Academic Integrity

Preventions and Mitigations

Academic Integrity

Prepared by Philip A. Pecorino, Ph.D.

Professor, Philosophy


For Faculty

Show students your concern for academic integrity. If the instructor suggests a lack of concern for academic integrity, some students may feel license to cheat Ė or perhaps may even feel encouraged to do so. Make clear from the beginning that academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in your classroom. A clear statement of the importance of academic integrity on your course syllabus or making students sign a pledge to uphold standards of honesty can raise the issue with your students.

Tell students what is expected of them. Plagiarized papers, using unauthorized notes on an exam, or other forms of academic dishonesty frequently result from the studentís ignorance of the rules rather than an intent to deceive. State clearly exactly what you expect of students, both on the syllabus and in class. Clear and concise directions for exams and assignments will also minimize unintentional dishonesty.

Cultivate a perception of fairness. Interviews with students suggest that cheating often occurs when students are under the impression that they are not being treated fairly. Encourage students to ask questions and seek your advice and your help, either in class, during office hours, or by email. If students feel you are making an appropriate response to their concerns and that they have a "sporting chance" to pass and succeed in class, most will respond positively and try their best. Otherwise, they may feel academic dishonesty is the only way to succeed in your class.

Donít unwittingly promote academic dishonesty. Change your examination questions and paper assignments frequently. Recycling old exam questions might save time, but some students might know former students of yours and have access to those questions already. Overly broad assignments might also encourage students to turn in plagiarized work. Consider giving assignments that are unique to the course. Making students submit drafts of written assignments will also help alert you to potential plagiarism.

Be aware of new and changing technologies. Students are sometimes more informed about new communications technologies (Internet, cell phones, instant messaging, etc.)than the faculty, and some students will take advantage of this situation to cheat in the classroom. Make it your business to understand new avenues for academic dishonesty. Read this about Electronic Forms of Cheating.

Monitor carefully. Instructors must be constantly on the lookout for plagiarism and other forms of cheating. Some surveys suggest that as many as 75% of college students have admitted to at least one instance of academic dishonesty. Monitor students carefully during exams. Use proctors if possible. Scrutinize term papers and other assignments carefully. If academic dishonesty is discovered, the student must be dealt with accordingly. Failing to reprimand or otherwise punish violators is another way to unwittingly promote academic dishonesty.---QCC Policy on Academic Integrity


Prevention Resources for Faculty

Detection Resources

University of California Santa Barbara

Media Lesson for Students : Plagiarism & Academic Integrity at Rutgers University        Interactive lesson about the not-so-obvious as well as the obvious ways students may commit academic integrity offenses.

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