Academic Integrity

What strategies can help guide students towards academic integrity? 

- Talk to students about the meaning of academic integrity - for you, your profession, the institution, society - and discuss the GVSU Student Code (Section 6: Conduct Process Academic Integrity) and your class policies. Clearly state the consequences of academic dishonesty and encourage students to make the right decision. Don’t assume that including a paragraph in your syllabus is sufficient. Consider having students complete an online plagiarism tutorial. Reinforce the importance of academic integrity during the semester. 

- Clearly articulate expectations for assignments (can students work together?) and help students connect the work to the learning objectives of the course - instructor transparency and intentionality support student motivation - students are more likely to cheat when they consider assignments as “busy work” 

- Don’t assume good habits of writing, research, citations - provide guidance, resources, tutorials - ask students about their needs, concerns, prior experiences - discuss your own research processes, challenges, strategies

  • University Libraries Research and Writing Consultants
  • One-on-One Library Consultation
  • Citing Sources: Tools and Generators LibGuide 

- Find alternate ways to demonstrate learning other than exams and papers - podcast, blog, video commentary - give students choices - a sense of control over their learning fosters motivation

- Ground assignments in a detailed path of inquiry - linking multiple assignments, scaffolding, process writing

 - Keep things fresh - change assignments across semesters or sections

- Collaborative work - write in pairs or incorporate peer ideas - are you the sole audience for student work?  

- Require multiple meaningful assessment activities throughout the semester 

  • give students early success opportunities - promotes self-efficacy 
  • require application of knowledge to new situations 
  • use brief writing assignments or quizlets at the edges of the class period
  • ask questions using higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy in Cognitive, Psychomotor, and Affective domains

 - Follow through when academic dishonesty is discovered: consequences and teachable moments 

- Build trusting, supportive relationships with your students. Clearly communicate that you care about their learning. Direct feedback to effort and achievement. Teach students how to be successful. 


The Plagiarism Spectrum: Tagging Ten Types of Original Work

  An infographic with helpful terminology to help guide a conversation with students about academic integrity 

Best Practices Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education  

  A list of best practices gathered by experts and practitioners with ideas for assignments, assessments, and student support.

Best Practices for Preventing Plagiarism, Webster University

  Practical suggestions that focus on designing course materials that emphasize academic integrity 

Writing Across the Curriculum at UW-Madison

  Crafting robust writing assignments and other pedagogical strategies for any courses that involve writing 

Tips to Reduce the Impact of Cheating in Online Assessment

  A blog post with tips for maintaining academic integrity of online testing and homework assignments 

Detecting and Preventing Cheating During Exams

  A chapter from a volume of essays, Pedagogy, not Policing: Positive Approaches to Academic Integrity at the University from Syracuse University chock full of excellent suggestions


Michael, T. B., & Williams, M. A. (2011, April). Student equity: Discouraging cheating in online courses. Administrative Issues: Journal: Education, Practice and Research, 3.  

Minarcik, J., & Bridges, A. J. (2015). Psychology graduate students weigh in: Qualitative analysis of academic dishonesty and suggestion prevention strategies. Journal of Academic Ethics13(2), 197-216.

Leonard, M., Schwieder, D., Buhler, A., Bennett, D. B., & Royster, M. (2015). Perceptions of Plagiarism by STEM Graduate Students: A Case Study. Science and engineering ethics21(6), 1587-1608.

Wong, S. S. H., Lim, S. W. H., & Quinlan, K. M. (2016). Integrity in and Beyond Contemporary Higher Education: What Does it Mean to University Students? Frontiers in Psychology7, 1094.


Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty, James Lang, 2013

Plagiarism, the Internet and Student Learning: Improving Academic Integrity, Wendy Sutherland-Smith, 2008

Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment in College, 2nd Edition, Barbara Walvoord & Virginia Anderson, 2010 

Page last modified May 3, 2017