by Anne-Marie Quintino
Despite its “cartoon strip characters,” the Academic Integrity website is the best way to teach students about plagiarism and time management, according to the site’s officer, Donna Bell.
The new website stars Allison, Jared, Nikki and Sanford, four animated Ryerson students created to help real students with questions and concerns about their studies.
“The university wanted to choose a vehicle for learning that was also fun and entertaining,” said Bell. “Students have enough information coming to them through textbook format in their classes, so we wanted to have a unique format.”
Posters boasting the site’s tutorials and instruction guides are up across campus encouraging students to log on to www.ryerson.ca/academicintegrity.
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy said the site is “a job well done.”
“When I went through it, I thought they had identified the key issues,” he said.
But first-year radio and television arts student Mark Boffo said he thinks the initiative is doing more harm than good for the university’s image.
“While I understand that Ryerson means well with their Academic Integrity slogan, I think we should be trying to get away from the whole Rye High stereotype,” Boffo said.
Eli Wallach, a fourth-year graphic communications management student, said the animations are “kind of amateurish,” but he thinks they’re a useful tool.
“Cartoons and animations are popular right now,” Wallach said. “Ryerson doesn’t want to come off as a preppy institution, so staying current with today’s design trends is a great way for them to come off as friendly.”
The Academic Integrity model was created in 2004 by a committee of faculty and students that decided to create a site in the form of a graphic novel.
“I don’t think the site is juvenile at all,” said Bell. “This is Ryerson’s way of being interactive and engaging while providing students with the resources to succeed. There is no age group for comic strips lovers.”