Academic Integrity

Faculty resources

The resources below provide a proactive foundation for you, as an instructor, to enhance academic integrity in your classroom, whether it is in person or online. We know that it is important to enforce the policies and sanctions around academic integrity, but we want to first promote a culture of integrity where we educate students on what it means to act with integrity in their academic careers and lives.

Please find the following suggested approaches for promoting a culture of integrity, designing course assets to promote integrity, teaching strategies and more as you consider how to support academic integrity in our course(s). Consult your peers and Academic Integrity Officer within your department to discuss options and strategies as well.

 

Setting student expectations

One of the first things you can do to create a classroom culture of academic integrity is to directly address it with your students each term/semester. This lets students know that it is something you value and expect from them in their coursework, in their interactions with peers, and at ASU overall. This also refreshes the concept in their mind as they begin a new course and sets the tone of what is expected of them. Having this discussion can deter students from making a choice that violates academic integrity. Below are suggestions for your syllabi and cultural considerations.

Syllabi

Address importance of Academic Integrity.

Include the Student Honor Code Statement in Syllabi and other areas of the course, perhaps before students take an exam.

Cultural considerations

Clarify when and where collaboration is appropriate.

Discuss the definition of original work vs. citing sources.

Explain the importance of deadlines and clarify the late policies.

Assessments

Course assessments are where most academic integrity violations are visible, so it’s important that you give careful consideration to the design and implementation of the assessments you choose to use in your courses. Below are strategies and considerations for course structure and designing assessments that promote academic integrity.

Course structure considerations

Structure of assessments affect integrity.

  • Timed exams - Having timed exams creates an environment where students need to be adequately prepared in advance of the exam in order to successfully answer the questions and complete the exam in the time frame allowed.

  • High-stakes assessments - Giving one or two assessments a lot of weight in a student’s overall course grade can create an environment where there is a lot of pressure to do well in order to receive a high mark in the class. This can then lead to a student making a different decision on an assessment than they might otherwise have, since it has such a large impact on their academic career.

  • Variety of assessments - Instead of having a smaller number of more heavily weighted exams, consider a variety of assessments that allows the student to showcase their understanding of the topic more broadly and lessens the pressure of the impact of high-stakes tests.

  • Question types - When creating assessments, use a variety of question types that asks the students about the materials in different ways to get a more broad evaluation of their knowledge and reduce the temptation to share or memorize a series of answer choices.

Timing of assessements:

  • Finals week vs. throughout the term - By having students complete a variety of assessments throughout the course you can better gauge their learning and patterns to know if a certain score seems out of character.

Instructional window/period:

  • Preparing students for assessments far in advance of the assessment allows the student ample time to study and learn the materials and avoids the “cramming” situation where they might feel pressure to take measures they wouldn’t normally to do well.

Instructions early and in advance for large assignments.

Study guides and tips:

  • Provide study guides and tips to students whenever possible to increase confidence in studying for assessments.

Timing considerations

Distribution over the term:

  • Give students the opportunity to refine their study strategies over the course of the term/semester by having assessments early and often. This way students can gauge how they are doing and adjust accordingly.
  • Example: In 7.5 weeks consider offering a quiz, assignment and, discussion each week

Chunk large papers or projects into smaller parts:

  • By chunking or scaffolding larger assessments into smaller portions you reduce the pressure on the student to perform exceptionally well on the final submission. This also provides them opportunities to refine their writing and effectively use feedback to adjust their style.
  • Example: Research papers written in parts submitted throughout the term

Choices in types of assessments and due dates and/or date range.

  • Where appropriate, allow students to choose parts or all of their assessment. This allows for more creativity and ownership from the student and makes their work unique to the course and themselves.

Exam considerations

  • Lowering the stakes for students by incorporating more quizzes and less cumulative exams. By assessing students early and often the pressure to perform is reduced.

  • Consider the window of time for completing exams; shorter time frames often increase student anxiety. Consider writing assessments that can be taken over a few days versus a few hours.

  • Consider proctoring for certain types of exams, especially if exams are taken online or at remote locations. Use ASU approved proctoring services.

  • Quiz time allocation - Double the amount of time it takes you as an expert for students to answer questions.

  • Consider the level of difficulty of each question and each assessment. Do you want to simply check for understanding or have students apply knowledge.

  • Online exam settings - Consider any of the following options for online exam settings and consult with your instructional designer for more information:

    • Prohibit backtracking

    • Randomization

    • Limiting feedback shown

    • Time limits

    • Password protection

    • Submission attempts

Paper and project considerations

  • Break down larger papers into smaller tasks for students and require weekly submission of parts. This reduces anxiety about the task and potential plagiarism.

  • Write and provide clear instructions with examples and specific requirements.

  • Show examples of high quality submissions and papers.

  • Use peer review and peer evaluations prior to final drafts to increase the quality of the work and provide early feedback to students.

  • Provide rubrics and build them into Canvas so learners know exactly what is expected.

  • Comment on paper drafts within the SpeedGrader in Canvas and/or on early drafts.

  • Use plagiarism detection software (Turn It In) within Canvas and notify students in advance that this will be used.

  • Encourage students to seek feedback proactively on their writing in advance of submissions by using the ASU Writing Center and/or websites like Paperrater.com.

Book Reference: Lang, J. M. (2013). Cheating lessons: Learning from academic dishonesty. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Teaching strategies

There are also a number of considerations you can make in how you approach your pedagogy when it comes to promoting academic integrity. This weaves a culture of integrity into the fabric of your course and makes it a foundation for the learning students in which students engage. Below are a number of strategies that you can implement into your teaching strategies to promote academic integrity.

Instructor presence and communication

  • Classroom culture - Show a culture of integrity and respect in the classroom. Be a role model for students and demonstrate how to interact. Acknowledge positive, integritous behaviors and comments.

  • Instructor-to-student interaction - Interact in discussions with students so they see your presence. Sprinkle discussion posts and/or your thoughts throughout the classroom discussions.

  • Rubrics and feedback - Use well-designed rubrics to show students your expectations and how to earn high grades. Also, provide timely/quality feedback for improvement on assignments to reduce pressure for students on the next assignment.

  • Sharing example assignments - Talk to your students about integrity (via announcements or in class) and give examples. Share examples of high quality assignments to demonstrate source citations.

  • Reference this article, A Memo to Students on Cheating, for ideas to share with students on why they should not consider cheating.

Student community building

  • Academic Integrity Student Discussions - Ask students to discuss their thoughts on the ASU Student Academic Integrity Policy.

    • Ask students to read academic integrity case studies and report their thoughts with the class.

    • Ask students to discuss the importance of integrity in groups and then designate a leader to share with the class. This can be done online as well.

  • Honor Code - Ask students to develop and commit to a class honor code.

  • Community Creation - Ask students how they can create a community of honesty and integrity in their class, which gives them a sense of ownership and accountability.

Ethics in curriculum

  • Academic scholar - Host a discussion with students centered on what it means to be an academic scholar, how and when to cite sources, and how to evaluate sources.

  • Professional standards - Provide handouts and/or have a discussion on discipline specific professional standards for integrity and referencing sources, such as those inherent to the Journalism field.

  • Reference the Cheaters Never Prosper Handout developed by EdPlus on ways to reduce cheating through course design.

General resources