Proactive Classroom Measures
First and foremost, be sure to fulfill your requirements under the Academic Honor Code (see Article II, Section 4: Faculty Responsibilities). If you are diligent in doing your part to uphold the Honor System, your students will be more likely to do so, as well.
If possible, try to get to known the students in your class. Students are less likely to cheat if they feel the professor cares about their performance. This personal connection will also help students to understand how their academic performance can affect others.
Be sure to address Academic Honor Code issues in your class. Tell your class what you expect from them in terms of academic performance and what is and is not allowed in this academic environment.
Incorporate the Academic Honor Code into assignments when possible. Suggestions: require a link to the Honor Advisors website in a computer science course, have a discussion about the value of ethics and academic honesty in a philosophy, ethics, or LCC class, etc.
Consider putting a small statement on each test or written assignment that your students must sign before they turn in something. Explain to your students that this statement will help remind them about their commitment to the Academic Honor Code.
Talk about your personal experiences with ethics and morals as a student, instructor, and/or professional.
Have a general discussion about the academic integrity and academic environment here at Tech. Encourage your students to share their views on why the Academic Honor Code does or does not work. During this conversation, try to honestly consider all the comments your students make. Be caring and thoughtful, and try to avoid comments that could be interpreted as threatening and sarcastic. Remember that the Academic Honor Code is as much about encouraging integrity and ethics as it is about preventing academic misconduct. Allow your students to make suggestions to you in an anonymous fashion about how you can improve the academic environment in your classroom.
Know what Tech expects both from you and from your students. Understand what Tech students think about the academic environment at Tech. Ask your students about their experiences here.
When testing students, be sure to use preventative measures to curb cheating before it occurs. Have them sign a statement reaffirming their commitment to the Academic Honor Code before every test, use alternating colors of tests, use blue books, change your testing mechanisms often, and/or have two or three versions of a test and mix up answers as well as questions. Number tests to prevent the tests from being taken and to know who was sitting next to each other. Ask students to show ID in large classes. Make photocopies of tests before you hand them back to students in order to prevent students from trying to gain points on regrades. Do not read during tests.
Be sure to frequently change all academic testing measures you use in class to prevent students from using previous assignments to gain an unfair advantage. Tell your students about all the measures you are using to help ensure that everyone in the class has an equal opportunity to do well.
Show your students that you are committed by telling them about steps you are taking to improve the academic environment in your classroom. Talk about the methods you are using and have identifiable actions that you take while evaluating students so they know you meant it.
Be sure to utilize your TAs when talking about academic integrity with your class. Remind your TAs that they are role models to many of your students. TAs are asked to participate because new students take what they say more seriously than any other group. Help your TAs understand that anything they say or do will impact future decisions or opinions.
Meet with your TAs in advance of the class and discuss the Academic Honor Code and their experiences with the Honor Code. During this meeting:
- Clarify the TAs' personal perspective before presenting an attitude in front of others.
- Help the TAs know about available resources for students in academic distress and the Honor Advisors.
- Discuss and, where needed, educate about the Academic Honor Code, including the expectations and definitions of violations. Intentionally discuss with this group how integrity and ethics are important to their future careers. Talk with them about communicating these ideas with students.
- Brainstorm possible situations that their students might confront and ways for TAs to proactively talk about these situations.
- Work with the TAs to identify ways that the Academic Honor Code can be integrated into the curriculum via projects, etc. When opportunities arise in class to refer to the Honor Code, ask the TAs to provide examples from their personal experience to convey academic honesty expectations at Tech.
The Honor Advisors are available to provide you with more resources about academic honesty or to make brief presentations to your class about the Academic Honor Code or academic integrity in general.
* This information cannot be duplicated and/or modified without written permission from the Office of Student Integrity.
Office of Student Integrity, Office of the Dean of Students, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009.