Academic Integrity and Professionalism go Hand in Hand
Fiona HermannPrincipal Academic Staff Member, Centre for Health and Social Practice: Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec), Waikato, New Zealand
We start right on day one explaining this to our students… That the way you are perceived as a student will be the way you're perceived as a health professional… It goes hand in glove, academic integrity with professionalism.
Fiona Hermann pioneered the use of Turnitin for online marking and delivering feedback to her Midwifery students on this highly intensive course which combines clinical experience and theory at Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) in New Zealand. As a midwife herself with over 30 years of experience, and as a previous regional chairperson of the of the New Zealand College of Midwives Turnitin has enabled Fiona to align core standards of professionalism, which she feels is fundamental for any future healthcare practitioner with academic integrity:
"We start right on day one explaining this to our students… That the way you are perceived as a student will be the way you're perceived as a health professional… It goes hand in glove, academic integrity with professionalism."
The nature of this very vocational course means that her students often lead extremely busy lives as they strive to combine work and study, with many midwifery students coming to tertiary education after having other careers and for some, academic writing does not come naturally. Fiona uses online feedback as a formative mechanism to inform future learning and motivate her students, enabling them to aspire to the highest possible standards of clinical and professional excellence.
Fiona's key tip: Fiona uses Turnitin’s voice comments to enable her to personalise the feedback she provides to students conveying the appropriate tone of voice and warmth, aspects which can be lost in written feedback. She feels this develops an “enhanced rapport and connection” with her students. Through nurturing this partnership Fiona hopes such good practice will be reflected in the way in which her students interact with the women and their families who they will ultimately care for, once qualified.