Academic Honesty and Integrity
Prevention Strategies for:
Classroom Management Tips
In addition to informing students of what you will do if you find that someone has cheated, here are some classroom management suggestions for discouraging academic misconduct during exams:
Give more tests so students will be less tempted to cheat on fewer “high-stakes” exams.
Make sure exams can’t be stolen from your office, briefcase or computer.
Require an ID and signature in large class sections—where you may not know all students by name—as exams are being turned in. Alternatively, seat students with their assigned discussion or lab section GTA who will hand out and collect exams.
Use multiple versions of tests (especially multiple-choice) distributed in an alternating pattern. Using the same questions in different order will provide equity.
When repeating the same course, or giving tests in multiple sections, use the Canvas Question Groups function to randomize the order of your quiz questions. You may also use Canvas to shuffle the order of your Multiple Choice Answers.
Prevent students from attending earlier sections in order to preview a test. Implement and announce combining all sections into the same curve to discourage students from helping friends in later sections.
Have monitors moving about the room, with some walking around the back of the class. Have monitors checking for notes on students’ hands and arms.
Seat students in alternate chairs, when possible.
Track where students sit during the exam using numbered exams passed out by row and sign-in sheets for each row.
When using Blue Books, have students submit their blanks and randomly re-distribute them. Alternately, give varying instructions to make sure pre-written booklets aren’t used. For example, write only on the left-hand pages, skip 3 pages before starting, or use the book upside down.
Have students leave personal items (inside backpacks) on the floor under their chair and not on empty seats.
Provide scratch paper when needed (stapled to the exam) and, if testing multiple sections, collect the scratch paper at the end of the period to prevent exam notes from leaving the room.
If you see “wandering eyes”, quietly ask the student to move to another seat or hand them a note reminding them to keep their eyes on their own paper for the rest of the exam.
Do not allow hats or sun glasses during an exam (religious headwear excluded). Have students take off coats and zippered sweatshirts.
Count the students in attendance and insure that the number of exams you hand out does not exceed that number and the number returned isn’t less. Have students turn in exams as they leave the room.
Be clear about what types of calculators are allowed in the exam room and provide resources for students who don’t have an acceptable model.
Do not allow students to leave the room during an exam.
Clearly place your marks, in ink, over graded questions (or blank spaces) to prevent changes prior to re-grading requests.
Limit requests for re-grading to one week after tests are returned to reduce temptation at the end of semester.
Indicate you will impound any cell-phone or electronic device you see during an exam. Do not allow ear-buds or head phones to be used.
Do not allow beverage containers to be in view during the exam (or check them for notes on or under labels).
Provide a “cheat sheet” and focus the exam on the understanding and use of relevant materials rather than memorization.
Tell students to cover their work.
Do not allow electronic language translators. Such devices provide more information than an electronic dictionary and often have a notepad or another capacity to record a “cheat sheet.”
Use the bottom of the page for True-or-False and Multiple-Choice questions. They will be that much harder to see by others.
Have student sign their name in ink on each page of the exam.
Assign the same person (TA) to grade the same essay or short answer question so that suspiciously similar answers, or those that are incorrect in exactly the same way are easily detected.
Ask students to sign a statement on their exam reading: “Honor Pledge: I have not received or given any unauthorized assistance on this exam.”
The following suggestions are aimed at preventing both unintentional plagiarism and the use of materials and papers obtained from other students or via internet sites.
Explain the definition of plagiarism when assigning papers, and that papers without properly cited sources will be graded accordingly. Both verbally and on your syllabus, clarify the citation convention you expect them to use and the penalty you will impose for academic misconduct.
Before accepting the first assigned paper, have your students read the Plagiarism Prime by Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin (CBB)
The test is available for free under a Creative Commons license and, to verify that your students have done what you asked, as each completes the task, the results can be forwarded along to you.
In a recent blind study, Jacob and Dee (2010) found that there was a significant drop in plagiarism cases when students were required to complete this particular tutorial.
See: NBER Working Paper No. 15672
Avoid assigning open topic papers. Change topics each term. When allowing options, limit the choices. Require compelling reasons for accepting late, student-initiated topic changes.
Require at least two “recent” references. In other words, references dated within the previous two years.
Require specific, citable sources such as an article, book, author, or other data source provided for its specific assignment relevance.
Set due dates for the steps in the research and writing process, such as the identification of the topic, an outline, preliminary bibliography, rough draft, etc.
Require that 1-3 drafts be provided (either with the final paper or in phases before the final due date.) Keep a copy to compare with the final paper.
Ask students to write in the first person. For example, “I think that…” or “I have come to the conclusion that….”
Early in the term, require students to write an in-class essay so you will have a sample of their writing.
Require an annotated bibliography.
Require a short in-class essay, on the day papers are due, about the assignment addressing questions such as what they learned from the assignment, how they researched the topic, where they found most of their sources, etc.
Inform students that suspicious papers will be submitted to TurnItIn
Provide resources for help with citation skills (i.e. the CSU Writing Center) and for determining what is considered “common” subject knowledge.
Ask students to sign a statement on their paper reading: “Honor pledge: I have not received or given any unauthorized assistance on this paper.”
For More Information
See the Writing@CSU Dealing With Plagiarism Guide
See: Understanding Plagiarism, a guide and self-test focusing on paraphrasing without plagiarism, is offered by the School of Education, Indiana University.
Student results can be forwarded to Instructors for verification of completion. Note that you should alert students that this resource assumes seven words can be copied without using quotation marks while that is not the usual standard at CSU.
Warn students against copying portions of the lab manual or textbook into the introduction, discussion, or conclusions section of their report.
Create alternate forms of the same experiment by making slight changes to quantities and/or other variables.
Discuss your expectations regarding the sharing of results with other lab students. Give examples of acceptable and unacceptable collaboration.
Require a formal “sign off” on observable results—issued by an authorized instructor, lab assistant, or Teaching Assistant—before each student may leave the lab.
Give more points for correct procedures then for perfect results.
Ask students to sign a statement on their report reading: “Honor pledge:I have not received or given any unauthorized assistance on this academic work and I verify the data reported were my actual
Include a clear statement on the syllabus or assignment, reinforced orally, about exactly what you expect on group projects. Give examples of acceptable and unacceptable collaboration.
Include guidelines in that statement explaining the acceptable collaboration parameters between groups and how to identify which group member contributed in what way to the project.
Be clear what will happen if one group member includes plagiarized material in the final paper, project, or report. Will the whole group be held responsible or only the student who contributed that material?
Warn students on the importance of including quotation marks for direct quotes and noting paraphrased and summarized passages (and their sources) if they will be submitting their research notes to another student who will be writing the final paper.