How to help your students
Seven easy tips for faculty:
- Educate your students: students must be educated on what is and is not acceptable, and that there can be substantial penalties for not following the University of Waterloo policy. Do not assume that your students know how to correctly acknowledge sources, or that they will come to you with questions. You may also want to direct your students to the Academic Integrity (AI) undergraduate or graduate tutorial in your course syllabus to further their knowledge on AI. If your students are having issues with writing direct them to the Writing Centre Workshops.
- Provide clear instructions on the course syllabus and in introductory lectures on what is expected and required of your students. For assignments, clearly indicate if group collaboration is acceptable (and the level of collaboration permitted) or if students must do all work independently.
- On the course syllabus, refer to Policy 71 (Student discipline). Indicate both verbally and in writing that there can be significant penalties for failing to meet the University of Waterloo AI standards. You may also choose to have your students complete an Academic Integrity Acknowledgement Form with each assignment, on which students "sign off" on having done the work themselves, and/or listing classmates with whom they may have consulted.
- Provide information on how to credit academic sources, and/or refer to a source for that information. The library has excellent information on Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) formatting, etc. You may also find it helpful to require an annotated bibliography, where students are required to provide a brief abstract for every source document. This ensures that students have documented their research and used source material appropriately.
- Ensure all of your teaching materials properly acknowledge all sources (including course notes, charts, data, tables, figures, maps, PowerPoint presentations, etc.) so that you lead by example. Remember, your behaviour will set the standard for your students.
- Report all cases of suspected misconduct promptly to the Associate Dean of your Faculty. It is critical that all cases of misconduct (even minor ones) are reported promptly to improve our efforts in educating students and to identify those who reoffend.
- Take the time to talk to your students about the importance of AI and the need for them to learn and reflect on the information in your course. Developing relationships with your students helps to build an atmosphere of trust and respect. Help them understand the importance of AI and integrity in general.
Small ways to help
Highlight the relevance and importance of your assignments to improve student engagement and deter "shortcuts".
Clearly explain your expectations with regard to group work.
Don't assume your students already know how to correctly cite source documents.
Encourage discussion on Academic Integrity issues and the challenges facing your students.
Make the weighting of assignments and tests reflective of the effort involved.
Turnitin at Waterloo
How it works
Just as with other "dropbox" assignments on the University of Waterloo-LEARN, students will submit their papers, assignments, theses, or research papers electronically (by an "upload"), but in this case the document is sent to the Turnitin® service. Turnitin® then compares the content of those submitted papers to all of the other papers and documents submitted to its database and highlights any similarities between a student's paper and an existing document.
For further information on using Turnitin® at Waterloo:
Interested in learning more about Turnitin®? Visit Waterloo LEARN help for more information on Turnitin® courses.
If you are unable to attend one of these sessions but are interested in using Turnitin®, please contact Sean Warren (ext: 46950)
If your department wishes to host a course for instructors in your own area, with a minimum of 10 attendees, please contact Sean Warren (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange a time.
If you want more information on LEARN, contact LEARN Help by email (email@example.com) or phone (ex. 41744).
Dealing with Academic Integrity Offences
Your department, faculty, and the university will support you in your efforts to ensure a level playing field for your students through course construction, academic integrity-related education and, when necessary, disciplinary action.
As faculty, you are required to report any instances of academic misconduct - even relatively minor cases, or ones which you prefer to handle informally. Discipline cases will be handled relative to their severity. For example, first offenders whose cases are considered "minor" can attend an Academic Integrity workshop that gives them the information required to avoid committing a second, more serious offence.
We know that many faculty members are reluctant to proceed with a charge of academic dishonesty for several reasons. They may feel they do not have substantial proof to make a charge, there is too much bureaucracy involved, and that the 'system' puts the burden of proof on them to ensure due process to the student. But, don't forget:
- If you have concerns , talk to your Associate Dean about your situation.
- The University of Waterloo policy requires you to report all infractions to your Associate Dean.
- You have the option to resolve issues informally and to suggest disciplinary action to the Associate Dean. An example of an informal resolution is the Academic Integrity workshop.
- Achieving Academic Integrity is a team effort - and prevention is always preferable to prosecution.
- Have a comment or suggestion? Let us know!
How reporting helps:
- It helps the University of Waterloo monitor our educational programs to better target offending students. The majority of Academic Integrity (AI) infractions occur through ignorance and it is our goal to assist our students to prevent violations from occurring in the first place.
- It is vital that students are aware that the odds are not on their side; if they cheat or otherwise violate AI policy, they will be caught, and there will be repercussions for their actions.
- If a student is cheating in one course, they are likely repeating this behaviour in another course. By reporting the behaviour, the faculty member is helping the student as early identification will help identify repeat offenders and/or assist students earlier.
- Penalties are appropriate to the action; a first offence committed in ignorance is dealt with more compassionately than a repeat offender.
- You are personally demonstrating academic integrity by reporting offenders and are leading by example.
A record is kept by the Secretariat & Office of General Counsel of infractions and is available on their website under: University Committee on Student Appeals .
For full details on the University of Waterloo policies go to the integrity policies page and review Policies 71, 72, and 73.
Integrity Initiatives for Faculty
Stay tuned for new faculty initiatives coming soon!
Have a suggestion for an integrity initiative? Interested in partnering with the Office of Academic Integrity? Contact the Office at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Learn Quizzes and Resources
Waterloo LEARN offers ready-to-go Academic Integrity quizzes and resources that you can incorporate into your LEARN course.
These quizzes and resources require students to take responsibility for their academic integrity. If you use one of these quizzes, students must complete and submit it to "unlock" course content or drop boxes.
There are four academic integrity resources:
- Research Paper Academic Integrity Agreement
- Academic Integrity Agreement (2 versions)
- Evils of Plagiarism
- Is This Plagiarism?
To access these resources: Contact your CTE Liaison.
Centre for Teaching Excellence
Intellectual Property Copyright Violations
Uploading course materials, including lectures, quizzes, and exams, onto online sharing platforms is considered to be a copyright violation, regardless of whether an individual did so intentionally or unintentionally. Students may not distribute or reproduce materials, whether for commercial purposes or not, without the express consent of the faculty or instructor.
Copyright infringements and concerns should be brought to the attention of Legal and Immigration Services, Associate Deans, and the Office of Academic Integrity.
For more information:
Article 14: Integrity of Scholarly Research from the Memorandum of Agreement between the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo and the University of Waterloo defines:
- Defines what actions do and do not constitute research misconduct,
- Specifies the research record keeping obligations of Members, and
- Sets out the procedures to be followed when the University receives an allegation of research misconduct by a Member.
If a student is demonstrating difficulty in your course, direct them to the Writing and Communication Centre, Student Success Office and/or Counselling Services office. They offer workshops on writing skills, exam preparation, study skills, and time and stress management."
The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) has workshops and additional references to help you to:
Create courses that engage your students
Encourage academic integrity
Improve your teaching ability
Develop assignments to maximize results
Use Turnitin for your courses
The following resources are also available:
Waterloo policies (look for policies 39, 69, 70, 71, 72 & 73)