General Strategies and Tips
In this section, some generic tips for reducing the risk for contravention of academic integrity standards are discussed.
- Studies show that cheating can be higher when there is a perceived absence or care or interest from the educator or the institution (Whitley et al., 2001). To combat this:
- ensure students find instructors approachable, and are accessible
- consider giving students formative feedback
- consider giving students the opportunity to redo the assessment or to provide a reflection on their lack of success
- Consider using a flipped classroom for assessments
- Distribution of grades can be designed to limit opportunities for cheating. This might include:
- providing low stakes assignments or pop quizzes that allow students to practice component skills
- dropping the lowest mark or two
- Clearly articulated instructions on assignments so students understand what is expected of them. Tools that can help with this include:
- learning outcomes,
- rubrics that explain the evaluation process, and
- examples of successful or even unsuccessful assignments.
- Changing the content or type of assessment tasks can help to reduce the risk of students sharing assessments with each other.
- Unauthorized collaboration may be an issue for some assessments. It can be helpful to explain to students’ what level of collaboration is acceptable for a task. Or to create an assessment that allows the student to complete the task as a group, but also requires them to individually take a quiz based on that task.
- Motivating students to engage with assessments can be difficult, but we can help them along by being explicit in how completing the assessment is necessary towards being successful in a future task or in the course or even in their employment.
- Strategies for creating barriers for copying work during in class assessments such as exams may include explicitly stating the policy for exam writing on the front page of the assessment, use dividers to separate spaces, creating multiple versions of exams, having assigned seating during testing, keep a record of seating, ensure all personal items, books, and electronic devices are placed out of reach.
- Tactics for reducing incidences of contravention of academic integrity standards may be as simple as imposing a challenging time constraint for easy tasks or for harder tasks, or requiring students to provide insight on their answers. As an example of the latter, upon submission of an assignment, ask that the student orally answer a question that explains what they have done and why.
Assessment design is a key piece in the prevention of academic misconduct behaviours. The discussions in this guide only scratch the surface. Further resources can be found in the resource and reference section below.