Tips & Strategies for Managing Integrity in an Online Environment

  • An important strategy in preventing academic misconduct is developing an atmosphere of trust and respect where students feel safe yet challenged to learn. Use platforms other than the course site to communicate with individual students. A phone conversation or video chat during the course, an “open-door” policy using tools such as Google Chat, and email all invite a sense of trust and provide a source of assistance when the students are feeling anxious or stuck in a course.
  • Be clear about your expectations with students. Since you are largely depending on written words for communication, there is opportunity for misunderstanding. Create a discussion board for students to ask course questions. Use examples of course assignments so that the students can see your expectations, not just read about them.
  • Utilize anti-cheating and plagiarism detection software such as Turnitin, Lockdown Browser, and Respondus Monitor.
  • Create an academic integrity tab on Canvas and provide resources other than just linking the Code.
    • ​Consider using the module prepared by our office. It can be directly imported into Canvas and, if needed, modified to fit the curriculum for your course.
  • Add a statement at the beginning of online tests reminding students of the Code of Student Academic Integrity.
  • Have students affirm they completed the academic exercise with integrity prior to submission.
  • Consider utilizing timed tests which limit students’ ability to consult external resources during online testing.
  • Ask questions that require critical thinking and application of content to deter student use of external resources during tests and to demonstrate deeper understanding.
  • Use tracking tools in Canvas to determine if your students are coming to “class.” Letting students know you are monitoring them can be a deterrent to problems later. Consider reaching out to students when you see that their interaction or involvement is changing. Don’t be accusatory – find out what is going on.
  • Rewrite exams or rearrange questions each semester. For online exams, this can be done in a learning management system by creating a question pool. Contact the Center for Teaching and Learning or Canvas for more information and assistance.
  • Report all suspected academic misconduct violations
    • ​Our commitment as a University community to cultivate a culture of academic integrity can only be maintained if we work together. For students, this means that they complete all of their academic work in a way that honestly and fairly demonstrates their knowledge and abilities. For faculty, that means that they work to design and deliver academic work that upholds integrity, and they check to ensure that work is completed with integrity. It also means that faculty report all suspected academic integrity violations to Student Accountability & Conflict Resolution. Any extenuating circumstances can be considered during the outcome phase of the process.

University of North Texas Teaching Commons. Academic Integrity in Online Courses: Tips & Strategies. 2020.
UC San Diego Academic Integrity Office. Moving to Remote Assessments with Integrity. 2020.