Academic Integrity ‘Talking Points’ for Instructors

In addition to pointing students to the USask academic misconduct policy (a minimum requirement as part of your syllabus), it’s important to talk about academic integrity and academic misconduct with students.  Students need to know that:

  1. You know about academic misconduct and the temptations students face;
  2. You respond to the suspected academic misconduct;
  3. You prevent academic misconduct in multiple ways; and
  4. You care about students’ learning and a fair environment for assessment.
  Core ideas What you can say to your students
I know
  • sites that facilitate or deliver academic misconduct exist
  • unpermitted collaboration occurs  
  • I am aware of sites that make it possible for students to cheat on exams, buy papers, and are even marketing their services this way to you.
  • I am aware that when there is less supervision during exams there is more opportunity for unpermitted collaboration  
I respond
  • detection strategies are in place
  • sites will share email addresses and remove materials
  • university policies and procedures will be followed  
  • I will follow up with suspected misconduct, using the procedures and policies.
  • Our Department/College knows how to contact the unpermitted sites for information.  
  • Since March, U of S students have been found guilty of using these unpermitted services on sites during exams and the penalty has ranged from a reduction of grades, to failing a course, to suspension.  
I prevent
  • design of assessment can make academic misconduct less relevant
  • use of features for quizzes and assignments in Canvas and Blackboard make academic misconduct more difficult  
  • I have redesigned my assessments to be even more relevant, and use more of your thinking power, so that you learn more and academic misconduct is not worth the risk to you.
  • I use tools in the LMS that make exam cheating more difficult.
  • I use processes to increase my ability to detect my questions on these sites or copied/plagiarized material from the internet more broadly.  
I care
  • make the rules clear
  • help students follow the rules
  • maintain confidence of students that it is worth it to learn and to have academic integrity
  • I want you to learn in this course, and I want you to value what you learn.
  • I want you to feel confident the assessments in my course are fair.
  • I want you to follow the rules for my assignments and exams because I want to see what you can do, and what you know, and to give you feedback.
  • I want to know when you are feeling uncertain, stressed and at risk for academic misconduct because I want to help &/or point you to help.
  • I want students to feel committed to academic integrity for their own wellbeing & success as well for the credibility & reputation of all of us at the University of Saskatchewan.
  • I point you to resources that will help, like this academic integrity tutorial  in our Library.