Promoting Academic Integrity Online

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It happens online and off! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The instructional designers in the College of eLearning & Extended Education can assist you in developing a wide variety of assessment methods that can minimize cheating, promote academic integrity, and increase the interactivity and engagement in your online courses. Here are just some of the methods to reduce cheating and to promote academic integrity:

Course Design

  • Include a simple academic honesty pledge “test” that says, “I understand my college’s academic honesty policy. All of the work I turn in is my own.” with a link to the college’s policy. 
  • Include the academic policy in your syllabus quiz.
  • Discuss the importance of academic integrity to your discipline in a lecture.

Assessment Design

  • Give many short, low-stakes quizzes instead of a mid-term and a final.
  • Make assessments depend on the preceding course work.
  • Pose higher order, mastery questions requiring deeper knowledge and application of material (see Bloom’s Taxonomy).
  • Have students relate subject matter their personal, professional, or life experiences.
  • Have answers relate to current events in the news.
  • Display test questions one at a time.
  • Use a question bank and have the test randomly created for each student attempt.
  • Limit the times when the online test is available.
  • Create a set duration of time for students to complete the test.
  • Estimate how long responses should take to answer if someone knows the material well.

Alternative Assessment Methods

  • Use online quizzes as self-assessment only
  • Use online quizzes as pre-testing at the start of a course
  • Short essays
  • Group or individual projects
  • Discussion forums – whole class and small groups that report out to a main discussion
  • Portfolios
  • Debates
  • Simulations
  • Contributions to collective information pools like wikis or blogs
  • Online “poster sessions” or presentations
  • Create a video or audio presentation
  • Role-playing
  • Interviews
Essay Assignments
  • Use (We suggest that this is used as a teaching tool and not a policing tool.)
  • Have students relate subject matter to their personal/professional/life experiences
  • Have essay subjects relate to current events in the news

For more information please contact Geoff Cain, the Director of Academic Technology, via email at

If you have other suggestions, please include them in the comments below. 

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