Academic Integrity - What Faculty Can Do
There is a lot that faculty can do to decrease cheating – especially among the “occasionally” dishonest.
1. Be sure that all phones and PDAs are not accessible – you can ask them to turn them off, put them in bags or leave them on the front desk.
2. Reduce graded exercises where cheating is easy - take home exams, “multiple choice” and “fill ins”. (Even decreasing the font size and the size of the space provided for answers on exams can reduce the roving eyes.)
3. If we give multiple choice exams, we should create two or more versions and we should let them know this clearly. The goal here is deterrence, not capture.
4. Create individual “course” honor codes that students sign: a) at the start of the semester or b) on each test and paper.
5. Diligently, use aids like “Turnitin.com” or other systems which track originality/ plagiarism. Let students know this is being done – again to dissuade them.
6. Have our class policies very clearly written on syllabi and review this during the semester – perhaps review again right before exams.
7. Monitor the classroom diligently. Walk around. Watch for accessible notes/books in bags. Look at students. Don’t do other work while proctoring. (This is especially important in the ARC where it is very easy for students to access notes on their person).
8. Don’t let students leave the room during an exam. For many, the prospect and ease of accessing notes – or phoning a life line – is too tempting. Most students, short of a medical condition, can put off a bathroom visit – especially if they visit before the class.
9. While policy should not be set for the 20% of chronic offenders, we should be aware that they may very well be experts. That is, the ones we catch tend to be those who do not cheat well. The “successful” cheaters are less often caught. Some chronic cheaters are thrill cheaters who rise to the challenge of those of us who claim impregnability of our anti-cheating defenses
10. Think critically about these issues each semester and review our assignments, our communication to students, and adjust as necessary.