Encouraging and Maintaining Academic Integrity

Suggested Procedures for Exams

The following is a list of best practices for maintaining academic integrity with exams:

  • Have students leave all books, notes, backpacks, cellular devices, and other aids in an inaccessible spot (exception : open-note/open-book tests)
  • Inform students that they may not leave the testing room and return without permission of the faculty member/proctor
  • Inform students that they may not talk to each other
  • Create a designated seating arrangement and put space between students, if possible. If no seating arrangement is specified, the students shall ensure that their line of sight does not create cause for suspicion of cheating.
  • Include a printed statement about academic integrity and the Honor Code on the exam document.  (Note: This statement could be one that appears at the end of the exam.  The student then signs the statement if he/she has no suspicion of dishonest work.  If the statement is left unsigned, he/she will be contacted by the faculty member responsible for the exam. If the statement was purposefully left unsigned, the student in question is asked to indicate the nature of his/her suspicions.  An investigation of the suspicions can be pursued, if appropriate, by the faculty member or the Honor Code Review Board [see 509.3].)
  • Verbally remind students of the honor system before the exam
  • Inform the students on the proctoring protocol for the test  (Note: While the spirit of the Honor Code would make proctoring unwarranted, the proctoring of exams will be at the discretion of the faculty member.)
  • Instruct the students of the specific procedure for turning in the exam when the students’ work is complete
  • Specify if students are allowed use of any legal “crib sheet” (specified size) during the exam.  (Note: doing so may encourage students to think about, synthesize, and organize materials prior to the exam).
  • Faculty members are encouraged to make him/herself available at the exam site, at some point in time or at intervals throughout the exam period, to answer questions related to the exam.

Suggested Procedures for Homework Assignments

The following is a list of best practices for maintaining academic integrity with homework assignments:

  • Clearly define expectations for the homework assignment.
  • Be explicit about the amount or degree of outside assistance that is acceptable, including if students may collaborate on the assignment.
  • Suggest various forms of acceptable assistance that is available to them, i.e. CAE, scheduling a meeting with the faculty member, tutors, etc. if they should run into a problem with the assignment.
  • State what sources the students are expected to use or not use for the assignment.

Suggested Procedures for Papers

The following is a list of best practices for maintaining academic integrity with papers:

  • Explain what plagiarism is and the repercussions for plagiarism at the beginning of the course, through a statement in the syllabus or a handout that they can refer to thereafter. Give students practical guidance on how plagiarism is defined and can be avoided with each paper asssignment.1
  • Assign drafts of papers so that concerns about plagiarism can be addressed early on.
  • Assign focused topics likely to be engaging to students.1
  • Use shorter and more frequent papers, including in-class writing exercises. 1
  • Learn student writing styles. 1
  • Have students submit components of major papers in stages (e.g., start with a proposal and outline). 1
  • Review and comment on how students use citations. 1
  • Ask students to "present" their papers and respond to questions in class. 1

Suggested Procedures for Group Projects

The following is a list of best practices for maintaining academic integrity with group projects:

  • Develop a clear rubric that explains the expectations of each student in the group.
  • Require notes or other evidence of process from each student.
  • Include a public presentation from the group that requires each student to present.
  • Ask each student to write an evaluation of his/her participation in the project.

Suggestions for Syllabi Statements and First Day of Semester Discussions

The following is a list of best practices for highlighting and discussing academic integrity at the beginning of a course:

  • Include in syllabi or course policy statements a statement affirming the presence and nature of the Honor Code and its applicability to the work students will undertake in this course (see Appendix A for an example syllabus statement). 
  • Discuss openly during the first week of classes the presence and nature of the Honor Code, and its importance in preserving academic integrity (see 509.0 of the faculty handbook for language that may assist in this discussion).
  • Remind students, in statements and discussion, that under the provisions of the Honor Code, faculty may and students are expected to report to the Honor Council a student suspected of an Honor Code violation. 
  • Include in syllabi and course policy statements, or otherwise make students aware, of a definition of plagiarism and of correct citation techniques as they will apply to that student’s work in that course (see Appendix B for a description of plagiarism).
  • Remind students of the basic policy for reporting Honor Code violations (refer them to the Honor Code section of the Student Handbook [URL to be inserted here]).  Also discuss how allowing Honor Code violations to go unreported degrades the value of every student’s Luther College grades and degree, is contrary to Luther’s values, and undermines Luther’s academic prestige.


1 Adapted from Gary Pavela.  “Advice From Students to Faculty Members on Protecting Academic Integrity.”  December 14, 2011.

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