Encouraging Academic Integrity in Assessment

As instructors, there are several strategies to encourage academic integrity in both in-person and remote courses. These strategies range from creating transparent policies that set students up for success, to designing assessments that make it difficult for students to plagiarize or cheat.

Encouraging Academic Integrity: Creating Transparent Policies and Providing Resources

  • Create and communicate a clear academic integrity policy for your course, specific to your teaching context (e.g., in-person, remote)
    • Educate students about academic integrity and provide resources to help their understanding of academic integrity and the penalties for not following university policy
    • The policy should include examples of permissible (if any) and impermissible collaboration as well as acceptable and unacceptable memory aids and/or sources
    • Consider requiring student engagement with the academic integrity policy. Students can attach an Academic Integrity Statement with any assignments or exams, stating their commitment to academic integrity This Academic Integrity Commitment Statement from the University of Saskatchewan can be adapted to suit many online assessments.
  • Encourage student-instructor and student-student interaction throughout the course. Research shows that students who feel more connected to their instructor are less likely to engage in academic misconduct
    • In remote courses, synchronous video conferencing, using platforms such as Zoom or Teams, can promote and maintain student-instructor connections online, where feasible
  • Direct students to research and writing supports so that students understand how to complete the assignment or exam, including proper referencing practices in the discipline


Designing Assessments for Academic Integrity

  • If possible, use authentic assessments that emphasize problem-solving, links to personal experience, or focus on distinctive tasks. For example, ask students to “evaluate,” “create,” or “analyze” a given theory or problem.
  • Consider including a critical reflection component where students must reflect on their own learning
  • Where appropriate, include follow-up questions such as “Expand upon the ideas behind the information you referenced” or “Explain why you choose this description, example, phrase, reference, etc.”
  • Use scaffolded, multi-stage assignments, where students submit multiple drafts of their work
  • Use Courselink’s Quizzes tool features such as randomized question order and response option order, to decrease the potential for academic misconduct
  • Use timed assessments only when learning outcomes warrant timed assessment

If you are considering using  Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor for online tests or exams, read the University of Guelph’s Instructor expectations  

Preventing and Detecting Academic Dishonesty on Online Exams

  • Make use of plagiarism detection software such as Turnitin.com, or use a Google search of unique phrases from the paper
  • Use remote proctoring software such as the Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor ensuring that you follow the University of Guelph’s Instructor expectations when using this tool


For more information:

Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education by WCET, UT TeleCampus, and Instructional Technology

The Taylor Institute - Academic Integrity and Online Learning

Encouraging Academic Integrity in Remote, Online, and In-Person Contexts by Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo