a moment. I have his permission to do that. And I think it really sparks some great ideas, and it’s just a great thing just all by itself and it’s kind of fun.
Kevin Patton: I’ve already talked about how playfulness in class can really spark student learning and really provide the kind of context and the kind of atmosphere that we want that’s really going to get our students excited about studying human anatomy and physiology. So, here it is.
Greg Crowther: (singing)
Kevin Patton: That was Greg Crowther. Check the Show Notes and the Episode page at theAPprofessor.org for links to his blog post at the HAPSblog and to the song.
Button & zipper junctions in the lymphatic capillaries
Kevin Patton: Don’t you just love those moments in our career teaching A&P where we run across some information that’s been out there for a little while that seems pretty basic and pretty important to our understanding of human structure and function and we somehow missed it? I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking, Oh, my gosh, everybody else knows this, but it just went right past me and I didn’t even see it and now I’m seeing it. How could I not have known that? And I wish I had known this a long time ago.
Kevin Patton: I just ran across some information like that, but we all have those kinds of moments. Right? Because how can anyone possibly keep up with this huge explosion of knowledge about human biology? There’s just too much out there to keep up with, so we do the best we can. And so I don’t feel bad about this. I feel kind of excited about the fact that I made this discovery. Maybe you already know this, maybe you don’t, but I’m going to share it with you because I think it’s kind of fun.
Kevin Patton: And that is the idea that there are junctions in between the endothelial cells that make up the wall of the lymphatic capillaries that are a little bit different than I ever imagined them. This was first proposed and demonstrated back in 2007, so it’s been out there for a while, and they’re still working on trying to iron out all the details of this, but we already know that the endothelial cells of the lymphatic capillaries are a little loosey-goosey. They actually overlap one another a little bit rather than being attached necessarily tightly end-to-end, and when they overlap a little bit they form little microscope valves that allows fluid from the tissues to push into the lumen of the lymphatic capillary. And then it becomes lymph and it travels the rest of the way through the lymphatic system and eventually is returned to the blood supply. That part we already knew.
Kevin Patton: What I didn’t know is that in 2007, we outlined the idea that there are certain types of junctions that allow that to occur, and they’re called button junctions and zipper junctions, and they’re actually called that. Can you believe that somebody didn’t get out their Latin and Greek dictionaries and try to put together a multi-syllable word for these junctions? But they didn’t because the button junctions, they’re like buttons, and these are the kind of junctions we would typically see in the adult lymphatic capillaries.
Kevin Patton: The way they work is just like a button on a shirt. Imagine, or maybe you don’t have to imagine that you’re wearing a shirt right now that is buttoned up the front. And imagine that the left side of your shirt and the right side of your shirt are adjacent endothelial cells that are forming the wall of the lymphatic capillary and they overlap a little bit just like they would in the lymphatic capillary. But they can’t be totally loose because they would just fall apart. They have to be held together at some point, and they are. They’re held together by buttons.
Kevin Patton: But think about the gaps between the buttons. Right now, try to slide a finger or two or maybe part of your hand in between two of the buttons on your shirt, and you can do that very easily. Imagine that that is fluid that is traveling from the interstitial space of the tissue, that’s tissue fluid that is traveling into the lumen of the lymphatic capillary and now it’s becoming lymphatic fluid. And that’s how it works. So, that little flap there that has formed between the buttons, that’s your lymphatic capillary valve that is allowing the fluid to come into the lumen of the lymphatic capillary in this case. And there are junctions just like those buttons made up of various proteins and they’re still kind of working out how they’re built and what they’re made of and so on, but they’re the same kinds of materials that you would find with other cellular junctions, but this is a unique kind of cellular junction.
Kevin Patton: Now what about zipper junctions? Those are junctions that the evidence so far indicates occur only during embryonic development. It seems that our lymphatic capillaries are mostly zipped up during embryonic development, at least certain stages of embryonic development, and then they eventually unzip, or the zippers sort of dissolve and they’re sort of reconstituted. We would call this a case of plasticity, where the cell is changing things around and changing the connections from buttons to a zipper.
Kevin Patton: Now think about how a zipper is built. Those connections between the two sides of the zipper, they’re made up of all kinds of little, tiny elements that hook together. So, therefore, it is a much more continuous junction compared to when we have buttons. So, imagine you have a shirt or a jacket or something that is zippered up the front instead of having buttons. Now, you can’t easily slip your finger or much of anything in between those two sides of your garment like you could with the buttoned-up garment, and so that’s preventing things from getting through. So, it’s important that embryologically we go through that step of changing from the zipper form to the button form.
Kevin Patton: The reason I ran across it recently was because there was a new study from some researchers at Yale that sort of accidentally … They were trying to produce some laboratory mice that were obese so they could do some studies on it. What they did was they accidentally produced some mice whose lacteals, the lymphatic capillaries in the intestinal villi, were zipped up instead of having buttons. That meant that the chylomicrons that should have been absorbed from the gut and into the lymphatic pathway weren’t being absorbed.
Kevin Patton: So, instead of ending up with obese mice, they ended up with mice that could not become obese because they weren’t absorbing fats that were in their diet. They were giving them more and more fat in their diet, and they just weren’t getting fat. Then they figured out what was going on. So, they’re thinking knowing about this might help control the condition in people who are already morbidly obese and maybe we can sort of shut down their absorption of fats for at least a little while until they’re in a healthier range.
Kevin Patton: I think I’m going to do this as a demonstration in my class from now on. I’m going to demonstrate using a shirt. Maybe I can take a shirt and a zippered garment and put them on the torso model from the lab and demonstrate that. Actually, the students themselves can do that if they have a buttoned or zippered garment on in class, and they can do that themselves and understand how the lymphatic capillaries work, including the lacteals.
Kevin Patton: And you might want to bring up this new information if you want. That might be a good opportunity to stimulate some critical thinking like, okay, let’s say we come up with a drug that can convert or maybe some kind of gene therapy or something that can convert the button form to the zipper form of connection in the lacteals. Would that really reduce a person’s weight? Well, let’s say it does, but what other consequences might that have? Could there be some unwanted side effects in that case? I think there probably could. That’s not a done deal yet, and so that kind of gets them thinking, not only thinking critically, but thinking scientifically, which is a form of critical thinking.
Kevin Patton: There you go, something new I learned. Maybe it’s new for you, too.
Featured: Methods to promote academic honesty and reduce cheating
Kevin Patton: I want to spend a few minutes talking about academic integrity or academic honesty. Now this is something I mentioned briefly in a previous episode and I promised I’d get back to it. Well, so here we are. Since our students are likely in an A&P course because they’re in training for a profession and are being held to professional norms in their practicum and clinical courses, then academic integrity is really a matter of, well, professional integrity. Maybe that’s where we should start.
Kevin Patton: In Ken Bain’s book What the Best College Teachers Do, which is one of my favorite books on teaching, he interviews a whole bunch of master teachers, people who are really well-respected and well-regarded by their peers and by their students, to find out, well, what makes a really great college teacher. One of the things I got out of the book is that all of those master teachers, they focus more on promoting a culture of integrity than they do on focusing solely on prevention and enforcement of rules regarding cheating and academic honesty.
Kevin Patton: So, the question is, how do we do that? What are some practical ways we can promote a culture of integrity? Well, one of the things, I believe, is to talk about it, bring it up. Now the first place we can bring it up is in the syllabus. In Episode 24 of this podcast, the syllabus episode, I mentioned this and I gave a link to a brief online article that I link to for my own syllabus. And I’ll include that link again in the Show Notes and Episode page for this episode. But you can put that into your own brief words, and you can do that in a way that is both professional and supportive rather than, oh, maybe our knee-jerk response of being condescending and rule-making.
Kevin Patton: You may remember from the syllabus episode, Episode 24, that my colleague Frank O’Neill’s concern in his syllabus is that by listing all the consequences of wrong action, he’s wondering if students get the wrong idea about them. But, really, he’s a very supportive and compassionate teacher, but that might not come through when our syllabus is not really cast in that light.
Kevin Patton: Maybe we can reflect on how we address academic integrity in our syllabus and then our other course materials using our Frank O’Neill filter as we do that to try and hear what we’re stating through the ears of a student, a student who’s just meeting us for the first time. I have a snippet from my own syllabus on the Show Notes and Episode page, and it’s not perfect by any means, but it might spark some ideas for putting it into you own words.
Kevin Patton: Besides the syllabus and other course documents, I think we should also talk about it in the classroom, talk about it face-to-face with students. As I mentioned earlier, consider framing it as part of their training as future professionals in their careers. Many of our A&P students are going into health professions and other fields where integrity is not only taken very seriously, it can also be a matter of life and death.
Kevin Patton: When I do this with my students, I usually tell them about how my wife, who is a nurse, and I always look at the State Nursing Newsletter when it comes in the mail, and we do that because we want to see if we know anybody who’s listed in the section that lists all the people who have been censured or lost their license or had other professional integrity issues. And as I look through those violations, a lot of them are violations that I think a lot of folks would look at them and think, oh, those are kind of little violations. Why are they getting hammered so hard for them?
Kevin Patton: But they’re not, really. They’re not little, things like not recording when meds are given to a patient or misreporting the number of pills that were removed from the dispensary. How many students feel like what they’re doing when they cheat in class is just a little thing and it doesn’t really matter? But there are serious life-altering consequences in the professional setting, aren’t there? Professional censure, loss of their professional license, meaning they can’t practice anymore. They might become target of a lawsuit. There might be criminal punishments involved. Besides that, their A&P teacher, a lot of people who know you are going to see it posted in the media.
Kevin Patton: And that kind of leads into a brief discussion of how integrity gets lost in the first place. There’s a lot of research that shows that dishonesty starts small and then slowly gets bigger. Sometimes quickly gets bigger, but it always starts small. We get into the habit of it, and soon we lose sight of the fact that what we’re doing isn’t acceptable and that it really does have consequences. And we lose sight of our own internal slide down that ethical road, a road that is not going to serve us well and it’s not going to serve others well. We need to ask, do we really want to be unethical as healthcare providers? Is that the direction we want to go in?
Kevin Patton: And on the flip side of that is, do we want unethical healthcare providers treating us or our family and friends or handling our patient records? This is usually the point where I, one of many things, where I bring up that recurring nightmare that all A&P teachers have. And don’t tell me that this has not occurred to you, having a dream where we wake up from unconsciousness as we’re wheeled into an emergency department or maybe we’re in an ambulance and we wake up from unconsciousness and we look up and we see the smiling face of a former A&P student.
Kevin Patton: Now here’s where it can change a bit from one night to another when we have this dream. It’s not always the same former student. Sometimes it’s that student who you caught cheating and they never changed their ways and they’re unethical, and we can imagine they’re going to take shortcuts with our care. They might steal our medicine or they might write down lies in the patient records that they’re giving us therapies that they’re not really giving or they’re writing down the wrong vital signs and so on because they’re not even taking them.
Kevin Patton: And then in the dream, that’s when you realize that your voice can’t be heard. Maybe you have an oxygen mask on and you’re having trouble getting through and you’re screaming and yelling, “No, no, no.” At that point is when you realize that you’re restrained on the gurney and you can’t move either, and so you’re panicking that this person who is dishonest is the one who’s in charge of care at a point when your life is in the balance. And then you wake up. And then some time later, you’re going to have that dream again.
Kevin Patton: So, phew, let’s get back on track here from that dream state and onto the right track, the track of developing honesty and integrity and off the track of making a habit of dishonesty and unethical behavior, that is, unprofessional behavior.
Kevin Patton: Another way to promote integrity besides having those conversations is prevention. Don’t give opportunities for cheating if you don’t have to. And I know, you all probably have a whole mess of strategies that you’re using right now for prevention. Hey, why not call in to the podcast hotline at 1-833-546-6336, that’s 1-833-Lion-Den, and briefly tell us about it. Really. Your phone is right there. I know it is. You have it handy, and when this segment is over, just hit Pause, call in, and then hit Play again.
Kevin Patton: Here are a few preventative measures that I recommend just to get us all thinking. One is use several versions of each test that you give in class. Now this is really easy with online tests, but these days, it really isn’t that hard to do it for paper tests as well. There’s all kinds of test editing software out there, like Respondus, which I’ve mentioned before, and others that let you randomize tests easily. It’s just a press of a button, a few keystrokes, and you have several different versions where the items are randomized. You may also have the option of randomizing choices within multiple choice items and matching items and other items where there are different choices given. So, that can produce different versions of the same test.
Kevin Patton: And think about starting to build up your own test bank, and that allows you to give some test items in one year and then the next year, take some of those test items and put them, well, like in a fallow field and let them just sit there for a year or two while you introduce new items. You’re always rotating in items, in and out, in and out, so that the tests become different from year to year. And add a few new ones every year. Take the old items and change them up so that they’re alternate versions of those old items.
Kevin Patton: Now, you have more items to choose from, and they’re still asking the same kind of information. They’re still testing the same student outcomes. And try to think up some completely new items. If you do that just a little bit every time you have a test, just add a few new items, few new items, before you know it, you’ve got 30 years of items built up. At least that’s what happened to me. I got this huge test bank now, and it really wasn’t much effort because it accumulates over time.
Kevin Patton: When I give a face-to-face test, I always have three or four versions. I hand those out in class, and they look identical from a few feet away. For a student, there’s a huge risk when they try to copy somebody’s answer because they’re not really sure whether that student that they’re looking at, looking at their answer key or their answer sheet, they don’t know whether it’s really the same test or not. And even if they can see the item they’re looking at, it may look similar but it may be a little bit different on that other student’s test.
Kevin Patton: And you can do something sort of like that for term papers, various projects like case studies and other things like that, and that is have multiple versions and swap them out from year to year or semester to semester. Swap out the topics that you give. Give different groups different topics to work on, different case studies maybe or different term paper topics and then pick case studies and term paper topics, assignment topics that are unique. Do a little crafting in there and try to make them things that they’re not going to be able to easily look up online and buy a term paper that’s already written or find a case study that’s already out there somewhere, or at least not the answers to the case study. So, there are some things that you can do to prevent cheating.
Kevin Patton: And then this one. This one’s really huge, I think. This one, if you don’t do anything else, at least do this. Give them examples. I think that many students don’t know what cheating is, really. I know it’s hard to believe, but I’m convinced of it. In fact, you are probably cheating right now in your teaching and either don’t know that what you’re doing is wrong or if you are aware of it, you’ve pushed that awareness down deeper than you’re conscious level of awareness, and I’ll prove that to you in just a minute.
Kevin Patton: But getting back to our students, a good example would be plagiarism. In my experience, a lot of students don’t really know what plagiarism is. At least they don’t know all the varieties of plagiarism. They might know how to do those different varieties of plagiarism, but they don’t necessarily know that what they’re doing is wrong and that it is a form of plagiarism. I think plagiarism just isn’t fully understood by a lot of people.
Kevin Patton: So, how do we fix that? We give examples. Give examples of what acceptable research and paraphrasing and quoting are, but then also give examples of things that are not acceptable and explain things that, well, like hiring a person to do your work is not legitimate. Buying a term paper online is not legitimate. And why is it not legitimate? Because those are the rules of the assignment. Those are the rules of the course. That’s why it’s not legitimate. You were told not to do that.
Kevin Patton: But if all you say is, “Don’t plagiarize,” they’re not necessarily going to know that they’re breaking the rules. They need to know where those lines are because, well, I think that a lot of us assume that they come into our course knowing that already, and in my experience, many of them don’t. And these could even be some of your best and brightest students who just are not aware of some of those kinds of plagiarism and that it’s wrong.
Kevin Patton: Another example that you could give would be logging in attendance for students who aren’t there. A lot of students don’t realize that’s not acceptable and that that, in fact, is dishonest. It’s cheating. Or another example would be getting help that they’re not supposed to get. Now I give a lot of online tests and they’re all open book, and I encourage my students to consult with one another, consult with anybody they want, do some research online to get the right answer. And when you have a test that’s as open as that, I think a lot of students get the idea that anything goes, that there’s no dishonesty possible.
Kevin Patton: But there are some lines there. For example, you can consult with other students, but it’s got to be you that enters the right answer or what answer you think is correct. In other words, the students needs to take all of that available information, even talking with other people, and then they need to enter it in. It is not acceptable to go to the ballgame while somebody else takes your test for you. You need to explain that to students, what is the acceptable behavior, what is not the acceptable behavior.
Kevin Patton: You may recall that first-day activity that I have my students do. I described it in Episode 24, the syllabus episode, so you might want to go back and look at that if you don’t remember it or didn’t listen to it in the first place. At the time, I believe I also mentioned that I give them case studies in academic honesty to work on in small groups. Here’s this imaginary scenario, here’s this imaginary student, and here’s what they do in this situation. Is that acceptable or not acceptable? And then they can talk through that and then get my feedback on what I believe is acceptable and maybe more importantly, what I would deem as dishonesty that I would act upon.
Kevin Patton: In my first test, test zero, which I also mentioned in Episode 24, where it’s a review of information I’d like them to know coming into the course, but also in there are some questions from the syllabus, I also put in there some questions about academic honesty so that they can get it wrong there as a test item and, hopefully, then they’ll realize where the lines are in terms of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.
Kevin Patton: And there’s just too many examples to give here, but these’ll get us started, get us thinking about how to do prevention in our class.
Kevin Patton: Now, it’s time for you to call in with your ideas. It’s a really great time to do that. Really. Hit Pause right now. Go ahead, hit Pause, call in, and then hit Play again, and we’ll pick it up. Okay, are you back? You didn’t do it, did you? Go ahead. Hit Pause right now, call in, takes a few seconds, with some idea. Even if it’s very obvious or you think it’s obvious to everyone, it may not be. So, go ahead, call in right now. Okay. I’ll assume that you did that or at least a few of you did that, or I hope just one of you did that at least. Come on, help me out here.
Kevin Patton: Let’s move on to the next topic, and that is consequences. We talked about having a talk about it. Then we talked about prevention, some ideas for prevention. Now, let’s talk about consequences. How are we going to handle that part of it? Well, having consequences and enforcing those consequences I think is part of this overall scenario of helping to promote a culture of integrity and ethical behavior.
Kevin Patton: Just like in the real world, the presence of those consequences does have some effect. But really, if this is what you’re relying on to teach honesty to your students, I’m not so sure it’s going to work very well for you. I think having consequences and enforcing those consequences is just one tool, and it has to be part of a whole bigger picture of many tools being used to promote honesty.
Kevin Patton: One of the things that we need to do relative to consequences is to be thoroughly familiar with our school’s policies and practices, and these change from time to time. So, it’s a common practice for me, especially this time of year where we’re starting a new academic season, where I’ll go back into the student handbook or wherever those policies and practices are spelled out for my school and review them again and make sure that I know what the steps are.
Kevin Patton: Oftentimes, there are several different possible scenarios or pathways that are laid out. Before anything happens in my course, I need to determine how I’m going to likely proceed in my own course. And then the next thing I’m going to do is tell my students how I’m going to likely proceed in my own course. I might lay that out in the syllabus. I might lay it out during that early conversation when we’re talking about academic honesty, or more likely, I’ll do it in both places, and I’ll lay out what will happen if they’re dishonest in my course.
Kevin Patton: A lot of schools have steps of consequences. They could eventually get to a point where a student is suspended or even expelled or they might even get retroactive revocation of credit for the course, and if that happens, that could lead to a revocation of a degree. I think it’s important to explain that, look, you might hope that all you’ll get is this is a small consequence or that moderate consequence, but you don’t know how things are going to proceed. You are risking this being a very, very serious consequence.
Kevin Patton: And then explain the consequences to their professional life, maybe even far into the future. Do they ever want to get government or military clearance some day? I’m sometimes interviewed by institutions where they’re doing a background check on a former student because they’re getting some kind of a security clearance. And what about students that are going to end up in a job in a field that requires strict confidentiality, like, oh, I don’t know, healthcare maybe or education?
Kevin Patton: There are a lot of fields like that, and word can get back, especially these days with so much data being easily available to employers that they might find that these things happened early on and they might not get the job. They might not get the promotion. They might lose the job that they already have because of this history of dishonesty and lack of integrity.
Kevin Patton: And it might not be a bad idea to explain to students that you have to take steps if you catch them cheating. And why do you have to? Because it’s your job, and you love your job and you want to keep your job, so you’re going to have to take steps if you catch them cheating. And if you don’t take steps, well, then word on the street is that you’re the kind of professor who looks the other way. And if word on the street is out there about your course and about how you handle dishonesty, well, there goes that job you love, and it casts a bad light on the program and the school.
Kevin Patton: Folks may get the idea that graduates from your school might be sketchy or incompetent. Then everyone with credentials from your school might get painted with that same brush. And then maybe the school closes because of it, and then you and all your friends, all of whom also love their jobs, are now out of work. And all your students who have a degree from that school, maybe they can’t get a job.
Kevin Patton: Okay, I know. That story got a little far-fetched, but it does illustrate the idea that enforcing consequences protects the quality of our students’ education, and it protects the value of their degree from our school. This promotes, I think, more of a group perspective on cheating. In other words, it’s not strictly a struggle between the teacher and the cheater. This is a social phenomenon. This is something that involves all of us, and that social understanding of the issue of academic honesty is what we need to establish in our course to maintain a culture of integrity in our course. At least that’s my view.
Kevin Patton: Now another strategy we have, besides having the talk, making sure we’re taking preventative steps, making sure that there are consequences and that we’re enforcing consequences, another strategy is to make sure that we are modeling professional integrity ourselves. What do I mean by that? Well, here’s an example. What about copyright issues, issues of intellectual property. There are a lot of myths out there about what is legal and not legal in terms of using copyrighted material in our courses.
Kevin Patton: And it’s no wonder, because the law is kind of complicated on that issue. Can we be sure that what we’re doing and how we’re doing it really does comply with the law? Do we know the ins and outs well enough to know for sure that we are not violating the copyright laws? For example, if we’re showing a video in class, is that really licensed for that use? Are we making fair use of it? What about copying lab activities out of a lab manual and distributing that or selling it in a bookstore, selling course packs containing copyrighted material in the college bookstore?
Kevin Patton: These are all pretty dicey and your college librarian can help you with those issues, and in an upcoming episode, I’m going to have a friend of mine who’s an expert in these matters help clarify some of these issues and maybe bust a few myths and help us find the material that we need to find.
Kevin Patton: But let’s leave that aside and come back to the idea that we are all probably violating laws or ethical norms without even realizing it, like this copyright thing. Just like our students might do when they’re plagiarizing and not realizing that what they do is actually is a form of plagiarism.
Kevin Patton: And what if we got caught maybe violating some copyright issues? What if there was an audit of our teaching materials and we got caught? How would we want to be treated? Well, sure, I think all of us would expect to have to take our lumps. It’s like when we’re speeding a little bit over the speed limit and we get caught, and we think, well, okay. Yep, I was speeding. I hope the fine isn’t too big and I hope this doesn’t increase my insurance rates and so on, but we’d expect to have to take the lumps. Right?
Kevin Patton: But would we expect to be treated like we’re pond scum? Would we expect the harshest possible punishment for what we consider a minor infraction? Would we expect to be believed that we thought, well, that we didn’t fully realize that we were transgressing the law? So, I’m thinking maybe we should think of that scenario a bit and let it sink in for a minute, and then maybe we’ll approach violations of academic integrity in our course with a bit more empathy than we otherwise might have.
Kevin Patton: So, yeah, I’m back to that empathy thing again. I think I’m offering coming back to empathy because, well, because I have to keep reminding myself every day to try as best I can to put myself into the skin of my students and walk around in it for a while, or into the minds of my students. It’s a struggle, for sure, some days more than others.
Kevin Patton: But I want to be very clear. I’m not saying that because I want to have empathy and compassion for my students that I’m going to tolerate academic dishonesty and that I’m not going to enforce the rules against it. Compassion requires that we hold people accountable. I just need to remember that I need to apply empathy when determining exactly what steps to take in each case, when I’m going to trigger the process of consequences, and when determining how I’m going to treat the students involved.
Kevin Patton: After all, these are students who have violated my trust in them, have violated their classmates’ trust in them, and probably really provoked me. But I want to be intentional about how I react, because the way I treat them will affect their lives going forward and will be part of what determines what kind of professionals, what kind of people they’ll eventually become.
Aileen: The A&P Professor is hosted by Kevin Patton, professor, blogger, and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology.
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