From Dr. David Rettinger, Director Academic Integrity Programs at University of Mary Washington
- Talk about the importance of integrity, ethics, and authenticity with your students. Make it personal and positive; students don’t respond as well to threats of punishment.
- Include a syllabus statement about academic integrity that’s customized to your class, discipline, and assignments.
- Make sure that expectations about citation and collaboration in particular are clear to students for each assignment.
- Create a classroom honor code (if you don’t have one already), that includes behavioral expectations as well as academic integrity expectations. Do this collaboratively with your students and there will be even more powerful buy-in.
- Have students pledge everything! You don’t need some magic formula, but have them promise before each assessment that they’ll do it with integrity, and have them sign at the end indicating that they upheld that promise.
- Try dividing exams up into weekly quizzes. Same questions, but in smaller chunks. This lowers the stakes and reduces cheating. It also leads to better learning.
- Give students flexibility in choosing topics and even assignments. If you have more good ideas for prompts than you can use, try a choice model.
- Scaffold larger assignments. It’s more work to grade drafts and interim work, but it does distribute the effort throughout the course.
- Know your institutional policies about academic integrity, and communicate them to your students.
- Apply all policies fairly and with compassion. Your students need to know that integrity is expected and valued, that mistakes are responded to, but ultimately forgiven. Remember that academic misconduct isn’t always dishonesty. Sometimes it’s a lack of confidence, poor academic skills, a genuine misunderstanding, or just a bad decision. Students who cheat aren’t always bad people. The goal is to help them learn and grow from their mistakes.
Here is an example of an Honor Pledge from University of Mary Washington