Preventing Cheating & Plagiarism
The University Senate defines plagiarism, cheating, and the misuse of academic records. The definitions are available on their website.
The "silent majority" of students rely upon the faculty to uphold academic integrity and to ensure that the basic principles of fairness and honesty prevail throughout the examination experience. It is the honest students who are cheated if we do not fulfill our responsibility to prevent cheating and plagiarism. One way to decrease cheating may be to explain to students the value you, your department, your college, and the university community place on academic integrity and explain why cheating is fundamentally unfair.
Ideas for Preventing Cheating
- Assign/change seating for examinations; if possible, leave empty seats between students.
- Clearly state your policy on using/not using electronic devices during the examination; state that a violation of this policy will be construed as an act of cheating.
- Require students to store all personal effects or place them out of view.
- Clearly state your policy on collaboration or sharing resources; state that a violation of this policy will be construed as an act of cheating.
- Clearly explain which resources are allowed, and are not allowed, for an examination or quiz with an "open book" policy.
- Create a "sign-in" sheet and compare signatures on the exams with those on the sign-in sheet. A "sign-in" sheet deters students from suggesting an instructor "lost" his or her exam. Count the number of students present and compare with the number of exams submitted.
- Examine the desktop and floor during the examination and require removal of all extraneous material.
- Ensure all proctors can fairly identify behaviors indicative of cheating and document any such observations.
If you discover someone cheating
- Collect all evidence of cheating (crib sheets, notes, etc.) immediately, unobtrusively, and without comment.
- Document unusual behavior.
- Do not leave the room during the examination period.