Encouraging academic integrity in remote, online, and in-person learning contexts

What can you do as an instructor to encourage your students to do honest work? Students cite many reasons why they cheated, plagiarized, or collaborated dishonestly. Some of the most common reasons can be illuminating regarding what instructors can do to encourage honest behaviour.

Focus on learning, not on avoiding cheating. Don’t assume that all, or even most, students will cheat. Research shows that compared with in-person assessments, online assessments do not necessarily lead to increased cheating. The frequency of online cheating depends on several factors related to the pedagogical and practical design of the assessment.

The remote / online learning context can pose special challenges to educational developers and instructors, but some of these challenges can be overcome by purposeful design of learning activities and assessments. In any assessment context, academic misconduct is more likely when students are in high-stakes situations and when instructors have not taken steps to uphold academic integrity.

When using this Tip Sheet, consider that many of these tips apply to all learning contexts. However, we have highlighted where a particular tip is especially important to the remote / online learning context.

teaching tips This Creative Commons license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon our work non-commercially, as long as they credit us and indicate if changes were made. Use this citation format: Encouraging academic integrity in remote, online and in-person learning contexts. Centre for Teaching Excellence, University of Waterloo.