Skip to main content
Femal instructor with her hair pulled back in a ponytail writes notes on a chalkboard as she teaches a class.

Academic Integrity

Scholarship is based on a foundation of honesty, so as a community of teachers and learners, we must hold ourselves and our campus to the highest standards of academic integrity. To do this, we need to:

  1. Clearly define the expectations
  2. Address the ways and reasons someone might violate those expectations
  3. Teach new scholars to do the work appropriately
  4. Take practical steps to reduce dishonesty
  5. Hold all scholars (including instructors and students) accountable for their actions

The University of Maryland defines academic dishonesty as committing or facilitating cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or self-plagiarism. We recommend that you use the language and link provided in TLTC’s syllabus template (rather than summarizing the campus policy yourself) to ensure students have a complete understanding of the policies and procedures. You can request that someone from OSC visits your class meeting, or download resources to facilitate your own integrity presentation.

As instructors, we have to go further than the generic definitions and explicitly define our expectations as to what is and is not permitted on any given learning assessment (Smith School of Business' example with icons), especially as technology presents new challenges. Perhaps just as importantly, we need to communicate why we have those expectations. Consider and clarify for your students:

Is collaboration between students permitted? If so, what distinguishes appropriate collaboration from disingenuously claiming the academic work of others as your own? For example:

On reading quizzes, you may review your work with peers after you have completed it on your own to the best of your ability, and may discuss questions to clarify your understanding of the underlying concept and correct any mistakes you might have made before submitting. However, simply providing or copying answers to a quiz question is not collaboration, it is cheating. If you have questions about acceptable collaboration, please come see me so I can clarify my expectations.

For in-class clicker quizzes, some questions will be labeled as open, in which case you may utilize your notes and will have time to work with your peers to determine the correct answer. Other questions that are designed to give you individual feedback on your learning will be labeled as closed, and my expectation is that you will answer that question without consulting any resources or receiving input from anyone else.

The practice problems, which will be due at the start of class each Monday, are designed for you to demonstrate your mastery of statistical concepts. These must be completed independently, and you may not share or discuss your work with anyone else. If you have questions about how to complete one of the problems, please email me.

I am aware that some students create social media pages or group chats to communicate with peers in the course. This is perfectly acceptable for asking general questions and coordinating plans for study sessions, but accessing any platform on which answers to graded assessment questions are shared will constitute cheating on your part, regardless of your intention. Further, using any platform in a way that excludes, intimidates, threatens, or harms another person may violate the Code of Student Conduct or community standards. I encourage you to report any concerns about the inappropriate use of these technologies to me or the Office of Student Conduct.

What constitutes plagiarism? As instructors, we should not assume that someone else has adequately trained students on how to appropriately cite sources and quotes in academic writing, and there may be discipline-specific conventions that students are not proficient with. The syllabus can include training on integrity and plagiarism, and the quiz can include questions on appropriate citations (Department of Psychology's example) and scenarios specific to your coursework that clarify integrity expectations.

It is also helpful to consider some of the reasons why students might be tempted to do something dishonest, how technology has created new opportunities to cheat, and practical steps to prevent dishonesty. If you do suspect that someone has violated the code of academic integrity, it is critical that you consult with the Office of Student Conduct and do not adjudicate the matter yourself.

The resources on these pages are related to the teaching and learning context, but the Office of Faculty Affairs offers guidance on research integrity.

Back to Top