Academic Integrity in Online Courses
Kansas State University announced on March 12, 2020 the suspension of in-person classes during the week of March 16-20, 2020. Beginning on March 23, 2020, classes will be taught remotely. (https://www.k-state.edu/today/info/announcement/?id=62941)
As you transition to remote learning, it is important for you as a student to think about how you thrive in this new environment with integrity as a core.
1 - Understand Differences
Understand that your course may look different now in the remote environment. Do not make assumptions that things will remain the same or if things will be harder or easier. Faculty are having to develop new testing strategies and you must also stay engaged in the course by staying organized and knowing what is expected of you.
2 - Use university sponsored tutors
We urge you to stay away from online tutoring systems. Kansas State University has a fantastic Office of Student Success (https://www.k-state.edu/student-success/about/index.html) that can help offer tools to assist you.
3 - Remember your values
Think about what values guide your decisions on a daily basis. What values do you want people to know about or what values are you the most proud? Those are the values that even in this stressful and unknown time can help guide you to make good decisions.
4 - Focus on Learning
While everything is different at this time, and you may be contemplating the A/P/F option, the courses you are in currently have a purpose on your path to graduation. Focus on learning the material, not just doing the bare minimum to get by.
5 - Know what is and is not considered cheating
You need to verify with your instructors what is and what is not considered cheating in their course. In most courses (if not all), if you take material from another source (either word for word or paraphrase) - you must cite that material. If you have an open book online exam, you may not just copy and paste the answers. You need to rephrase the information into your own words to show that you understand the material. If you are using canvas as a testing platform, know that the metadata in canvas can show a teacher exactly how long you were on a question or if you clicked away from the exam page and for how long. Also if you have an open book exam, that does not necessarily mean that it is open to consult with another person or student. You can beheld accountable for those actions.
6 - Stay away from online "help" sites
We would highly encourage you to stay away from sites such as Chegg, Coursehero, Studyblue, Studysoup, etc. Your sharing material can be a violation of the honor pledge and you receiving help from those sites can also be a violation. It is best to avoid those sites all together.
7 - Stand up for integrity
We have already seen cases come to the Honor and Integrity system with students posting on social media asking for unauthorized help. If you see something, you have a right to report it. You are not the only student making good choices, and it is imperative even in this stressful time to uphold the integrity of our institution and uphold the degrees conferred by Kansas State University.
Faculty members transitioning from face-to-face courses to remote teaching may have concerns about preventing academic dishonesty online. Here are a few tips to help encourage academic integrity in remote teaching environments:
1 - Share your expectations
Remote teaching and learning settings might have different expectations for academic integrity than students are used to in a face-to-face classroom. It will be important to communicate your expectations to your students for a remote teaching and learning setting. For example, you should let your students know if they are permitted to collaborate on assignments or use resources such as their notes or textbook. In your syllabus you can continue to inform students that if you suspect any academic misconduct, you will follow procedures of the Honor and Integrity System for alleged violations.
2 - Consider alternatives to online proctoring systems
K-State Global Campus has traditionally worked with vetted proctors or proctoring services, and we have previously encouraged instructors to use those proctoring systems for exams and quizzes. Given the new demand on resources that K-State’s transition to remote teaching and learning creates, we cannot ensure that those services will be available.
3 - Adjust assessments
If academic dishonesty is a concern for assessments like exams or quizzes in your class, you may consider assessing students’ learning in other ways. While adjusting assignments will not necessarily stop academic misconduct, it can discourage it. If you decide to use online exams or quizzes, you may consider using a large bank of exam or quiz items, or you can use the option in Canvas to randomize the questions and/or answers on the exam or quiz for each student. For written assignments, you may allow your students to choose topics of interest, or to personalize their topics, to help reduce plagiarism attempts.
4 - Examine metadata on assignments
When you receive an assignment that you suspect is an instance of academic dishonesty, examine the metadata of that submission to learn more about who originally created or altered the document. You may also check the date and time in Canvas for students’ submissions.
Please contact the Honor and Integrity System if you have questions or concerns in your class.