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Suggested Methods for preventing violations

Research indicates that class size, teaching practices and evaluation methods can affect the level of academic integrity in a course. The following suggestions provide useful advice to faculty on how to reduce the opportunity for violating the Code in exams, papers, and by student teaching assistants. The suggestions come from Cornell Faculty, a student task force on Academic Integrity from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators: Issues and Perspectives on Academic Integrity.

Exams

  • Develop course objectives and tie all tests to those objectives. Unrealistic, trite or irrelevant
    examination questions provide students with a rationale to be dishonest.
  • Test frequently to learn the kind of work students are capable of performing. Students who
    know that faculty members are aware of their abilities are less inclined to substitute the work of
    others as their own.
  • Avoid "all or nothing" grading—giving only one examination. This puts excessive pressure on
    students to perform and may stimulate academic dishonesty.
  • Develop a pool of test questions so that tests can be changed each term.
  • Vary prelims and grading format so that students who are not good test takers have other
    opportunities to demonstrate their abilities.
  • Put copies of old exams on reserve so that students know what to expect.
  • Assign "take home" exams only if student collaboration is desired.
  • Avoid using standard examinations contained in teacher’s manuals, since resourceful students
    are often able to obtain such publications.
  • Do not give the same exam on different days or at different times.
  • Supply official examination booklets at examinations.
  • Require students to place all material other than writing utensils outside the class or at the front
    of the room in closed-book exams.
  • Check student identification against the class list in large classes.
  • State the regulations involving examinations found in the Code at the beginning of the exam.
  • Collect examination booklets by row, so seat location can be determined.
  • Assign an adequate number of proctors to carefully and diligently proctor the exam.
  • Alternate seating, providing enough seats between students to discourage cheating.

Papers

  • Require outlines, bibliographies, summaries of research, or rough drafts to be handed in at
    various points throughout the writing. These items need not be graded, but they can be used to
    check against the final paper.
  • Change paper topics from year to year. When students choose their own topics, require that
    they discuss their plans.
  • Schedule due dates as early in the semester as is academically appropriate to the assignment to
    reduce time pressure.
  • Ask students assigned to write substantial papers to give an oral presentation either to the class
    or to the professor and to respond to questions OR to meet at least once with faculty member to
    review the topic and discuss the ongoing research which the student has undertaken.
  • Suggest a time sequence for research, outline, first draft, etc. to students inexperienced at
    writing papers; recommend campus writing assistance programs such as “Writing Workshop”
    for students having trouble writing.
  • Give a pop quiz on the paper topics immediately before the papers are due to test student
    knowledge of the information.
  • Mention the availability of The Code of Academic Integrity and Acknowledging the Work of Others
    in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, and put several copies on reserve. Make it required
    reading for the course.

Teaching Assistants

  • Avoid asking teaching assistants to compose exams, as this puts them in an awkward position
    when they are helping students review.
  • Explain clearly the teaching assistant’s role as examination proctor, noting that proctoring time
    should be spent in carefully keeping an eye out for students with questions and watching for
    violations of the Code.
  • Do not give a solutions manual for the entire course to teaching assistants.

Computers

  • Assign new problems and papers from year to year, requesting that early drafts be handed in
    periodically before final draft is due.
  • Require students to show how they obtained their answers.
  • For courses in which all students are required to use the same computer program, the professor
    may decide to monitor individual files. Students should be informed of this decision.
  • Advise students to protect their computer files and destroy discarded drafts of printed
    materials.