Promoting Academic Integrity in the Classroom
Faculty have both the responsibility and the opportunity to promote an understanding of integrity in the classroom (and beyond). Instructors may wish to consider some of the approaches suggested below, if they are appropriate for the course.
Communication Expectations in the Classroom
Engaging Integrity in the Classroom
- At a minimum, include a statement about academic integrity in the syllabus, including a reference to Furman's policy, definitions of academic misconduct and possible penalties for violations. (See the sample statement below.)
- Emphasize academic integrity throughout the course, not just at the beginning.
- Provide clear guidelines on the "ground rules" of the course, including detailed information about your particular position on collaboration on assignments, use of student-created test banks, use of notes or other aids for particular tests or assignments.
- Clarify and explain the rationale for authorized versus unauthorized collaboration on course assignments. For example, are students allowed to discuss an essay topic, then write it individually?
- Invite your students to ask for clarification.
- Explicitly model academic integrity (citing sources for lectures, for example).
- Employ appropriate preventive measures.
- Report all infractions or suspected infractions through Furman's prescribed processes.
- Provide real world examples of the need for trust and integrity, especially as they relate to discipline in question (Jayson Blair, Martha Stewart, Enron, Barry Bonds.) Tangible examples are especially effective (such as inviting students to consider the trust they place in the architects, engineers, and construction workers responsible for the thousands of pounds of steel and concrete balanced above their heads).
- Discuss the effects of cheating on the cheater. (For example, the cheater can never enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. The cheater will never know what he/she could accomplish on his/her own.)
- Discuss the effects of lying on the academic community and the individual.
- Discuss the values of the academic environment. What do we cherish in the search for truth and understanding? Why do faculty need to trust students? Why do students need to trust each other? Why do students need to trust the faculty?
Sample Syllabus Statement
Integrity gives the educational enterprise its legitimacy. Honesty, respect, and personal responsibility are principles that guide academic life at Furman, in and out of the classroom. Academic misconduct in any form (plagiarism, cheating, inappropriate collaboration, and other efforts to gain an unfair academic advantage) threatens the values of the campus community and will have severe consequences, such as failure in the course, and/or suspension or dismissal from the university.
As part of our effort to protect academic integrity at Furman, the University now subscribes to Turnitin.com
, an online plagiarism detection service. In this course I will utilize this service either by submitting your papers electronically to Turnitin.com and/or by asking you to do so. In turn, I will receive an originality report highlighting matches between words or strings of words in the submitted papers and sources found on Turnitin's extensive database. Your papers, like all materials submitted to Turnitin, will be stored on the service's restricted access database for the sole purpose of detecting possible plagiarism of such documents. For more information about Turnitin, refer to www.turnitin.com
If you have any question about what constitutes plagiarism or any other form of academic misconduct, it is your responsibility to consult with me so that you will fully understand what I expect of you in this course. If you have any doubts, ask! You should also be familiar with the information available at furman.edu/integrity