On Thursday, September 26, 2019, a team of VIU faculty and staff held a hands-on workshop on professional values. The goals of the workshop were to highlight the core values of professionalism, explore what these values mean to us as a learning community and as individuals, and link professionalism with academic integrity. While there, students discussed fundamental values they live by especially those that guide them as they prepare for their professional careers. The discussion in the large group of more than 40 students was led by Dr. Ilham Nasser, Dean of the School of Education, and Dr. Qamar-ul Huda, Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs.
The professional values addressed included honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage based on the International Center for Academic Integrity’s publication (By Fishman, 2014). This was led by a hands-on activity on writing professionally and with integrity led by Dr. Rebecca Sachs who highlighted ways students can identify instances of plagiarism and their implications on classrooms, local communities, and societies at large. The activity linked being a professional with the values identified earlier.
Students then worked in small groups headed by VIU faculty and staff to paraphrase and summarize the definitions of the key values mentioned above. They reviewed and commented, in pairs, on examples of plagiarism, focusing on the importance of crediting work to those who originally created it in order to honor intellectual property rights. After completion of the program, everyone enjoyed a barbeque lunch organized by the Student Experience Department and the Facilities and IT teams.