Resources for the Classroom

From setting expectations to incorporating business ethics into course content, there are a wide range of ideas to assist you in promoting ethical behavior in the classroom.

At the start of the semester

  • Teaching assistants offer a valuable resource, but in order to uphold the highest ethical standards in your classes, it is essential that your teaching assistant(s) are also aware of your commitment to ethical behavior in the classroom. If you use teaching assistants and/or proctors, share your expectations for their roles and responsibilities regarding academic integrity, as you work together to foster a classroom of integrity. Encourage your teaching assistants to attend the “Best Practices Workshop for Smeal's Teaching Assistants.” The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence also offers some ideas for working with a teaching assistant (PDF). 
  • Define and communicate your integrity expectations for classroom behavior, assignments, and exams on the first day of class (e.g., no technology, no collaboration on assignments unless otherwise advised). If you teach seniors or graduate students, do not assume that they automatically understand and subscribe to your expectations. Provide students with the opportunity to ask questions for clarification, where needed. 
  • In addition to including information about academic integrity and the Honor Code in your syllabus, discuss these topics on the first day of class and be explicit about how all of this applies to specific aspects of your course. Do not assume that all students, especially first-year students and international students, understand terms such as "academic integrity," "unauthorized collaboration," and "plagiarism." Student integrity awareness videos were developed by The Undergraduate International Student Academic Integrity Focus Group to engage first year students in conversation about honor and integrity.  For more information about these videos, please contact Jana Clinton at .  Plan other activities around these conversations or talk to for other ideas. 
  • On the next day of class (or in preparation for the next day of class), consider administering a short 5-question quiz about the syllabus, course expectations, and/or the Honor Code.
  • Encourage your students, your teaching assistants, and proctors to participate in the semi-annual Honor Code signing. In fact, some faculty may wish to incorporate the signing experience into their class meeting time. If this interests you, contact the office of y to coordinate a time to sign the Honor Code. 

 Throughout the semester

  • Revisit the information in the "at the start of the semester" section from time to time throughout the semester, particularly when explaining assignments and before a deliverable is submitted for evaluation.
  • Require students to sign the Academic Integrity Pledge for all deliverables. Position the pledge at the beginning of the deliverable (research finds that it is more effective at curbing cheating when you do so):
    “I _____________________________________________________________________ affirm that I have not and will not give or receive unauthorized aid on this deliverable and I will complete this work honestly and according to the instructor’s guidelines.”
  • Be specific about your expectations for deliverables. For example, if students should complete an assignment on their own, or if students should not use outside resources to complete an assignment, state and explain these policies and, importantly, the reasons for them, when the deliverable is assigned.
  • If you administer exam(s) in your course, consider all the following to safeguard against incidents of academic integrity:

    Share the exam topics with the class, and post practice exams on ANGEL.

    Change exam and quiz questions regularly. If you are teaching multiple sections of the same course, require students of different sections to take the exam at the same time (if possible) and use assigned seats. If not, use different but comparable versions of exams and quizzes in each section (e.g., use different questions, scramble the questions and answers).

    Where possible, use essay/case exams rather than multiple choice exams.

    Encourage students to review their exams during office hours, rather than returning exams in class.

  • If you administer Excel-based assessments, Art Jones has volunteered to serve as a resource for you. He has created and implemented a number of tactics to maintain integrity in his assessments for MIS 204. For more information, contact .
  • For homework assignments or group projects, require deliverables to be submitted via ANGEL, so that they may be time-stamped.
  • For group and/or team projects, provide students with the opportunity to share confidential feedback on their group members' contributions. From written feedback to an online system, there are a number of ways for feedback to be facilitated, depending on the size of the class. Contact for assistance with online options.
  • In addition to (or in lieu of "attendance" points), consider "civility" in course grades, as a means of encouraging better behavior. Civility could include best practices such as contributing substantially to class discussions, and discussing with the instructor and classmates in a respectful manner.
  • Create opportunities to reference current news events, and if possible, discuss ethical dilemmas facing organizations and/or industries in your discipline. Or, from time to time, share ethics-related news articles with your class via ANGEL. By connecting the importance of integrity in the professional workplace to classroom subject matter, we underscore the importance of the Honor Code.
  • If you suspect that a student has completed a deliverable, inconsistent with the Honor Code, visit the Integrity website to follow the academic integrity process. If you have questions and/or concerns about the process, contact your associate dean.
  • "Quietly recognize" those students who bring an incident of academic integrity to your attention. You may share their name with  and she will work with the Dean's Office to send a thank you card to the student.