Reduce Cheating

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There are five common academic dishonesty practices. Online faculty members need to be aware of them and take them into consideration while designing their courses.

  1. Plagiarism – using another person’s words or ideas without appropriate citation conventions as presented in different
  2. Fabrication – making up data, results, information, or number, and recording, and reporting them as authentic work
  3. Falsification – manipulating research, data, or results to inaccurately portray information in reports in one’s favor
  4. Misrepresentation – falsely representing oneself, efforts, or abilities
  5. Misbehavior – acting in ways that are not overtly misconduct but are counter to acceptable academic practices.

Approaches and strategies to address academic strategies are addressed here.


It is meant to catch and punish the student who practices academic dishonesty

  1. Positive: Control, power (if viewed positively)
  2. Negative: Control, power, students’ willingness to find ways around, focus is on catching students instead of empowering them
  3. Pedagogical recommendations (Krovitz, 2007; Rowe, 2004)
  • Maintain security
  • Proctor the assessment: Require students to take exams onsite
  • Use different formats of test
  • Plan fake tests
  • Develop java script codes that can prevent students from copying or printing any assessment content
  • Set limited time for each assessment question
  • Release grades only after the assessment’s deadline has passed
  • Set test to present questions and multiple choice answers randomly
  • Report cheating incidents: Report all cheating when you see it, rather than ignore it or handle it on your own. A professor can become known as someone who does not tolerate cheating or look the other way, and then the cheaters will not choose her class! Also, many professors mistakenly assume that they can reduce cheating on their own, but it takes the entire campus. If instructors do not report cheating, that same student may be cheating in other courses and no one would ever know!”
    x. Use software such as WritePlus, TurnItIn and ExamGuard primarily to CATCH students who break the rule


limit opportunities for student cheating

  1. Positive: It empowers students, fosters teacher-student relationship, and promotes learning
  2. Negative: May require more time to implement
  3. Pedagogical recommendations (Olt, 2009; Rowe, 2004)
  • Recognize disadvantages of online assessment and plan ways to overcome them before the course begins
  • Design effective assessment (e.g., focus on application of knowledge to personal/professional experience, questions that require students to know well the subject matter
  • Use different assessments (or questions) for different semesters
  • Suggest/require students to complete the University Academic Integrity training before they can have access to the rest of the course content
    v. Challenge academic dishonesty when it occurs
  • Develop grading rubrics that can fit only with your assessment, not a generic one that can be used for any assignment
  • Define academic dishonesty and promote academic integrity
  • Use different test formats
  • Consider the intellectual workload of the students
  • Add Academic Honesty policy to each assessment
  • Focus on meaningful learning: Explicitly link assignments to learning objectives. Students often cheat on assignments that they see as meaningless or “busy-work.” If they understand the point of the assignment, especially how it will help them learn the material, they are more likely to push through it on their own rather than copy from someone else.
  • Require many assessment activities throughout the semester or the quarter
  • Develop a large question pool and deliver questions and answers randomly: We cannot control student behavior, but we can at least show them that we care about the integrity of our classes by doing little things. For example, space students out during exams, provide multiple versions of the same test, require students to leave all non-essential materials at the front of the room, and have the WiFi turned off in the test room.
  • Develop java script codes that can prevent students from copying or printing any assessment content
  • Clearly state the consequences of academic dishonesty and encourage students to make the right decision
  • Use authentic team projects
  • Use software such as WritePlus, TurnItIn and ExamGuard PRIMARILY to help students improve their work before they submit their work.

Virtue Integration

It encourage students to strive for academic excellence and integrity

  1. Positive: lasting positive effects, focus on academic excellence, promotes self-regulation, self-motivation, and self-esteem
  2. Negative: It depends highly on students’ cooperation and may require significant amount of time and effort
  3. Pedagogical recommendations (Krovitz, 2007; Milliron & Sandoe, 2008; Olt, 2009)
  • Focus on Bloom Taxonomy’s higher-order thinking skills
  • Connect assessment activity to different parts of the course
  • Answer concisely all the questions that students may have about a specific assessment activity
  • Make sure the assignment is manageable according to available time and students’ background knowledge
  • Provide constructive feedback (for encouragement and improvement)
  • Reshape positively online students’ attitudes towards online assessment: Talk to students about the relation of academic integrity to professional ethics and their future chosen career. Students are more likely to uphold integrity in academic assignments if they see it as holding more value than just being “another institutional rule.”
  • Write every exam as if it were an open-book test
  • Promote learning through online assessment
  • Link academic honesty to students’ career goals
  • Inspire: Foster students’ passion for learning
  • For each assignment, ask students to add an electronically signed statement that certifies the originality of their work
  • Build positive relationship with your students: they will not want to break it by cheating
  • Use authentic team projects
  • Clearly articulate your expectations for the class and EACH INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT. Can students work with others on their homework assignments, for example? Can they use old exams, lab reports, etc. as aids in the course?
  • Develop cumulative projects where students are given a choice to work on a project of their choice throughout the course
  • Use software such as WritePlus, TurnItIn and ExamGuard ONLY to help students improve their work before they submit their work.

Link to example artifact(s)

A new study by Turnitin, the plagiarism detection service, has found that term paper mills account only for a small minority (15 percent) of the apparent sources of the copying. One-third of such material comes from social networks and another one-fourth from “legitimate” educational sources.

Link to scholarly reference(s)


Wa-Mbaleka, S. (2013). Reduce cheating. In B. Chen & K. Thompson (Eds.), Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository. Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Center for Distributed Learning.

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