Design Considerations to Pre-empt Academic Offences

Here are some strategies that can be implemented in order to curb the use of academic misconduct in your teaching.

Build Community:
Spend time building community in the class and collaborating with them on creating a learning environment that promotes mutual respect. This may increase likelihood of students reaching out to you they encountering difficulties. Some good suggestions are available from CITL’s Guide on Creating Community.
Bring Academic Integrity Into the Open:
Provide students with opportunities to ask questions about academic integrity or their work in a safe place.
Include flexibility on deadlines. This also has a positive effect of increasing inclusivity.
Hall Pass, or “Get Out of Jail Free” Pass:
When students contact instructors to say they cannot meet the deadline for a given assignment, the instructors would give students a one-week extension with no questions asked. Most students do not take advantage of the full week.
Institutions could seek ways to incentivize academic integrity. For example, Academic Integrity could be included in Promotion and Tenure information as a topic to discuss relating to teaching and research.
Change Focus of Assessment:
Ditch bell curve grading and focus on student learning outcomes.
Redesign Assessments:
Change questions or details of questions regularly. Avoid high stakes assessment. Include more formative assessment with immediate feedback.
Draft First Question for Quizzes or Exams, etc.:
One way to ensure students have acknowledged academic integrity when completing an assignment or exam is to build in a statement or question that students need to indicate they’ve seen. For example:

“I will NOT:

  • consult with other students or persons, textbook, notes, internet or other sources;
  • copy from classmates;
  • share questions or answers with others; or,
  • plagiarize.”

[Student then selects True or False, or Agree or Disagree, etc.]

Read Promoting Integrity through Assessment Design for more ideas.