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• Individuals who uphold academic integrity are honest and responsible when engaged in academic activities. This “results in the creation of academic products that extend beyond prior contributions while giving proper credit to others whose ideas shaped or influenced the current work” (Harrington, 2016, 10).
• “Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as your own. Cheating is engaging in any activity that gives you or another student an unfair advantage”. (Harrington, 2016, 117)
Problem: Cheating is prevalent
• “More than two-thirds of college students report they engaged in soe form of academic dishonesty in the previous year” (McCabe, Butterfield, & Trevino, 2012, 3).
• Previous cheating predicts future cheating (Passow et al., 2006).
• Cheating is an international problem (Bernardi, Baca, Landers, & Witek, 2008).
Individual Factors that Contribute to Cheating (McCabe, Butterfield, & Trevino, 2012)
• High (“thrive”) and Low (“Survive”) GPA
• Involved in clubs, fraternities/sororities, athletics, caring for children or parents
• Younger students
• Higher levels of entitlement
• Lower levels of religiosity
Why Students Cheat? (McCabe, Butterfield, & Trevino, 2012)
• High levels of pressure to perform well
• Perceived as the norm- “everybody is doing it”
• Lack of negative consequences- colleges, universities, and society seem to send message that it is okay to cheat
Why Students Don’t Cheat?
• SITUATIONAL FACTORS- Students who believe their peers will not approve, who believe peers are engaging in honest behaviors, and believe the college is committed to academic integrity are less likely to cheat (McCabe, Butterfield, & Trevino, 2012)
• LEARNING GOALS- Students who want to learn don’t cheat because it doesn’t help them achieve their goals (Miller, Shoptaugh, & Wooldridge, 2011)
• CHARACTER- Students who don’t want to view self as a cheater (Brian, Adams, & Momin, 2012)
• MORAL BELIEFS- Students are less likely to cheat if they believe it is wrong to do so (Miller, Shoptaugh, & Wooldridge, 2011; Passow et al., 2006)
• STRONG CONSEQUENCES- Students are less likely to cheat if believe they will experience negative consequences (Bisping, Patron, & Roskelley, 2008))
Strategies to Increase Academically Honest Actions
• HONOR CODE- Students in schools with honor codes report less cheating than schools without honor codes (McCabe, Butterfield, & Trevino, 2012)
• TEACH STUDENTS ABOUT ACADEMIC INTEGRITY- Emphasizing the importance of academic integrity and how to engage in honest actions can reduce unintentional dishonest behavior (Belter & du Pre, 2009; Bisping, Patron, & Roskelley, 2008).
• CREATE CLIMATE OF INTEGRITY- Emphasize the importance of academic integrity and foster a sense of community in the classroom
• EMPHASIZE LEARNING- Promote learning versus achievement goals by emphasizing learning and the value of gaining content knowledge and skills
• SYLLABUS- Focus on honest rather dishonest action to communicate this is your expectation. Emphasize the importance of academic integrity. Sample Statement:
Academic Integrity Policy: All Students are Expected to Engage in Academically Honest Work
Academic integrity benefits everyone in our community. It not only helps you reach the real goal of this class- learning, but also allows for the program to be perceived positively by others. When students are dishonest, they lose out on valuable learning that will help them perform well in their career. It can also negatively impact all of the students in the program and at the institution by creating negative mindsets which may result in fewer outside learning opportunities for students. Academic dishonesty is any attempt by the student to gain academic advantage through dishonest means or to assist another student with gaining an unfair advantage. Academic integrity is important regardless of whether the work is graded or ungraded, group or individual, written or oral. Dishonest acts can result in a failing grade on the assignment, failing course grade and/or an official code of conduct charge being filed.
• CREATE ASSIGNMENTS THAT REDUCE LIKELIHOOD OF PLAGIARISM-
o Change assignments every semester
o Provide paper topic; Use specific vs. broad topics
o Require students to attach sources
o Require brief vs. long papers
o Consider multi-media presentations
o Require students to submit outline, drafts, etc.
o If plagiarism occurs, address it
• CREATING TESTS THAT REDUCE LIKELIHOOD OF CHEATING- (Bernardi, Baca, Landers, & Witek, 2008)
o Prepare students well
o Avoid high stakes tests that count for large portion of grade
o Do not allow use of personal belongings; Assign seats/space out seating
o Use multiple formats of the exam
o Use more open-ended questions
o Remind students about academic integrity prior to starting the exam
o Have students sign their name at the top (Shu et al., 2012)
o Consider alternatives to testing for assessment purposes
o If cheating occurs, address it
If you’d like to use the quiz I adapted (with permission) from the work of Belter and du Pre (2009), please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.