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Instruction and Course Design
Academic Integrity

CSP's Student Policies define plagiarism as "the use, by paraphrase or direct quotation, of the published or unpublished work of another person without full and clear acknowledgment. It also includes the unacknowledged use of materials prepared by another person or agency engaged in the selling of term papers or other academic materials."

Faculty can utilize various tools and course design strategies to educate students on this topic as well as identify integrity incidents within their courses. This page serves to provide faculty with resources to accomplish these goals by providing quick access to CSP resources and various strategies to mitigate plagiarism. Additional information can be found using the below links as well.

Academic Technology

Use available academic technology to discourage and identify plagiarism. Contact for guidance on implementing these strategies.

  • Randomized Questions - Create a question pool and use the learning management system (LMS) to randomize both the questions and answer layout (as in, possible multiple-choice answers are randomized so that the correct answer to a given question might be A for one student, C for another, etc.). This means that no two students will have the exact same test. 

  • Additional Test Settings - Settings such as adding access codes and controlling when test results and feedback are displayed to students can also provide added layers of security within a course. 

  • SafeAssign - This tool can be enabled on assignments and tests in Blackboard Ultra and will compare students' submissions to a variety of resources (both external and internal to CSP) to identify potential instances of plagiarism. For more information on SafeAssign, please visit Blackboard’s help page.

  • Respondus LockDown Browser + Monitor - This tool can be enabled on both assignments and tests and will lock students into one browser window, which prevents students from accessing other websites during the assessment. If the Monitor feature is also enabled, the student's webcam will be engaged during the assessment to record and flag any suspicious activity for instructor review. If the Monitor feature is enabled, instructors should clearly indicate the technical requirements and troubleshooting steps for students. For more information on Respondus LockDown Browser + Monitor, please visit the Respondus help page.

Developing Knowledge around Academic Integrity

Develop student knowledge and awareness of academic integrity through interactive tutorials and knowledge checks, and collaboration with Library and Academic Support Services. Contact for guidance on implementing these strategies.

  • Academic Integrity, Citation, and Plagiarism Modules - Work with your liaison librarian to talk about modules that can be embedded in the learning management system (LMS) as part of a specific module or week’s assignment or work. These include videos, tutorials, and/or quizzes.

  • Plagiarism or Academic Integrity Assignments - A librarian can talk with you about creating an assignment, worksheet, discussion board, etc., specifically around these topics and the ethical use of information. These may or may not be paired with the embedded modules and works best as a required assignment or in conjunction with a research assignment/project.

  • Library Instruction Visit - If the class has a synchronous component via Zoom or Collaborate, invite a librarian to visit a session. We can create a lesson about academic integrity and/or plagiarism. Request an instruction session on the Library’s website.

  • Encourage Students to Use Tutoring/Writing Support - Encourage students to use writing and tutoring services as part of their assignments. Support options are available on the Tutoring website.

Assessment Design

Design assignments that discourage plagiarism. Online education poses special problems for the authentication of student work, and there's no surefire solution to ensure academic honesty. That said, there are a series of possible practices that educators can employ to minimize cheating and/or impersonation. Contact for guidance on implementing these strategies.

  • Audio/Video Assignments - At several points in the course, ask students to answer a few questions with video or audio responses. Pay attention to any discrepancies between the proficiency demonstrated in these assessments versus more traditional assessments, and follow up with the student directly if necessary. This strategy is best implemented beginning in the first weeks of the course, so instructors can match student voices with assignments early on and spot discrepancies.

  • Authentication Questions - At the beginning of the term, ask students to answer a series of personal questions such as "what street did you live on when you were five years old?" or "what was the name of your elementary school?" Add a question at the beginning of each quiz/exam that asks students to restate their answers, then check those answers for consistency.

  • Exam Volume - Utilizing lots of low-stakes exams that assess component skills makes cheating more trouble than it's worth. Over time a high volume of exams still provides an accurate picture of student performance, but each individual exam is worth so little that the time, effort, and risk involved in cheating result in a poor cost-to-benefit ratio. 

  • Timed, Open-Book Exams - Make exams open-book and timed. Calibrate them so that a base familiarity and level of knowledge are required in order for students to complete all questions within the allotted time (as in, if they have to look everything up, they won't be able to finish on time). 

  • Assignment Reflection Essays - In a separate assignment submission, require students to submit a short essay describing what they learned from the assignment process itself. For example, did they experience any problems, and how did they overcome them? Where/how did they find the majority of their sources?  Did they learn any skills during this assignment that they plan to use in the future? If the student performed the work themselves on the assignment, these should be questions that can be answered. 

  • Scaffolded Process Steps - Throughout the course, create assignments students submit separately, which build together to create a final product. For example, submit your topic, bibliography, outline, rough draft, final draft, etc.  This generally works best with research-based assignments. This helps promote original work as students are required to document the steps of their process.

  • Appropriate Research Assignments - Collaborate with your college’s liaison librarian to develop research assignments that include components to address academic integrity and challenge students to locate, evaluate, and use scholarly information in ethical ways.