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How To Prevent Academic Dishonesty

Suggestions for Preventing Academic Dishonesty: 

        Throughout the Course:
  • Put an Academic Integrity statement on your syllabus. Also, discuss it in class. Do not just breeze over but emphasize it to your class so that they know you are taking it seriously. In hearings students use the excuse that professors never went over academic integrity they just breezed over it.
  • Have students write and sign the Honor Pledge on major assignments and test.
  • On writing assignments explain what sources are acceptable and what types of sources students should be citing.
  • Direct students to websites that explain how they should cite.
  • Be clear with expectations you have regarding proper procedures and conduct during your class. For example, be explicit when telling students when they can and cannot work together.

        During Exams:

  • Use the Honor Pledge on the test.
  • Remind students before each exam that they must follow the Code of Academic Integrity, and that violations will be confronted and referred to the Student Honor Council.
  • Give oral and written instructions concerning material allowed or not allowed during the exam at the beginning of the test
  • Have students put books, backpacks, or other items not permitted during exams either under their chairs or in the front of the room.
  • Instruct students that materials not permitted for use during exams must be put away so that they are not visible to anyone.
  • Use proctors to monitor exams when necessary (e.g., in large classes or crowded rooms).
  • Distribute blank paper with exams so students can use it for scratch and cover completed work
  • Do not post answers until after all sections have taken the exam


Recommended Responses to Suspected In-Progress Cheating:

  • Do not stop a student from completing the exam, even if you believe that he/she is cheating. Instead, interrupt the misconduct as described below, and identify those involved by setting their exams aside and recording their names.
  • If a student is using notes or has notes visible, immediately and discreetly confiscate--but do not discard--the notes. These materials may be important if a student denies cheating so keep them as a record. Make a note on the student's exam indicating when the notes were taken.
  • If students are talking, announce that no talking is permitted during exams, quietly ask the students to stop talking, or separate the students.
  • If you learn that a "ringer" may be taking an exam for another student, quietly approach him/her and ask for identification. If the student cannot or will not provide identification, campus police may be called or you may refuse to credit the exam until identification is presented.
  • If a student is looking at other's work, announce to the class that all work is individual, and/or quietly tell the student that eyes must be kept on one's own paper.
  • Under the Code of Academic Integrity if a student is found responsible for violating the Code, the normal sanction is a grade of "XF" assigned for the course. However, no grade penalty may be imposed until a student admits misconduct or is found in violation after a hearing. While a disciplinary matter is pending, do not report a final grade to the student. Instead leave the column blank and write "Evaluation Incomplete" in the comments section.

Under the Code of Academic Integrity, faculty share responsibility for encouraging academic honesty. Proctors should stop any suspected cheating, while taking care not to disrupt the concentration of other students, and report suspected misconduct to the Office of Student Conduct (301-314-8204, 2117 Mitchell Building).