In your capacity as an instructor, you play a crucial role in inducting students into an ethical and scholarly community. It can sometimes feel overwhelming to uphold the values of academic integrity: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage. However, it is unfair to honest students, and compromises the value of SFU degrees, if we don't all work together to support a strong culture of academic integrity.
Listed below are some best practices to support academic honesty in your classroom:
Clearly state your expectations at the beginning of class:
- Explicitly state your expectations in the syllabus.
- Share with students your expectations around assessed work and provide guidelines for ethical group work if applicable. One of the best things you can do is communicate regularly with your students about what you are trying to achieve, especially as we are largely teaching and learning remotely.
- The Academic Integrity website has an engaging two minute video that can be played in class or embedded in Canvas to summarize the types of acts that are prohibited
Embed resources for students into your course syllabus/canvas course when writing assessments are used:
- The Online Plagiarism tutorial and the new Academic Integrity tutorial from the Library can be embedded in Canvas.
- Refer to free study skills/ writing workshops through the Student Learning Commons.
- Provide students an alternative to private “editors” that might misrepresent the amount of work completed by the student by referring to WriteAway, which is an SFU approved, 100% online writing support service for undergraduates.
- Inform students that if they find themselves struggling with health challenges that SFU Health and Counselling is a useful resource. Any medical absence would ideally be documented with the Certificate of Illness for Academic Concessions (form for undergraduate students).
- Sample Letter: Communicating with students at the Start of the Term
- Creating Classroom Environments that Value Integrity
- Preventing Plagiarism Tips
- Designing Higher Order MCQ for Open Book Exams
- Designing Take Home Open Book Exams
- Sample text to request a disciplinary meeting with student
- Supporting academic honesty in online courses
- Faculty Guide to Supporting Academic Integrity (PDF)
A preventative approach
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies the bugs in our moral code: the hidden reasons we think it's okay to cheat or steal (sometimes). Clever studies help make his point that we're predictably irrational -- and can be influenced in ways we can't grasp.