Tips for Preventing Academic Misconduct

It’s important to remember that despite an instructor’s best attempts, students may still choose to violate policy, which is not a reflection on their faculty member.

Educating to Reduce Plagiarism

  • Assign narrow and specific research topics.
  • Do not allow last-minute changes of topic.
  • Require that outlines be submitted three to four weeks prior to the deadline and that drafts be submitted with the final paper.
  • Do not assume students know what constitutes plagiarism or proper citation format, and encourage students to utilize campus resources or review this information with them.
  • Require detailed citations, including page numbers.
  • Clearly explain classroom expectations.
  • Encourage students to come to you if they are confused about citation practices.
  • Role model proper citation in lectures, emphasizing it as a sign show respect for other scholars.
  • Talk about academic honesty with your students, and make sure they understand both the reasons and tools for avoiding plagiarism.

 

Educating to Reduce Cheating

  • At the beginning or end of each test, quiz, or exam, ask students to sign the “Challenge Statement” advocated by the Honor Advisory Council: “I commit to uphold the ideals of honor and integrity by refusing to betray the trust bestowed upon me as a member of the Georgia Tech Community.”
  • During the exam, consider asking students to place backpacks, books, notebooks, electronic devices, cell phones, and laptops in another part of the room.
  • Remake exams each semester. Reorder questions; reword questions; and change formats. Students frequently give old exams to friends, which is permitted under the Academic Honor Code. Creating new exams each semester assures that all students have an equal opportunity for success.
  • When possible, use free response and essay questions rather than multiple-choice questions.
  • If relevant, require students display work or proof of how they came to an answer.
  • When giving take-home exams, spend extra time to define clearly what will and will not be acceptable. Make sure students understand your policy on collaboration.
  • Clearly state, both verbally and in writing (on your syllabus preferably), what is and what is not appropriate collaboration in your class, particularly regarding homework assignments, lab work and reports, or other group-oriented projects.

 

Additional "Best Practices"

  • Discuss Academic Honor Code issues in your class. Tell your class what you expect from them in terms of academic performance and what is and is not allowed in your academic environment.
  • Change testing measures in class frequently to prevent students from using previous assignments to gain an unfair advantage.
  • Make copies of any material that is allowed to be submitted for a regrade.
  • Invite the Office of Student Integrity and the Honor Advisory Council to present to classes on academic misconduct and the Honor Code.
  • Utilize TAs when talking about academic integrity with your class. Remind TAs that they are role models to students. New students take what TAs say more seriously than any other group. Help TAs understand that anything they say or do regarding class policy will impact future decisions or opinions.
  • Provide sample/practice or past exams to help students focus their efforts appropriately.