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General Academic Practices

General Academic Practices

  1. Stress the importance of academic integrity in the course syllabi. Include test-taking rules (e.g., no books, no caps, no cell phones, ID required) and clearly detail behaviors you consider to be scholastically dishonest that others may not (e.g., one paper submitted for credit in two different courses; students who work together on a lab or take-home assignment)
  2. Discuss scholastic dishonesty policies, procedures, and possible sanctions on the first day of class.
  3. When evidence of scholastic dishonesty exists take action against all involved, including those who assist.
  4. Assign a small percent of the final grade to activities that cannot be closely controlled (e.g., take-home exams, lab reports, homework assignments).
  5. Do not give answer manuals to graders.
  6. Personally deliver the final course grades to the proper administrative officials.

Classroom Exam Practices

  1. Advise students in advance that restroom use during the test is not permitted and that silence will be enforced.
  2. Use different exams, including different sections of the same course.
  3. Develop alternate test forms (i.e., same items and response options, but one or both are presented in a different order).
  4. Print the same test using different type fonts so that it looks like different test forms are being used.
  5. If students are not permitted to retain exams and answer sheets, include a statement like the following on all testing materials: Any test file that includes this statement was developed to prevent stolen test materials. Stealing this document or using it prior to an examination is cheating and will be dealt with as such.
  6. Do not use students to type or copy exams.
  7. Secure exams and answers in a locked cabinet.
  8. Put different forms of the test on different colors of paper and distribute them so that the colors alternate.
  9. Check desks and the surrounding areas for notes and other unauthorized materials.
    1. Define the term "plagiarism" and proper documentation of sources.
    2. Request that the department purchase catalogs from term-paper services so that suspicious titles/papers can be checked to determine if they have been purchased. Advise students that this check for misrepresentation will be made.
    3. Keep a copy of all papers submitted and maintain a filing system by topic to check for papers submitted more than once. Advise students of this practice.
    4. Notify the class that if authorship is questioned, you will query the student to determine familiarity with the topic.
    5. Require an early outline, progress report, or tentative bibliography with library location numbers, do not permit late topic changes, accept only originally typed papers-no photocopies, and require notes and rough drafts to discourage the use of "paper mills."
  10. Randomly select papers and check citations. (This should be noted in the syllabus and the selection of papers should occur in the classroom to avoid complaints of bias).
  11. Staple scratch paper to the answer sheets before distributing them to the students.
  12. Ask that backpacks, notebooks, etc., be put in a designated area or not be brought to the testing site.
  13. Check photo IDs when students enter the test site, ask that they be placed on the desktop for verification during the exam, or put students' names on exams and answer sheets and give test materials to them after checking the names against the IDs.
  14. Separate students or assign seats.
  15. If blue books are used, ask students to write on different lines (e.g., every third line) for specific pages or require them to bring the booklets at the beginning of the semester and distribute them on the exam day.
  16. Mark each computer-readable answer sheet with an identifier that is not accessible to students (e.g., rubber stamp with the department address) to prevent them from bringing in sheets with "crib notes."
  17. Number the tests and answer sheets and ask students to sign both to prevent copies from being taken out of the testing area.
  18. Remain in the classroom during the exam and use additional proctors.
  19. Walk around and occasionally stand at the rear of the room since students will want to know where the professor is and turn around before cheating.
  20. Do not permit students to grade their own exams.
  21. Request that students leave their test papers on their desks so that the answer sheets can be collected in row sequence.
  22. Ask students to return both the exam and the answer sheet.
  23. Advise that some answer sheets will be photocopies before being returned so that students cannot subsequently change their answers and claim grading errors.
  24. Develop a computer program to identify identical answers (e.g., same errors, sequence of items).

Research/Term Paper Practices

  1. Define the term "plagiarism" and proper documentation of sources.
  2. Request that the department purchase catalogs from term-paper services so that suspicious titles/papers can be checked to determine if they have been purchased. Advise students that this check for misrepresentation will be made.
  3. Keep a copy of all papers submitted and maintain a filing system by topic to check for papers submitted more than once. Advise students of this practice.
  4. Notify the class that if authorship is questioned, you will query the student to determine familiarity with the topic.
  5. Require an early outline, progress report, or tentative bibliography with library location numbers, do not permit late topic changes, accept only originally typed papers-no photocopies, and require notes and rough drafts to discourage the use of "paper mills."
  6. Randomly select papers and check citations. (This should be noted in the syllabus and the selection of papers should occur in the classroom to avoid complaints of bias).
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