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While students are ultimately responsible for maintaining academic integrity, instructors can also create an atmosphere in class that encourages students to be honest by removing incentives to cheat and valuing the process of learning and generating information.

Syllabus Statement

A statement in your syllabus can be a first step in creating an atmosphere of integrity and in making your expectations clear. Consider highlighting the importance of integrity to your course, what you expect, and consequences. Here is a syllabus example from History professor Ann Moyer :

Academic honesty is fundamental to our community. The PennBook contains our Code of Academic Integrity. A confirmed violation of that Code in this course will result in failure for the course.

Additional Samples

Throughout the Semester

Explaining and discussing what integrity means and why it matters can be a regular part of class.

  • Clarify issues that sometime confuse students. In particular, explain guidelines for collaboration, what resources students may or may not use for studying and homework, and how and when students should cite sources.
  • In your courses for graduate and professional students, consider adding the Citation Practices Module to your Canvas site. This module will provide students with citation guidance in accordance with Penn’s academic integrity policies. 
  • Show your students that you value academic integrity by setting an example of honesty and fairness for them. Cite your sources too.
  • Be excited by your students' intellectual projects.
  • Assign students smaller, lower stakes assignments to allow them to practice skills and to scaffold longer assignments so that students do the work in stages. This reduces the chance of falling behind and cheating to catch up.
  • Once you have explained your expectations, hold students accountable for their own integrity and take action against students found cheating. The perception that cheating is rampant and unpunished often frustrates honest students who fear they cannot succeed without cheating.