Tips for promoting academic integrity and preventing misconduct

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Tips for Promoting Academic Integrity and Preventing Academic Misconduct

Promoting academic integrity requires a holistic approach through institutional-wide engagement and commitment, as there is no single, straight-forward solution to the myriad complex factors at the root of academic misconduct. An educative approach to promoting academic integrity includes utilizing course and assessment design strategies to prevent academic integrity breaches and is one of the ways to mitigate the prevalence of academic misconduct and support students in upholding integrity in their learning.

Below are some suggestions that can help foster a culture of academic integrity and prevent academic integrity breaches.

We also want to hear from you! Do you have strategies or examples that you can share with the university community? Email

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Academic Integrity Strategies

Address academic integrity in your course syllabus and Moodle site

  • In addition to providing a link to KPU’s Academic Integrity policy, consider including a statement about the importance of academic integrity, what academic integrity looks like in your course, and what students can do if they encounter challenges[1]
  • Show students the academic integrity video on the home page of this website in class or on the course Moodle site at the start of the semester

Use academic integrity statements and/or classroom agreements

  • Have students sign an academic integrity statement for each assessment asserting that they upheld academic integrity in their work. See an example.
  • At the beginning of your course, have students work together to create a class academic integrity agreement which everyone signs and revisits throughout the term[2]

Talk about academic integrity explicitly and frequently

  • It is valuable to discuss academic integrity at the beginning of a course, but it is equally important to continue the discussion throughout the course – academic integrity can be an ongoing conversation around what quality, ethical scholarship looks like and what it means to be part of an academic community
    • In addition to talking about what constitutes an academic integrity violation and what not to do, you can also frame academic integrity around:
      • how to conduct good research
      • how to integrate sources
      • academic rhetoric and how to include your voice in writing
      • how to engage with existing ideas and how to contribute your own ideas
  • Re-visit prior discussions and statements about academic integrity prior to every assignment and test. This may feel redundant, but we hear from students that they wish they were reminded about academic integrity with every assignment and not just once at the beginning of the course
  • Have a discussion with students about what academic integrity for a particular assessment looks like, and what might be some common perils/pitfalls for the assignment
  • Share resources for students that they can refer to when they have questions about academic integrity or would like to develop their skills (such as time management, writing, or research) which can reduce academic misconduct. This could include:
    • Library
      • AskAway
      • Research Help
      • Citation Style Guides
    • Learning Centres
      • Meet with a learning strategist
      • Meet with a peet tutor
      • WriteAway 
      • Writing workshops
    • Draft Coach - Draft Coach is a tool from Turnitin that supports KPU’s educative approach to academic integrity by allowing students to receive feedback on their writing through three checks. Students can learn more about this tool on the Draft Coach - Students page. The 3 checks are:
      • Similarity Check – checks student writing for similarities with the work of others to help avoid plagiarism 
      • Citation Check – checks to ensure that references have matching citations and vice versa
      • Grammar Guide – checks for grammatical issues and provides guidance on how to address and avoid them in the future

Have specific activities that get students thinking and talking about academic integrity

  • Have students discuss what academic integrity is, why it matters, and how academic misconduct can be prevented. This can lead well into creating a class academic integrity agreement
  • Use content on this website or the Introduction to Academic Integrity Tutorial or Academic Integrity Pressbook as a starting point for discussions around academic integrity
  • Have students review and discuss academic integrity case studies
  • Ask students to brainstorm reasons academic integrity violations occur and strategies that could have been used to avoid the violations
  • Ask students to submit a short reflection with each assignment about how they went about doing their assignment and what they did to ensure they maintained academic integrity throughout

Model and draw attention to how you engage in academic integrity

  • Include references and citations on your lecture slides and other course material

Encourage academic integrity through how you design and present your assessments

  • Encourage intrinsic motivation through explaining the purpose and value of the assignments you give[3]
  • Have lower stakes assignments. Research shows that students are more likely to commit academic integrity violations with higher stakes assignments worth more of their grade[4]
  • Provide assignment instructions and grading rubrics that clarify what is being assessed and what the learning outcomes are
    • Clear instructions on how to complete an assignment while upholding academic integrity
    • Provide information on available supports if students are struggling (ex. contact information for the Learning Centres)[5]
  • Scaffolding and sequencing
    • Break an assignment up into smaller, scaffolded pieces that students submit throughout the term, building up to the final product. [6] For example, for an essay, have students submit:
      • A topic and outline with planned sources (you can have them use the Learning Centre’s Essay Template)
      • Annotated bibliography
      • First draft
      • Draft with edits
      • Final draft

Consider different exam strategies

  • Explicitly state what resources students can and cannot use (e.g., “homework help” sites like Chegg and CourseHero)
  • Have lower stakes exams with less grade-pressure and less time-pressure
  • Avoid test banks. If you do use test-bank questions, paraphrase the questions rather than use them verbatim[7]
  • Use questions that require higher-order thinking
  • Create different versions of the same exam by scrambling the order of questions
  • See more ideas around online assessment and exam integrity here

Use authentic assessments

KPU's Teaching & Learning Commons website also has many teaching resources and learning opportunities for faculty.

Read the International Center for Academic Integrity Blog - Integrity Matters

KPU is a member of the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI). ICAI has a blog with different resources and ideas, including one on the "Four teaching practices that promote academic integrity."

Find More Resources on our SharePoint site