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Learn about Canadian Standards…

…for academic integrity and Canadian academic culture

Canadian cultural patterns regarding worldview, non-verbal communication and communication styles shape the character of the Canadian academic culture. Some features of the Canadian academic culture are described below.

During your courses watch for how these features play out in the day-to-day interactions among students and between students and instructors. Compare these features to your home country’s academic culture. What are the differences and similarities? What about the Canadian system might be particularly challenging to you? Some features of the Canadian academic environment are:

  • Students are expected to compete yet be helpful to each other.
  • Students are expected to manage their time and be responsible for their own learning.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to ask for clarification and help. Don’t be embarrassed to say that you don’t understand something. If you don’t want to ask questions in class, all professors have set office hours when you can meet with them.
  • In oral and written work, the standard writing and presentation style is to have a clear thesis statement, followed by paragraphs developing this thesis and including formulations of one’s opinion, leading to a conclusion summarizing the central argument.
  • Criticism of work is expected and is not intended as a put down or insult.
  • While not mandatory, class attendance is often essential for successful completion of a course. Most professors supplement and clarify textbook information during class time.
  • Innovative approaches to problem solving are valued and intellectual disagreements are expected.
  • Individuals are expected to participate in class discussions.
  • Immediate answers to questions are not always possible and it is acceptable for someone in authority to say “I do not know” or “I’ll have to check that and get back to you”.
  • Handing in a difficult assignment that may not be your best work is preferred to not doing it at all.
  • Independent thinking and equal individual contributions to group assignments are valued.
  • A mix of gender in work groups is expected.

 Academic Integrity

Concordia University of Edmonton is dedicated to the highest level of academic integrity. Therefore, academic offences are taken very seriously. What are examples of academic offenses?

  • Copying parts or full assignments from online sources or books, and not properly citing them
  • Copying a friend’s assignment
  • Cheating in a test
  • Providing fake documentation
  • Changing grades in a grade book, on a computer, or on an assignment.
  • Obtaining a copy of a test before the test
  • Unauthorized use of computer or calculator programs
  • Accepting or providing outside help on online assignments or tests.

This list is indicative and is not an exhaustive list of academic offenses.

Since you are coming from a different culture, you will need to read up and learn about the rules of Canadian academia BEFORE you start your program.

To start with, you must know the proper format for footnotes and bibliographies (including internet resources) and check whether you are allowed to use notes, dictionaries, texts or calculators in examinations. If you are unsure, consult your instructor or supervisor.

Penalties for academic offenses include failing in the assignment or the course, being suspended from university for up to three years, or expulsion from the University. For more information please go to: https://concordia.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/POLICY-Turnitin-Policy.pdf