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Do’s and Don’ts for Promoting Academic Integrity

Donald McCabe’ s 2005 article “Cheating Among College And University Students: A North American Perspective” is often cited for its sobering statistics regarding the prevalence of cheating in higher education.

The numbers are alarming and do require a serious response, but have you ever turned the numbers upside down? For example, if 42 percent of college students admit to working with others on individual assignments, that means 58 percent aren’t getting help from others and those students would like you to do something about the 42 percent. If 38 percent admit to plagiarizing, that means 62 percent aren’t plagiarizing and those students expect you to do something about the 38 percent.

It’s an interesting view presented by Tricia Bertram Gallant, PhD, academic integrity coordinator at the University of California, San Diego, during the recent online seminar Teaching Integrity: Effective Responses to Cheating. The seminar challenged participants to dispel some of the myths around student cheating and rethink their role in establishing a culture of integrity.

“The common theme for today and for all my writing really is about encouraging students, teachers and administrators to not focus on policing, preventing and punishing cheating, which is by far the most typical response, but focus more on the more realistic picture of student cheating, the positive responses of infusing academic integrity back into our daily conversations in the classroom and in our responses to cheating.”

Promoting Academic Integrity
During the seminar, Bertram Gallant shared the following do’s and don’ts for promoting academic integrity in the college classroom.


“Just like every student has a different learning style, they have different ways in which they respond to different approaches to prevent cheating,” said Bertram Gallant. “At the Center for Academic Integrity we encourage faculty to focus on academic integrity standards and our five fundamental values of honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness and trustworthiness rather than on compliance and control.”