Without a preventative plan in place from the start of a course it is harder to deal with academic dishonesty if it is encountered later. Below are three ways to practice prevention when creating an online course.
Be Proactive and Transparent
Communicating about academic dishonesty to students is the foundation of good practice.
Practice prevention from the start…
- Reserve a section of the course syllabus for information on academic honesty. Include links to:
- Outline the consequences and steps you will take if you suspect academic dishonesty. Include examples of what academic dishonesty might look like (e.g. plagiarism, copying and pasting answers, cheating).
- Include a page or a document in the introductory course materials section that is dedicated specifically to outlining the major course assignments, steps students should follow when completing the assignments, and guidelines for assessing the assignments.
- Use detailed rubrics to indicate what will be assessed and how it will be assessed.
- Remind students, with each assignment, of your academic honesty expectations. Refer them back to available resources to help them make informed decisions when completing their assignments.
Be Fair, Supportive, and Accessible
Understanding what factors can enduce students to academic dishonesty is key to mitigating it throughout a course.
Reduce anxiety to mitigate dishonesty…
- Provide students with sufficient time to complete major assignments. Ensure their workload is balanced based on the tasks expected of them for each module.
- Establish clear and consistent deadlines for each assignment.
- When appropriate, build in the opportunity for peer review and/or instructor review of assignments to help students receive feedback on their work.
- Dedicate time in the course to address questions or concerns about assignments. Allow students to contact you prior to assignment due dates should they need clarification.
- Consider choosing the most effective form of assessment for each of your learning goals.
Knowing ahead of time how instances of academic dishonesty are handled is important for both course planning and student communication.
Have a plan in advance…
- Review the Resources Provided for Faculty by the Office of Academic Honesty.
- Review the Tips for Instructors page (specifically for those teaching online) provided by the Office of Academic Honesty.
- Review Required Conduct for Members of the University Community, Instructors, and Students provided by the Office of Academic Honesty.
- Familiarize yourself with the Procedures for Resolving Matters of Alleged Academic Dishonesty provided by the Office of Academic Honesty.
- If you suspect academic dishonesty, report the issue to the Office of Academic Dishonesty. Consult the UGA Academic Honesty Policy on how to file a report. Note that if the reported issue gets to the facilitated discussion stage and you no longer wish to pursue the allegation, you can dismiss the case against the student.