Creating a Culture of Academic Integrity
The potential for cheating in Online courses is a cause for concern. For this reason, we recommend putting the issue in the spotlight early in your course ... possibly as one of your first forums in the discussion board.
There are currently two videos available for faculty in our online library of webinars:
- Cheating: The New (and Old) Ways Students Cheat: What you Can Do About It
- Cheating: A Legal Primer Toolkit for Faculty and Administrators
(Please note that you need to be online at a USM campus to access these recordings.)
The best deterrent to cheating and plagiarism in your online course is to create a Community where Academic Integrity is discussed and honored. Two excellent methods are to send a letter to your students similar to the one below, or to give your students a reading or video to study and begin a discussion around it.
Three suggestions for discussion starters:
- Dan Ariely: Why we think it's OK to cheat and steal (sometimes) (video)
- Vincent Moore's Playing Dirty in the War on Plagiarism
- Give two examples of cheating (perhaps one about plagiarism and one where a student cheats during an exam). Have your students discuss what the consequences should be for each and why.
A Letter to My Students by Bill Taylor, does a great job of explaining the mutual responsibilities for Academic and political integrity, saying that both the instructor and students have responsibilities. This example is a tad on the lengthy side, but you could write your own along the same lines.