6 Ways to Prioritise Academic Integrity in Educational Institutions

Implementing Academic Integrity

Promoting academic integrity is a part of your journey in your institution. One of the critical reasons academic integrity is essential for students is to protect them from indulging in criminal activities. The original research and follow-up studies conducted by Dr Donald McCabe shows that more than 60 per cent of university students freely admit to cheating in some form.

One of the common bad conducts found among students is cheating or accessing resources without citing them. It may cause harm to your reputation and may hamper the upcoming days of your academic year.

The student’s responsibility is to understand and abide by university standards towards individual work and academic integrity. Meanwhile, instructors can help students understand their responsibilities through candid classroom conversations.

Teachers may sometimes go beyond policy language to share values. By creating a learning environment, instructors can minimize the incidence of academic dishonesty. 

To further understand the approaches, here are six ways you can promote academic integrity among students –

1. Create an environment of supportive learning

When students feel comfortable, they can freely communicate and share their doubts. Their seniors and peers must surround them to guide them throughout. Some steps to help students communicate are –

  • Convey confidence – A student may get encouraged to work better if you boost their confidence. Your students can succeed in the course from day one through timely and regular feedback. 
  • Explain the relevance of the course – Tell the student that it is essential to learn the material and develop skills from them. You can invite them for an open discussion to connect the system to their goals, studies, or intended career trajectories. 

2. Help them Learn Academic Skills

Scoring well is not the only calibre one must-have throughout academics. In addition, there are essential skills like citing sources, analysis, technical knowledge, and many more. Some of these steps can help you do that –

  • Suggest assignment skills – Provide your students with suggestions that can help them take notes, summarise arguments, and even cite sources. Students may not have developed these skills from previous learning experiences.
  • Engage in Challenging Tasks – You can conduct activities that excite the students. In addition, the frequent low-stakes assessments across the semester can improve their consciousness of their learning in the course.
  • Provide lists of approved websites and resources – Often, study materials are not available in hand due to a limited number of copies. You can give them access to permitted online study resources as learning tools and cite those in homework, writing assignments, or problem sets.
  • Encourage good relationships – Students can gradually become accustomed to the learning environment if the seniors and teaching staffs support them. In addition, it will help you check their concerns with the course and other pressures.

3. Counselling Sessions

An institution should consider students’ academic growth and personal growth. Often peer pressures can make them fall prey to unwanted activities to prove themselves. It is always fruitful to approach them from the point of academic integrity. Not only will it build positive, but it will also grow a sense of responsibility.

4. Introductory session after summer and winter breaks

When educational institutions reopen after summer and winter vacations, students come to classes with a fresh mind for a brand-new session. Motivate them by promoting the values of the integral decorum of the institution and their responsibilities as a student.

5. Teach how to prevent falsifying

Students often tend to alter their grade card by unfair means. For example, there are incidents where students copy their assignments and use them for examination purposes. Students can look for online academic writing services where experienced academicians provide tutorials. It will also prevent them from using plagiarised content.

In terms of copying or fabricating resources, the act of plagiarism is familiar among students. However, even a larger group of academicians take this step, needing urgent resources. Plagiarism has always hampered the project’s outcomes and assignments. It is always better not to take this route and lose your prestige. It is suitable to use tools that can filter out plagiarised content so that you can modify or replace it with your own words.

6. Promote ethical way of citing resources

Students commit to unethical means of completing their projects in fear of pressure and the deadline to complete assignments. One of the everyday habits is plagiarism. 

Often taken as a soft crime, copying someone else’s work is severe. It hampers the institution’s reputation and destroys the student’s image in front of others. To avoid such offences, teach the importance of Citation, Referencing, and Bibliography. Students should know that they can always take help from references to state their opinion, but they also need to use them ethically.

The citation and referencing skills have a considerable role in their future studies and ambitions. Along with teaching core values, you also need to conduct self-analysis sessions. Students can share and talk about themselves.

  •  To identify goals and expectations – Students can share their responses to academic integrity concerning course learning objectives. It will also include their ambitions and plans to focus on the upcoming educational sessions and semester finals.
  • Communicate about your expectations – You can explain course policies on collaborative assignments, late submissions, proctored exams, missed tests, attendance, extra credit, the use of plagiarism detection software or proctoring software, etc. 

Parting words,

It is always wise to take academic integrity as part of the rationale approach so that students do not have to deal with criminal charges and unwanted offences. In addition, it can save their career and learn the core values and ideals, to develop a sense of responsibility.

I hope these six elaborative techniques will undoubtedly bring changes to your curriculum of the academic environment.