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Promoting Academic Integrity

(compiled by Hassan Gourama and the Berks College Academic Integrity Committee; with permission, document includes suggestions from Capital College’s “Cyberplagiarism: New Opportunities for Cheating and New Challenges for Teaching”)

Challenges to Academic Integrity at Penn State

“During the 2001-02 academic year, the Office of Judicial Affairs logged 268 breaches of academic integrity, compared with 51 cases the previous year. . . . Nearly 30 percent of the [2001-02?] cases ended in the student failing the course entirely, and the five XF instances accounted for 2 percent of penalties.” Daily Collegian (Monday, January 20, 2003).

“In a 1999 Pulse Survey on Academic Integrity 44% of students surveyed admitted to cheating on a class assignment.” http://www.sa.psu.edu/sara/pulse/58-academic.PDF

“The cheaters were more likely to have a lower G.P.A. than the
non-cheaters although cheating did occur at all G.P.A. ranges.” http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/cyberplag/

Challenges to Academic Integrity at Penn State Berks

At Penn State Berks, student representatives on AIC polled students. Students indicated that faculty do not proctor tests and exams closely enough. Many students expressed that they would like instructors to articulate more clearly AI policies, including consequences for academic dishonesty.

General Preventive Measures

Explain to students the official policies and procedures of academic integrity of the Berks College.

Include policies and expectations in syllabi and handouts.

Know Penn State’s Academic Integrity Policy, and refer students to the College Website on Academic Integrity

Make it clear to students at the beginning of the semester that cheating is absolutely not acceptable and is in violation of College and University Regulations.

Emphasize to students that allowing academic dishonesty in the classroom by other students is not fair and has a negative impact on all the students.

Establish a learning community in the classroom; create trust and expectations for honesty.

Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.

Take an active role in prevention.

Expect strong administrative support for enforcement of policy.

Work with College Academic Integrity Committee and

Participate in AI workshops.

Know Penn State resources available locally and system-wide for faculty.

Use other Penn State Resources:

    http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/cyberplag

    http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/cyberplag/cyberplagexamples.html

Show students specific examples of cheating and plagiarism related to the subject being taught.

Specific Measures to Prevent Cheating on Tests and Exams

Assign alternate seats during exams (if possible).

Use various versions of the exam by changing the order of questions.

Don’t use the same exams or exam questions from previous terms.

Pay close attention to students during tests or exams.

Do not allow students to talk to one another during tests or exams.

Be wary if students have notes on desk or on the floor in a closed book exam.

Be aware of cheating indicators, such as submission of error-free work by an average student, not knowing a student in an exam (possible ghosting), or two or more exams containing the same incorrect answers.


Specific Measures to Prevent Cheating on Homework Assignments

Explain the guidelines and rules of these assignments at the beginning of the term.

Indicate to the students if collaboration on a particular assignment is permissible.

Become familiar with each student’s ability to comprehend and write in the subject being taught.

Specific Measures to Prevent Cheating on Written Assignments

Control Written Assignments: Use “Eight tips for restructuring writing assignments to prevent plagiarism,” from Cyberplagiarism: Detection and Prevention: http://tlt.its.psu.edu/suggestions/cyberplag or other PSU sites.

Teach students about plagiarism and learn to distinguish deliberate plagiarism from lack of understanding of using sources in writing; the College website has important information at What is Academic Dishonesty?

Teach students about copyright.

Encourage students to attend library workshops on how to properly use resources in writing.

Encourage students to seek help in the writing and learning center.


Preventing Violations of Academic Integrity: Reading List

Check out the American University “Strategies to Prevent and Detect Plagiarism” http://www.american.edu/academics/integrity/faculty1.htm.

Center for Intellectual Property, University of Maryland University College. http://www.umuc.edu/distance/odell/cip/