Promoting Academic Integrity
Overall, instructors can offer three kinds of activities that promote academic integrity and prevent academic misconduct:
- Invite students into a value-based or discipline-based discussion about academic integrity,
- Define academic misconduct, and
- Follow university policy when a potential incident of academic misconduct happens and is/ is not confirmed for responsibility.
For online classes:
Please ensure you are signed into your @boisestate.edu account, then download the following PDF. Co-developed by the Academic Integrity Program and the eCampus Instructional Design Team.
For your students:
Peer-reviewed academic integrity research shows that these seven risk factors contribute to academic misconduct incidents. How can you and your students avoid them? We offer Boise State-based solutions! Recommended as a value-based discussion starter on why academic integrity matters for you, your discipline, and your students.
Detailed Resources & Bibliography:
When discussing academic integrity and academic dishonesty in the classroom, faculty can create a positive context that invites students to participate in understanding the value of their own original thought with respect for the sources they will use in their studies. While it is important that students understand what academic misconduct is and its potential consequences, it is also important that students are welcomed into a conversation about why academic integrity matters in each class, in their academic discipline, and at Boise State at large.
At the start of the semester:
- Frame an aspirational discussion regarding academic integrity within your syllabus, on your discussion boards, and/or in class. What is academic integrity and why is academic integrity important to you? To your discipline? To your students’ success in class and beyond? How will academic integrity help you get to know your students and best support their learning?
- Faculty and students often have differing definitions of academic misconduct (McCabe, Butterfield, & Traviño 2012; Razek 2014; Yeo 2007). Clearly define how students can maintain academic integrity in your course. What citations are required for assignments like discussion board posts? What types of collaboration are permissible and for which assignments?
Throughout the semester:
- To promote ethical writing, provide unique prompts for papers and scaffold assignments using tools such as creating milestones for large projects or papers, collect drafts and/or increase the amount of low stakes assignments, utilize peer review, and refer students to the Writing Center. Directly explain how you designed assessments to let students learn from the process of researching and writing their paper, etc (Craig, Federici, & Buehler, 2010; Linder, Abbott & Fromberger, 2006).
- To reduce the chances that students will cheat, vary exam questions from semester to semester as well as within the same course. Avoid test bank questions where answers can be found online. Combined, discussing academic integrity in detail and removing the temptation to cheat can reduce incidents of academic misconduct in the classroom (Broeckelman-Post, 2008).
- To promote ethical collaboration, provide assignment instructions that include the necessary parameters to maintain academic integrity in group work settings. This may be especially important if a particular assignment has unique expectations around the collaboration or if expectations in your course differ from others in your department or program. Direct expectation-setting is always helpful.
- Role model academic integrity through citing all source material in worksheets, slides, exams, etc. (Nelson, Nelson & Tichneor, 2013; Craig, Federici, & Buehler, 2010).
- If teaching online, have an online presence. Being a “real” person who students understand is engaged with them and their ideas support students’ involvement with the course content rather than focusing solely on the grade.
The Office of the Dean of Students would like to thank the CTL/IDEA Shop and eCampus Instructional Designers for providing comments on this document, and eCampus Instructional Designers for co-developing the document, “Infusing Academic Integrity Into Your Online Course.”
Bretag, T., Harper, R., Burton, M., Ellis, C., Newton, P., Rozenberg, P., Saddiqui, S., & van Haeringen, K. (2019). Contract cheating in Australian higher education: A comparison of non-university higher education providers and universities. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education, 45(1), 125-139.
Broeckelman-Post, Melissa A. (2008). Faculty and student classroom influences on academic dishonesty. IEEE Transactions on Education, 51 (2), 206-211.
Craig, P. A., Federici, E., & Buehler, M. A. (2010). Instructing students in academic integrity. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(2), 50–55.
Linder, S.P., Abbott, D., & Fromberger, M.J. (2006). An instructional scaffolding approach to teaching software design. Consortium for Computer Sciences in Colleges, 21(6), 238-250.
McCabe, D. L., Butterfield, K. D. & Treviño, L. K. (2012). Cheating in college: Why students do it and what educators can do about it. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
McCabe, D.L., Trevino, L.K., & Butterfield, K.D. (2001). Cheating in academic institutions: A decade of research. Ethics & Behavior, 11(3), 219-232.
Nelson, L.P., Nelson, R.K., Tichenor, L. (2013). Understanding today’s students: Entry-Level science student involvement in academic dishonesty. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(3), 52-57.
Passow, H. J., Mayhew, M. J., Finelli, C. J., Harding, T. S., & Carpenter, D. D. (2006). Factors influencing engineering students’ decisions to cheat by type of assessment. Research in Higher Education, 47(6), 643-684.
Razek, N. (2014). Academic integrity: A Saudi student perspective. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 18(1), 143-154.
Turner, C. E. (2005). A new honesty for a new game: Distinguishing cheating from learning in a web-based testing environment. Journal of Political Science Education, 1, 163–174.
Yeo, S. (2007). First-year university science and engineering students’ understanding of plagiarism. Higher Education Research & Development, 26(2), 199–216.