Academic Integrity in Asynchronous Classes

Maintaining academic integrity in online learning is challenging. In asynchronous classes, students complete their work when it fits into their schedule. The teacher isn’t watching over them as they complete assignments and assessments. When students submit work, a teacher must determine if it is authentic and if it shows their understanding of the content and outcomes to be achieved. This is a challenging part. How do we, as teachers, determine this?

Before students can proceed with my online courses, they must read through a lesson and pass a “quiz” to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of Academic Integrity. The lesson contains information about:

  • What is academic integrity?
  • The importance of academic integrity
  • The values associated with academic integrity.

The lesson and pre-quiz aim to educate students about the importance of submitting their own work. Although each student is required to complete the lesson and quiz, this does not mean that we don’t come across work that is copied, plagiarized, or generated through AI.

After watching Dr. Kouros’ lecture, I realized how little I knew about AI. The possibilities with AI seem endless. So, how do we, as educators, deal with AI’s ever-changing capacities? How do we educate our students about the biases, misinformation, and inaccuracies that exist when using AI?

Throughout my career, I have encountered situations in which a student’s academic integrity has been questioned. Whether they were writing the answers on their hands, copying from other students, using work that was not cited, or copying and pasting from the internet, students must always be reminded of the importance of completing their own work and showing what they have learned.

When it comes to AI, I have so much to learn!  As an educator, I must acknowledge the new technologies that exist and teach my students (and myself!) how to use them appropriately. This requires me to have an open mind, and to realize that you never truly, stop learning.


Accessibility and Equity

Last week’s class on equity and accessibility made me reflect on my understanding of the terms and my current teaching practices. Equity includes treating some people differently and considering people’s particular needs and situations. At the same time, accessibility makes information, activities, and/or environments sensible, meaningful, and usable for as many people as possible (SeeWriteHear, 2020)

  • Accessibility is about equity
  • Accessibility is about cultural practice
  • Accessibility is about people
  • Accessibility is about compliance
  • Accessibility is about usability
  • Accessibility is about context (SeeWriteHear, 2022).

As I reflect on the concepts of equity and accessibility, I need to ask myself the following questions:


  • Am I providing equal opportunities for all students to succeed in my classes?
  • Do I recognize and address my students’ diverse needs and backgrounds?
  • How can I ensure that each student has access to the resources and support they need to thrive academically?
  • Am I aware of potential biases in my teaching methods, assessments, and student interactions?


  • Is the course content accessible to students with disabilities or diverse learning needs?
  • Have I provided alternative formats (e.g., transcripts, captions, audio descriptions) for multimedia content?
  • Have I considered the usability of online platforms and tools for students with various technological skills or limitations?

I acknowledge that there are many areas for improvement in my classes. The following article provides 20 ways teachers can make enhance accessiblity in their classes. Ranging from using clear and consistent layouts to keeping paragraphs short, this article is a good resource to help teachers implement simple adjustments to their classes, as a way to foster greater accessibility in their teaching.


To Be Honest……

To be completely honest, sharing my work with my classmates overwhelms me. Despite my years of teaching, and having taught many different classes and doing SO many lesson plans, the fear of someone looking at my work and saying it isn’t good enough scares me. I know the importance of feedback. Feedback is essential for my growth and development. Feedback provides me with new information from a different lens which helps me to improve my work. That said, I am very grateful for the feedback and comments my classmates provided me. Their feedback made me look at how I can make my course better.

“It’s incredibly exciting to have your work seen by others, to have others respond to it.”

I’ll begin by discussing the feedback I’ve received and outlining how I can make improvements. Afterward, I’ll share some positive comments from my classmates regarding aspects they appreciated in my course.

Feedback #1: Reaching out to each student individually at the beginning of a course. Yes, I completely agree that this would be incredibly time-consuming. An expectation that we have as online teachers, is to send a welcome email to all students that are enrolled in our courses. This email is just an introductory email to welcome them to the course and provide a bit of information about the course and how they can contact me. I ask students to respond to my email- usually but asking them a few random questions- so that I can confirm that they have received the email and that this is the correct email address they would like me to use during the semester.

Feedback #2: I indicated that interactions among students can be challenging due to learners completing assignments on different timelines. A suggestion could be for me to encourage students to collaborate through Discord and that is a great idea. Moving forward with my classes, I am going to try a platform like Discord, so that students have a place where they can ask questions and connect.

Feedback #3: In one of my interative videos, I need to add a pause so students have the opportunity to read and answer the questions. I will definitely make that improvement.

Feedback #4: There are some technical issues that I need to fix. My audio wasn’t working in my H5P Presentation, and for my Blog Post some information was cut off. Both will be easy to fix.

I am grateful for the positive feedback I received from my classmates. I appreciated learning that they found my course “professional” and “ready to go”.  I am glad that they found my course easy to navigate and that my course “accommodates learning styles through choice of assignments, lessons and assessments.” I took all of the feedback and comments I received and created a wordcloud.


Word Cloud

Module #1: Updated

Update! In my previous post, I shared several H5P’s I created from Lumi. I thought it was going to be a breeze to upload my H5P’s to Moodle. Unfortunately, I encountered several errors. Instead of trying to figure out why they were not uploading, I ended up creating new H5P’s right in my Moodle course. I created H5P’s for Course Presentations, Quizzes, and Interactive Videos. I enjoy using H5P’s because I can make them as simple as an Entrance or Exit Slip type formative assessment, to something more complex like a quiz that contains several different types of questions. Since I am unable to share a direct link to my Moodle platform, I’ve prepared a Screencast guiding you through my course. You can access it by clicking on the following link.

Below are a few screenshots of my course.


Mental Health Studies Module #1- Lumi

In the first module of my Mental Health Studies course, I have used several H5P activities. When I first started working with H5P’s it took me quite a while to get the hang of it, but now I am quite familiar with them and enjoy using them to create interactive content for my online classes. What is really convenient about H5P’s is that I can create them through Lumi, download them and embed them into Moodle.

In this first module, I will use a combination of formative and summative assessments

Welcome Module!

Lumi Activity#1: What Brings You Here?

Module 1- Introduction to Mental Health

Outcomes: MHS20.1

  • I can understand what positive mental health is and how it affects my well-being.
  • I can advocate, raise awareness and reduce stigma for positive mental health.
  1. Pre-Quiz: Students will complete a questionnaire  Lumi Activity #2 to see what they believe they already know about mental health.
  2. Lesson #1: Introduction to Mental Health Presentation Lumi Activity #3 I have embedded questions in the presentation, so as students go through the presentation, they will be asked to answer questions and check their understanding.
  3. Lesson #2: We are going to explore the difference in Mental Health States. In the video, Dr. Kutcher explains the different states of mental health Lumi Activity #4
  4. Assessment on lesson 1 and 2 to test understanding of the various mental health states. Lumi Activity #5

Different times. Different locations. Disconnected.

I have been teaching asynchronous classes for four years. There are a lot of benefits of asynchronous learning; however, one of the downsides is the lack of personal interaction and engagement. When I look over my courses to see how much interaction there is between my students, the reality is that I have very little opportunity for my students to connect. This prompts me to reflect:  How can I build an online community in my asynchronous classes?

In an ideal situation, students would actively participate in their online classes by confidently posting videos, participating in forums, and providing feedback to their peers. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The challenge of asynchronous learning lies in its inherent flexibility, where students progress at their own pace. As a result, forging connections becomes a difficult task.  While synchronous interactions are limited or non-existent, building meaningful relationships and creating a supportive learning environment is still possible.  In order to improve my community building in my asynchronous courses, I  am using the guidelines outlined by Lindsay Harris in her article Building Community and Connection Between Students and Instructors in Asynchronous Course. I really like how Harris’ guidelines are simple yet effective.  Below, I have reflected on some of my current online practices and methods and have come up with one new idea that I will be adding to my courses:

  • Getting to know each other
    • Teacher Intro Video (Screencast-O-Matic)
    • Student Get to Know You Survey
    • Forum that students post on: grade, hobbies and interests, favorite classes, food etc.
    • New idea: Students create intro videos,  students do a personality test (color test)
  • Empathy
    • Provide check-ins through Moodle Questionnaires
    • Provide clear and concise videos walking students through my course
    • Use more empathy statements “I am here for you”, “If you have any difficulty, please reach out”
    •  New idea: Course empathy statement sheet
        • I am here for you.
        • My goal is for you to learn and understand the material and see how it applies to your life.
        • I am here to support you.
  • Communication
    • Be very clear how students can contact me and when (email or message me in Moodle)
    • Moodle Messaging allows me to select which students (or all) to send group messages to
    • Monday Morning Memos go out each Monday through Moodle Announcements Forum
    • Create Meili’s Motivational through Moodle Blocks
    • New idea: Send out a Weekly Wrap-Up Video Message on Friday
  • Feedback
    • Give praise when students demonstrate effort and strong understanding of the content
    • When students struggle with an assessment, provide specific information on how they could do better in the future.
    • Provide feedback in a timely manner.
    • New idea: Provide individualized audio feedback




Mental Health Education in Schools

As an educator, I aim to create an inviting, inclusive learning environment so my students can succeed. Some of my students can succeed in this environment; others cannot. Unfortunately, for some of my students, coming to school each day is a struggle no matter what environment I create. The mental health struggles of our students are a concern for all stakeholders in education. When our students struggle with their mental health, they often struggle in silence. They feel stigmatized. They have no one to turn to. It isn’t until poor academic performance, that someone notices and begins to ask why. Multiple factors affect mental health and they extend beyond the academic. If so many students are struggling, what can the education system do to contribute to the enhanced positive mental health in children and youth?

Currently, in Saskatchewan schools, students are not required to take a mental health course, despite stats showing that 38 per cent of surveyed children and youth in Saskatchewan reported a decline in their mental health as a result of the pandemic.With statistics so alarming, we have to ask the question, what are schools doing to promote mental health literacy and awareness?

The Government of Saskatchewan has acknowledged the urgent need to address the mental health and well-being of students since the pandemic by including Mental Health and well-being as one of the four pillars of the Provincial Education Plan Framework and with its recent funding announcement, it solidifies its further commitment. To further support Mental Health in Schools, The Mental Health Capacity Building Program is an initiative that the Government of Saskatchewan is investing in and promoting. The program is currently in a number of schools, and “focuses on prevention and mental health promotion, early identification and intervention.”

As part of this comprehensive approach to student well-being, I am so pleased that some school divisions are offering mental health courses as a proactive effort to raise awareness about mental health. I have had the privilege of teaching a Mental Health Studies course face-to-face, in previous years, however there was never an opportunity for online students to take the course. The course I am designing is a fully online Mental Health Studies 20 course available to students. My prototype can be found below.

Mental Health Studies 20