Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Promoting Academic Integrity

For incoming students, university Orientation programs including the academic integrity session will be delivered via Canvas modules developed by the Office of Community Standards and Integrity. In these sessions, students are directed to consult their syllabi for each course and to talk with their instructors for more information about their instructor’s expectations, particularly in areas related to collaboration. Moreover, it is important to note the following:

  • While students have the opportunity to receive an introduction to the university’s Policy on Academic Integrity during various orientation programs, participation may vary, particularly between undergraduate and graduate student populations. While the majority of undergraduate students participate in the university’s Orientation program, incoming master’s and PhD students are encouraged to attend but it is not mandatory. 
  • Many colleges and departments supplement the university-wide Orientation programs with their own programs, particularly for master’s students. Many, though not all, of these sessions include information related to academic integrity.
  • Thus, while students may receive an introduction at Orientation, it is important to note that exposure may vary and students will be looking to you for further guidance.  
  • Review your course syllabus to ensure that it spells out your expectations, particularly with regard to your expectations related to academic integrity. See this page for issues to consider and sample policies.
  • Take some time at the beginning of the semester to explain and motivate your academic integrity policy (e.g., as part of your syllabus review on the first day). These conversations establish academic integrity as a community value with shared responsibility for upholding those values. These conversations provide an important foundation for the student-instructor relationship. When students perceive their instructors to be interested in their learning and respectful of students, they are less likely to cheat (Chapman et al., 2004; Smith et al., 2002).
  • Provide examples of past situations (without sharing identifying information) in which students might have experienced confusion regarding the academic integrity expectations. Encourage students to ask when they aren’t sure what constitutes an academic integrity violation (and note that they won’t be penalized for asking).

Majd Sakr from the School of Computer Science developed an asynchronous OLI module designed for an audience of professional master’s students in partnership with the Eberly Center and OCSI. It addresses the issue of academic integrity through the lens of professional credibility. It is highly interactive, incorporating approximately 40 exercises that are designed to promote critical thinking around the university’s expectations and consequences for failing to uphold course policies. The module also includes pre-course and post-course assessments to capture students’ level of understanding. 

  • The Eberly Center can set up an instance of this module for any instructor who wishes to incorporate it into their course. Please contact to request the OLI instance and connect it to Canvas.
  • NOTE: Completion is currently being required by several departments in order to ensure that students are familiar with the university’s policies and expectations. Verification of completion can be provided to course instructors. Please contact with these requests.

At the beginning of your exam/evaluation, include an explicit reminder to students of what is appropriate/inappropriate collaboration or use of resources for the exam/evaluation they are about to take. You can also note the potential range of consequences and ask students to acknowledge that they have reviewed and understand these expectations prior to beginning the assessment. Such reminders may help to reduce the likelihood of violations (Corrigan-Gibbs et al., 2015).

Chapman, K. J., Davis, R., Toy, D., & Wright, L. (2004). Academic integrity in the business school environment: I’ll get by with a little help from my friends. Journal of Marketing Education, 26(3), 236-249.

Corrigan-Gibbs, H., Gupta, N., Northcutt, C., Cutrell, E., & Thies, W. (2015). Deterring cheating in online environments. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI)22(6), 1-23.

Smith, K. J., Davy, J. A., Rosenberg, D. L., & Haight, G. T. (2002). A structural modeling investigation of the influence of demographic and attitudinal factors and in-class deterrents on cheating behavior among accounting majors. Journal of Accounting Education, 20(1), 45-65.