Additional Resources from University College

NAU's University College has provided the following additional information on academic integrity.

Best Practices from the Town Hall on Academic Integrity

A PDF file is available of the slides presented on 9/20/2012 during the town hall meeting at the Native American Cultural Center on the NAU campus.

Screen shot of first page of the Best Practices presentation

Best Practices for Faculty

Embeddedness and Specificity

  • Create assignments that have specific unusual topics or narrow twists.
  • Require students to use specific resources for papers—for example, three sources from the class, a certain number of sources, websites, journal articles, personal interviews, personal surveys (Harris 2001).
  • Design assignments that ask for explanations, problem-solving, choices, and decision-making (McKenzie 1998).
  • Ask students to integrate two or more specific ideas—for example, how does a local problem or issue relate to a particular theory covered by the course (Carroll & Appleton 2001).
  • Design an assignment that requires creativity, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis (Carroll & Appleton 2001).
  • Ask students to compare two ideas, outcomes, or applications (Carroll & Appleton 2001).
  • Design assignments that require students to focus on inquiry or investigation.
  • Ask students to research a topic and present information that leads to a decision rather than simply presenting the topic (McKenzie 1998).
  • Ask students to explain why something did not happen rather than describing what happened (McKenzie 1998).


  • Design assignments that are submitted throughout the course and are dependent on revisions or development of ideas or writing skills (similar to the LS junior writing course requirements). Examples:
    • Preparation of annotated bibliography
    • Peer feedback of papers (Harris 2001)
    • After assignment submission, have students write an essay about what they learned from the assignment (Harris 2001)
  • Prevent cheating (from by following these steps:
    • Don’t reuse examinations.
    • Don’t use standard textbook homework exercises (answers are likely to be online).
    • Change the design or wording of lab assignments from year to year.
    • Provide an examination “cover sheet” with an academic integrity reminder and specific examination instructions (for example, state your policy on use of calculators; display or use of mobile phones; asking permission to use restrooms, etc).
    • Use assigned seating during examinations.
    • Provide ample space between examination takers.
    • Vary the order of questions on different copies of the same examination.
    • Allow students to see graded examinations, but require that the examinations be returned to you at the end of class.
    • Provide specific instructions about when collaboration is or is not permitted.
    • Assume collaboration is likely to occur on any take home examination. Set time limits for take-home examinations keyed to when the questions are downloaded and answers submitted.
    • Consider allowing students to use a legal “crib sheet” (specified size) during examinations. Doing so encourages students to think about, synthesize, and organize materials before the examination. (Note: Research by Funk & Dickson 2011; Dickson & Miller 2010 argue that based on their research crib cards do not improve exam performance.)

Educate students and encourage faculty to take a proactive approach

  • Ask what the roots of academic integrity are at our institution. Is it naivety and inexperience, accidental, an issue of poor time management, or is cheating considered acceptable? Help students understand the meaning of honesty, integrity and how this applies to academic work. What is the value of giving credit for the work and ideas of others and what is the value of submitting work that is based on your own work and research? (education, fairness, scholarship, citizenship, the effects on everyone). There is often anxiety around citation rules. Educate students about the purpose of citation rather than merely teaching them the mechanics of citation.
  • Ask whether ourselves students understand how to avoid plagiarism? Students are often unclear about what encompasses cheating and plagiarism. Help students learn the skills and tools of practicing academic integrity: citations for ideas as well as quotations.
  • Include a syllabus statement about academic integrity standards and consequences.
  • Discuss your expectations about academic integrity the first day of class. Encourage students to explain why this is important to them. Remind students of the standards and expectations prior to relevant assignments and exams.
  • Develop an honor code in your classroom. (For the steps in developing a class honor code see
  • Ask students to complete a declaration that they have not plagiarized when they submit work
  • As a way of educating students about the issues, ask students to role play a student court in class on a fabricated incident of academic dishonesty and to write up a report and come to a decision.
  • Design a first year module on academic integrity and then encourage faculty to require students to complete an online plagiarism tutorial/module and quiz as part of the assessment in your course. The challenge is to get students to understand academic integrity and university policy at their entry point to college.
  • Develop a website on academic integrity with resources for students and faculty. See for example: University of Manitoba
  • Instructor Insights into the 10 Types of Plagiarism (.pdf)

York University:
Syracuse University:

  • Encourage student groups to give advice and guidance on academic integrity and advise students to take advantage of student services such as the Student Learning Center or online tutorials.
  • Incorporate peer mentoring into your course or as part of a mandatory plagiarism module (through peer chat tools). Ensure that peer mentors have appropriate and adequate training.
  • Advise students to go to the Student Learning Center to work on their writing and citation skills
  • Focus on purpose rather than mechanics. Teach in ways that help students understand that writing is important across all disciplines. Help them learn to research and synthesize materials so that their voice is the dominant voice in their writing. ┬áStudents are often so focused on capturing the information that they neglect to think about what they are learning so that they can write clearly about the ideas and concepts they are learning. Help them understand that they are being asked to form their own views about materials and perspectives and to substantiate those views with other scholarly work.
  • Help students to learn to read with a purpose and to critique so that they can focus on developing their own views.
  • Be open to answering questions and to directing students to available resources on campus. Can you use others work? Yes! as long as you reference it and these are the referencing tools you can use.

Responding to Incidents