Academic Integrity

Overview and Introduction: The WHAT and WHO

Integrity is a character-driven commitment to honesty, doing what is right, and guiding others to do what is right. Therefore, Academic Integrity is the practice of being honest in the academic work faculty and students perform at ASU. It is being fair to others, taking responsibility for learning, and following the conventions of scholarship.

One of the first things you can do to create a classroom culture of academic integrity is to directly address it with your students each term/semester. Let them know you value academic integrity and clearly define what actions ASU views as academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is an aspect of academic integrity that references actions which undermine a culture of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. Generally, academic dishonesty falls into five broad areas that include but are not limited to:

  1. Cheating on an academic evaluation or assignment.
  2. Plagiarizing.
  3. Academic deceit, such as fabricating data or information.
  4. Aiding academic integrity policy violations and inappropriately collaborating.
  5. Falsifying academic records.

Protecting the ASU community from violations of academic integrity is everyone’s responsibility. When Academic Integrity is practiced, all benefit. Students learn, develop and improve their marketable skills. Faculty are able to focus more time on student learning and less time catching students who are being academically dishonest. ASU continues to strengthen its reputation for helping to shape productive, contributing members of society. Employers gain competent and valuable employees.

Implementation and Timing: The WHEN, WHERE, and HOW

Academic Integrity is important throughout the learning and teaching process. It is best addressed openly in the beginning of the semester with refreshers throughout the semester. A good time to remind students of specifics is before important assignments or exams. Reminding students to work in advance of major deadlines can help them to avoid the temptation for academic dishonesty due to time pressure.

Academic Integrity belongs in all parts of a course. Common places to include information for students about academic integrity is:

    • the course syllabus and LMS homepage
    • course discussion forums
    • clear, concise instructions and expectations for assignments and exams

Academic integrity is best encouraged by leveraging the 3-pronged approach of:

Pedagogical Solutions

      • Include a mix of high and low-stakes assessments
      • Consider assessment approaches other than high stakes objective testing
      • Require drafts of papers before the final version is due
      • Provide custom rubrics and detailed grading criteria
      • Update test questions, discussion prompts and assignment topics each term
      • Establish a good proctoring plan for your examinations

Technology-based Solutions

Community Building Solutions

      • Define cheating and proactivity discuss cheating scenarios with students
      • Emphasize academic integrity throughout the semester
      • Discuss student professionalism and set expectations for respect, integrity, and responsibility
      • Present some of the main reasons students cheat and discuss them
      • Foster a sense of respect and community within courses
      • Require students to sign an academic integrity agreement
      • Stress that academic integrity shows respect for classmates

Rationale and Research: The WHY

A strong and vibrant academic integrity culture is paramount to both the university’s success and the success of the students we teach. Acting with integrity during academic exercises, allows students to take advantage of the opportunity to learn, develop and improve their skills. They then obtain an educational degree that reflects their own academic achievements as well as the fundamental values of the university community. It also prepares them for careers where they will provide services to others. Employers prefer to invest in developing employees who will be a positive influence on the organization and they can trust to carry out the company’s mission.

Additional Resources and References

Interested in learning more?  Here are additional readings on academic integrity topics as well as citations and links to articles referenced in this document.