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Academic Honesty

A page within CATL Teaching Improvement Guide

Brief Description 

When preparing assessments, we want those assessment to measure the learning of a student or a group of students, as intended. However, there is overarching concern about academic integrity when it comes to student performance on assessments. The following page includes ideas to help design your course to deter cheating and create a course culture that upholds the standards of academic integrity. This is particularly important to consider when offering an online or hybrid courses. And, iis possible that these assessments may be different than what you have done in the past so coming to this teaching strategy with an open approach is important if you truly want to design for academic integrity.  

  • There is a required statement in the syllabus. Consider augmenting it with your own definitions and expectations with individual or group work.  
  • Talk with your class about... 
    • what cheating and academic dishonesty look like in your course or in your discipline.  
    • why it matters to student learning and future success to complete course work ethically and responsibly.
    • when it is (I.e., studying, group note taking, completing practice problems) and when it isn’t ok to collaborate (i.e., online quizzes, tests, writing papers).  
  • Add details to your syllabus or assignments about what and when collaboration with peers or external resources/websites are appropriate to use. 
  • Remind students that Canvas tracks data on users 
  • Ask student to acknowledge with their work that it was done to adhere to the honor code: 
    • Add a question to the beginning or end of an online or in-person quiz similar to this: 
      • I guarantee that this is my independent work. I will not consult with anyone or discuss the contents of this exam with anyone. I agree not to show the exam questions to anyone, including other students. To do otherwise would constitute academic dishonesty. I have read the UWL Academic Honor Code.”  
    • Ask students to submit this statement with their digital signature as the first or last page of a paper (assignment) submission, or as a comment to the submission in Canvas 
      • I guarantee that this is my independent work. I appropriately used sources and cited them appropriately. Presenting others’ work as my own constitutes academic dishonesty. I have read the UWL Academic Honor Code. 
  • Use Turnitin for detecting potential plagiarism. Know that Turnitin reports to require some investigation to make inferences about that results so they are not a guarantee but can certainly provide clues to assist in determining if some level of inaccurate or unethical writing has occurred.   
  • Use Respondus LockDown as a deterrent on exams/quizzes in Canvas. With Lockdown Browser, students download and use this specific browser to take an associated Canvas quiz. As with any technology implemented for assessments, it is a good idea to allow students a chance to practice with the tool before using it; a test space is available in the Canvas Student Orientation course, information is available the bottom of this help article 
  • Respondus Monitor is an additional tool to Lockdown Browser that video records students taking an exam. The system checks identify and flags potential times of concern in the recording that an instructors would need to review. It is strongly recommended that you inform students in advance of using this tool. It is also recommended that this tool be used for formative or larger stake assessments 
  • Use Akindi Online to deliver multiple versions of an exam 
  • Create Canvas quizzes that randomly generate questions for students using question banks in Classic Quizzes and item banks in New QuizzesBe thoughtful in how you design your banks and quizzes so every student is being assessed on the same knowledge or skills but with different questions.  
  • Design your course with several smaller assessments throughout the course to provide more opportunities to notice inconsistency in student performance. 
  • Ask students to submit audio and/or video think-alouds of solving a problem as part of an assignment or quiz so you can hear their voice and process for solving problems. This can be accomplished in Canvas quizzes or assignments. Again, allow students the chance to practice using this submission technique before a graded assessment.   
  • Notice patterns in student performance such as when students complete their work and how they discuss things, match voice/style with apparent knowledge in assessment results, etc. 
  • Ask better objective test questions that assess higher concepts (not ones that can be Googled) 
  • Create questions in a quiz (newclassicthat allow student to receive different data sets on the same question. This creates questions testing the same concept but requiring different calculations. 
  • Use the timed feature in Canvas quizzes which sets a limit per quiz, not per question. Be sure to set realistic time frames for completing something. Ideally, you want to design your quizzes so the questions can’t just be “looked up” and you can set time limits to make “looking up answers” more difficult. In general, use the amount of time it would typically take a student to complete a similar assessment in an in-person class.  
  • Explore different question types in Canvas quizzes; use forced-choice questions for some questions but also consider essay questions, or file upload (where a student could submit hand-written work). Allow students to practice this approach before an assessment.  
  • Create unit projects (using authentic assessment designthat require students to come up with their own creative products. Think about assessments that are alternative to traditional papers or exams.  
  • Create a staggered assignment with various steps to submission. This allows you to observe the progress of a student while also feedback in the early stages that can be implemented in later stages. Create assessment tasks that focus on the process rather than the product.  

Even when you design for academic integrity, potential violations of the honor code may occur. Please know your resources by reviewing the Academic Misconduct Guide for Instructors and contact the Office of Student Life with questions. 


Koepke, K. & Lister, M. (2020). Design for Academic Integrity. In Teaching Improvement Guide. University of Wisconsin at La Crosse Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning. Retrieved from