We are updating our policies. We will try to publish them as soon as possible.
Indes Accessibility best practice
Web accessibility “refers to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_accessibility)
The purpose of this document is to define good practices in terms of accessibility, which are followed by INDES in the development of its online courses.
INDES aims to ensure that all its online courses are accessible to any individual with disabilities. The purpose of the Best Practices in INDES accessibility policy is to create a methodology that guarantees this goal is achieved.
INDES is committed to not exclude or deny access to anyone of our courses due to any physical disabilities.
To successfully achieve the required changes needed to provide full accessibility to our website and as evidence of our commitment to web accessibility as previously defined, INDES has appointed an Accessibility Coordinator. The coordinator is familiar with the website accessibility and digital accessibility standards, is responsible of coordinating INDES' responsibilities in regards to accessibility, and for developing the INDES Best Practices and promoting a culture of inclusion.
An Accessibility Committee has also been created. The purpose of the Accessibility Coordinator is to collaborate in identifying accessibility issues and solutions in online courses. The Accessibility Coordinator outlines standards and guidelines for the universal design of digital materials and promotes an institutional culture of inclusion. An institutional commitment is essential.
To provide a better quality service it is necessary to adhere to the guidelines established by the W3C for Web Site Development and use international standards. We are working to ensure that our learning platform (http://indesvirtual.iadb.org/ ) follows the Web Accessibility Guidelines ("WCAG") 2.0 AA, published by the World Wide Web Consortium. The main pages already comply with these recommendations and we are working to make the rest of the pages and courses accessible.
The process of developing the recommendations outlined by this consortium could be somewhat complex and eventually costly, so we are approaching the introduction of accessibility improvements as an incremental process.
To achieve our objectives, we have developed a work plan that allows us to constantly review and update the accessibility of the site to improve our services:
1. Initial evaluation of the website
INDES is committed to conducting a rigorous evaluation of its learning platform, which makes possible to establish the level of the platform, the points it satisfies and the improvements to be made. These improvements are ordered according to their priority or impact on the accessibility of the site, in order to establish the priority order in which they will be addressed in the implementation stage.
This stage addresses the incorporation of the recommendations and any modifications that allow the errors detected in the previous stage to be solved. The first increment begins by addressing the highest priority checkpoints, and then moves on to the items with the next highest priority.
Once the implementation stage is completed, the extent to which we have complied with the verification points identified in stage 1 will be evaluated, for this purpose, it is necessary to reapply some of the evaluations.
4. Maintenance and training
INDES will carry out periodic revisions of the website, with the aim of continuing to offer the highest score in the accessibility of our learning platform. At the same time, any person working for INDES in the preparation or delivery of courses will receive the necessary training to maintain accessibility standards during the development of their work.
INDES is working on 3 basic accessibility principles:
- Comprehensibility: We work to create easily understandable content for people with disability.
- Browsing: We maximize Web accessibility and functionality using comprehensible mechanisms to browsing and the navigation of the site.
- Robustness: Our goal is that Accessibility will be continuous and last over time, by incrementally implementing accepted Standards and by deploying compatible technologies in the construction of new pages . We will also offer technical aids that allow people with disabilities to access to the helpful information.
Accessibility good practices in our courses
At INDES we aim to achieve the highest level of accessibility, and for this reason we have begun to implement a set of best practices as part of our courses. We are currently working at three levels:
1. Web designAWe built the courses within the course management system applying WCAG 2.0 criteria. WCAG 2.0 was published in December 2008 by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an international community of experts working together to develop Web standards. Among other requirements, we intend to comply with:
- We provide the Accessibility Policy link in each course and as part of the landing page of the site.
- New Courses are subjected by a strict technical process during. The tools used to evaluate accessibility include: WAVE, Color Contrast Checker y Colorblind Web Page Filter
- Documents and Files provided in our Courses in formats such as Adobe PDF files or Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) match aforementioned guidelines and are aligned with the Distant Education Accessible Guidelines published by Tech Research Georgia within the initiative of GRADE.
- Document identification: as a rule the following elements will be specified in each document through corresponding tags:
- Document Title: Document’s name.
- Description: Brief summary of the contents of the document.
- We provide external links helpful to students and we ensure that the guidelines mentioned above are fulfilled.
- Tutors also receive training on accessibility issues, providing them guidelines on how to design courses that are more accessible.
- INDES staff: oversees accessibility matters, by checking existing content, prioritizing content revision according to accessibility standards and managing a technical team, who will provide direct support to users. Request for technical support can be made by completing the following form INDES HELP.
- We provide a form through which users can provide feedback on any issues they might encounter within our website.
Since we use services delivered by multiple vendors we address accessibility issues according to each of such software applications and/or systems, as shown below:
The following document covers the following:
About Academic Integrity
Procedures to follow when there is suspicion of violation of academic integrity (academic dishonesty)
Disciplinary actions in case of proven academic dishonesty
Tools for preventing academic dishonesty
The Inter-American Development Bank – IADB, as a leader in training professionals on issues related to development in Latin America and the Caribbean, offers courses with high quality standards that satisfy the learning needs of all participants.
To ensure that standards of academic integrity are kept at its highest levels, we invite you to review this policy in order to understand the fundamentals of academic integrity and to be aware of the actions that will be taken when academic dishonesty and plagiarism have been detected.
The following policy describes integrity from an academic perspective and the procedures that will be followed when finding specific evidences of academic dishonesty or plagiarism.
I. About Academic Integrity
IDB defines integrity as a set of values that portray honest, respectful, responsible and assertive actions. It is a desire in our learning environments that the actions from our participants express:
- Honesty: to show knowledge about each and every decision or action taken during any learning activity, acknowledging ideas and words used by others by referencing the proper sources.
- Respect: to foster an environment that promotes honesty and open communication, acknowledging the work of others.
- Responsibility: to make decisions and take actions during all activities, bearing in mind that academic dishonesty and plagiarism are not actions accepted within any of our courses.
- Assertiveness: to act according to the rules, identifying the acceptable criteria for an appropriate relationship between participants and IADB.
The following information describes the policy related to identifying, communication and dealing with academic dishonesty. It includes processes and procedures, and defines the roles both IDB staff and participants will take in such situations.
II. Academic Dishonesty
Academic dishonesty is defined as the inability of maintaining academic integrity within a learning environment. It includes but is not limited to the following situations:
- Plagiarism: iIt is comprised of, but not limited to, the following actions, which may or may not be intentional:
- Copy-and-paste text of any online document without using quotes and properly cite the source;
- Copy text from any source (in print or digital format) without using quotes and proper citation;
- Present any work done by someone else as your own;
- Missing proper citation of sources of information and ideas;
- Edit slightly texts (change of a few words or order of words) that come from an external source without providing proper citation;
- Translate text without providing proper citation of actual source;
- Dishonesty: comprised but not limited to the following actions:
- Offer bribes for the elaboration of tasks, and present them partially or fully as your own;
- Buy or acquire exam answers and results;
- Ask for certificates and diplomas assuming someone else’s identity
- Cheating: within an academic context, cheating is defined as an intentional behavior, where the subject seeks out personal benefit that goes against the ethical principles of the educational institution Falsifying documents: in an academic context, the falsification of documents is defined as an act of manipulation of information to fulfill registration and/or obtain diplomas, certificates from the educational institution without successfully complying with defined requirements.
III. Procedures in cases where there is suspicion of academic dishonesty
In INDES, we understand that learning processes are a necessary part of vocational training and life in general. Rather than wanting to implement punitive processes, we focus on using such situations as learning opportunities towards greater authenticity. With this in mind, we will comply to the following procedures listed below when there are any suspicions of academic dishonesty:
- Reporting the suspicion of academic dishonesty: In case the instructor or tutor in an INDES courses has a suspicion that one or more participants are involved in any action of academic dishonesty, such suspicion must be reported with the appropriate evidence to the Coordinator of the course
- Inform the participant of the suspicion: The Coordinator will notify the participant(s) within 3 working days of the received report about the suspicion of academic dishonesty. The participant will have an opportunity to present his/her justification within 3 working days following the notification of such suspicion. The participant will remain in the class during the next steps and should continue to be involved in the course as s/he waits for the resolution on his/her case.
IV. Assess the case of academic dishonesty
The coordinator will have 7 days (after the first notification) to process and decide on a given case. The coordinator will solicit documents as evidence to support the case to the tutor. If, after receiving the justification and looking into the provided documentation, the Coordinator determines that there hasn’t been any act of academic dishonesty, the case is immediately closed. If on the other hand, the Coordinator believes that the provided evidence supports the suspicion of academic dishonesty, and that the participant’s justification does not change this outcome, the coordinator will notify the participant within 7 working days (from the date of notification) with the decision of the outcome and the respective disciplinary action (see below).
V. Disciplinary actions in proved cases of academic dishonesty
In cases in which it has been proven that any academic dishonesty action has taken place, one or more of the following measures should be considered:
- Request submission of complete or partial new assignment/activity with specific short time frame. The new submission will be considered within a 100% of the original grade assigned to the activity, or within a reduced range.
- Immediate reduction of the grade for the assignment in question. The amount of the reduction will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the coordinator in consultation with the tutor.
- Grade of zero for the assignment/activity.
- Admonishment only, without any grade change. The assignment will be accepted and graded, and the participant will be cautioned about the seriousness of the incident, with a possible drastic measure of full dismissal in case such a situation reoccurs.
- Dismissal in cases where the situation is repeated. In such cases, the participant will not be allowed to take any future courses from INDES within a specific time frame.
Participants who have been dismissed from a course because of academic dishonesty will be ineligible for any INDES course for a full year starting on the date of the notification of the respective case.
V. Appeals process
In cases where the participant does not agree with the decision made by the coordinator, s/he can start an appeal process within three business days after the final decision. This will be done via email directly to the coordinator, through which the participant should state why his/her work should be re-considered.
VI. Tools to prevent academic dishonesty
With the goal of promoting a culture of academic integrity within all INDES courses, we provide below a list of tools and resources with further information on how to avoid academic dishonesty and plagiarism.
1. How to cite and create references in APA format?
2. Examples of citations in different formats
3. Turnitin (http://www.turnitin.com)
Turnitin is software by INDES to prevent and detect possible cases of plagiarism during your academic activities within INDES online courses. This tool, which is embedded within our online platform, will allow students to visualize their work and improve their writing, while giving tutors the opportunity to detect cases of plagiarism.
4. How to avoid plagiarism - http://en.writecheck.com/ways-to-avoid-plagiarism/
Note: To correctly cite different bibliographical resources, there are a variety of formats and standards. The one adopted by INDES is called APA, in its 6th edition. The Internet has various sites with information on how to use the APA style appropriately.
References for this document:
• Medina, M. & Verdejo, A. (2011). Estrategias y recomendaciones para la prevención del plagio en el contexto universitario. Recuperado de http://cea.uprrp.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/estrategias_y_recomendaciones_en_prevencion_del_plagio_finalseg.pdf
• National University (2015). Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. Recuperado de http://www.nu.edu/OurPrograms/StudentServices/AcademicPoliciesandP/AcademicDishonestyan.html
• Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal. (2015). Cómo citar con diferentes formatos . Recuperado de http://www.redalyc.org/comocitar.oa?id=27012440002
• Tecnológico de Monterrey (s.f.). Plagio, deshonestidad académica y trabajo colaborativo. Recuperado de http://www.cem.itesm.mx/consulta/plagio/
• The University of Sydney (2011). Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism in Coursework Policy. Recuperado de http://sydney.edu.au/policies/showdoc.aspx?recnum=PDOC2012/254&RendNum=0
• University of Maryland University College (2015). Academic Dishonesty and Plagiarism. Recuperado de https://www.umuc.edu/policies/academicpolicies/aa15025.cfm
INDES takes our communications seriously following ethical principles and maintaining respect. This Policy provides communication guidelines to all users taking part in any of our capacity building activities. These must be adhered to in the following situations:
1. Posting a message in a class forum (includes written, audio or video).
2. Writing or sharing messages in a group forum.
3. Contacting colleague/s from the course through the communication channels provided by the Virtual Classroom.
4. Communicating with the instructor, teacher or teacher assistant
5. Opening a ticket or sending messages to technical support.
6. Any communication during live sessions associated in any way to the course.
This list does not encompass all situations related to communication.
1. Think before writing. Avoid words that may be annoying or offensive. What is considered "offensive" can vary widely, remember that different cultures have different customs.
2. Consider that in the activity in which you participate there are always people with different educational and cultural background, age, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc
3. Avoid phrases that can/may be offensive from the point of view of religion, gender, race, politics, or sexuality.
4. In writing, it is not possible to give intonation. Often this could lead to misinterpretations. Write as clear and neutral as possible to avoid confusion.
5. Reprimanding attitudes are often unwelcome, especially if they are manifested in public. An observation expressed in a moderate tone is always better accepted.
6. Sarcasm or contempt due spelling or grammatical errors is unethical and inappropriate to express.
7. In synchronous sessions, if you are allowed and can use your microphone, first raise the “virtual hand” and wait to be called upon. It is inappropriate to interrupt a colleague who is speaking.
8. In chat, whether used in synchronous or asynchronous sessions, express your comments politely, with respect to the moderator and/or the presenter, avoiding confrontations of any kind.
9. It is not allowed to send internal messages to others or post messages in forums with any kind of solicitation, marketing or promotion of products of any kind.
We recommend reviewing the Netiquette Rules posted in the virtual classroom to learn how to best write emails and messages in forums.
Actions in case there is any breach of the stated guidelines:
INDES understands that communication is part of the learning processes we are engaged in during our courses. Our first intention is not to implement sanctions. We envision s space where users have meaningful opportunities of respectful expression. That said, here are possible actions that will be taken when the policy guidelines are breached. Decisions about the course of action will depend on each situation and/or the case:
- Deletion of any offensive and/or unethical post (written, audio or video) from the respective forums after notifying the participant in private.
- Mediação de um professor quando surja uma situação de comunicação ofensiva em um fórum de classe, seja em trabalho geral ou colaborativo.
- Muting microphone and/or removal from synchronous sessions when there are affronts or offenses towards others, be them moderators or other participants, either verbally or in writing.
- Removal and/or blocking participation in a chat when disrespectful and/or unethical comments are made.
- In the case of disrespectful private messages directed at the teacher or peer, the following might be considered as an appropriate course of action: in the case of a first offense, the user will be notified with a request of specific steps to be taken according to the situation; in the case of a repeated offense, at the discretion of INDES, the user might be removed from the course.
In any of the situations above, the aggrieved person should notify the teacher or facilitator of the respective course, workshop or event, who will review the case in coordination with INDES.
The communication of the situation can be carried out via:
- opening a ticket in INDES HELP or,
- using the internal messaging channel to contact the teacher of the course.