Supporting Academic Integrity Online: 7 Methods That College Leaders Can Promote

academic integrity for online students

Students are getting smarter at cheating online. Workloads and personal responsibilities push students to do what it takes to meet deadlines. So, many professors believe students cheat more in online classes. Read about these 8 methods leaders can promote for academic integrity for online learning. 


Design Stronger Assessments to Support Academic Integrity 

Start at the end. Academic integrity needs to be built into the assessment. Also, college leaders explain how student success will be measured beforehand. Students cheat when they are in high-stress situations. Also, students cheat when they feel no one is looking. So, leaders enable faculty to be accessible to students, especially in virtual courses. 


Supply Faculty with Effective Tools 

Therefore, college leaders ensure faculty build courses designed for virtual delivery. Besides that, the administration assesses faculty’s design skills and follow-up with a course review. Also, leaders listen to student feedback. They ensure the changes happen. Therefore, students engaged with the materials and the instructor are less likely to cheat, promoting academic integrity. 


Communicate Expectations to all Students for Academic Integrity 

To support academic integrity, address dishonesty. Besides that, calling out cheaters lets honest students know the institution cares. Also, college leaders can reward students who promote academic integrity. Yet, calling out cheaters is easier to do with clear policies. Make sure the handbook is updated! Let professors know how and when to call out academic dishonesty in their classrooms. 


Utilize Technology to Ensure Academic Honesty 

In the shift to remote learning, colleges ramped up online proctoring systems. Yet, these systems are expensive. Moreover, using a machine to detect cheating may not be the way to go. Students are finding ways to trick the system. Stepping up enforcement works. A long-term enforcement strategy will mitigate future methods of cheating by students that have yet to invent. Short-term enforcement lets honest students know that they are doing the right thing. 


Protect Faculty Creation and Intellectual Property 

File sharing sites take faculty’s hard work and disperse it to the world. Besides that, now colleges lose the power to draw in new students. They do not have to pay for courses with expert professors. The content is available for free download on a file-sharing site. Likewise, strong leaders show faculty how to protect their intellectual property in a digital world. Leaders bring in copyright and IP lawyers to give faculty the skills needed to protect their hard work. 


Move Toward Skill and Competency for Academic Integrity  

Still, colleges face many challenges. Employers grumble that students graduate without basic job skills. Besides that, employers get students who are good at school not learning on the job. Deans grapple to partner with employers in their communities. So, college leaders who drive competency over degree win along with businesses. 


Engage Faculty and Staff to Promote Academic Honesty 

Ask faculty how to help learning and student success rather than how to stop cheating. This mindset shift sparks innovation. Leaders drive discussions around new assessment methods in virtual and hybrid environments. Encourage faculty to keep their educator hats on. Develop policies that encourage courses to support interactive learning rather than straight scores. 


In sum, cheating continues to grow online. So, leaders get to bring faculty together to solve the problem. Likewise, enforcement policies and technology-monitoring systems may not be the best solution. Expectation setting and engagement is a better answer. Schools can switch from rewarding degree attainment to a system of competency and skills. In the end, these changes connect the college with the community.  


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