With the multitude of for-fee essay-writing services and for-free student term papers available on the Internet, concerns about academic honesty are even more prevalent today than they were a few years ago. These topics were addressed by a representative from Student Conduct and Academic Integrity during our online Teaching and Learning Day on June 12, 2020. A recording of the event is available on our YouTube channel:
According to UCF’s Rules of Conduct, the most common forms of academic dishonesty are unauthorized assistance and plagiarism. Unauthorized assistance (often referred to simply as cheating) is primarily defined as “the presentation of material which has not been studied or learned, but rather was obtained through someone else’s efforts and used as part of an examination, course assignment or project. The unauthorized possession or use of examination or course related material may also constitute cheating.” Plagiarism, on the other hand, is defined as anything “whereby another’s work is used or appropriated without any indication of the source, thereby attempting to convey the impression that such work is the student’s own.”
Academic actions taken in response to student cheating and plagiarism generally consist of counseling, deduction of credit for specific assignments, and/or a failing grade for the course. Student conduct actions, on the other hand, may involve a warning, probation, suspension, expulsion, and/or a mark on a student’s permanent record about the incident (see Student Conduct and Academic Integrity’s sanctions page).
There are a few ways faculty can manage academic dishonesty in the classroom. One way is to identify cheating and plagiarism when they occur and to take specific academic and student conduct actions to remedy them. If we consider the range of reasons students cheat, we may come up with additional ways to discourage them from doing so. See Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center for reasons that students might engage in cheating.
Currently, UCF has an account with turnitin.com to identify student plagiarism. Turnitin.com is a web-based tool that allows faculty to compare student work with other papers in Turnitin’s databases. The result of submitting a paper to turnitin.com is an overall similarity index, which specifies the originality of each student’s paper with other works. Turnitin highlights specific areas of concern in student papers, linking each of these areas to corresponding passages in the original source documents.
Structuring Online Assessments to Encourage Academic Integrity
Please refer to the Division of Digital Learning’s Online Assessment Resources for strategies in preparing your online quizzes and tests, such as randomizing the order of questions and answers or enabling time limits.
The Center for Distributed Learning also has a page about online proctored exams, with information about solutions including ProctorHub, Respondus Lockdown Browser, and Honorlock.
Keep in mind that if you choose any of the above online testing environments, students cannot use a mobile device as a webcam for proctored exams.
ProctorHub and Quiz Audit Log
ProctorHub is a Canvas integration tool that uses students’ webcams to create a video of students during their quizzes and tests to assist with authentication and curb cheating.
Quiz auditing is a Canvas feature that reports whether a student took certain actions in their browser window while a quiz was active, such as navigating to a different page in your Canvas course or opening a new browser window. While these actions themselves do not indicate that academic misconduct has occurred, the log can help you see what your students interacted with while a quiz was active.
For a brief overview of ProctorHub and quiz audit logging, see the following video provided by the Center for Distributed Learning:
Unauthorized Use of Course Materials
Several sites exist with the purpose of facilitating the sharing among students of course materials, including test questions, individual assignments, and examples of graded material. If you find that your material has been uploaded to such a website without your permission, the following template can be used to request the site to remove the offending content on the grounds of copyright. If you have further questions regarding this issue, please contact the Faculty Center or Student Conduct and Academic Integrity.