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Academic Integrity: What Can Foothill Faculty Do?

An introductory guide to the literature concerning academic integrity, teaching, and learning.

Best Practices

  1. Share the Foothill College Honor Code: Brochures are available from the Dean of Student Affairs & Activities.
  2. Invite your students to sign the Academic Integrity Pledge.
  3. Practice authentic assessment, and revise assignments and tests regularly.
  4. Help your students learn about plagiarism:
    1. Offer them extra credit for taking the Indiana University Plagiarism Test. If they pass, they receive a certificate they can share with you as confirmation.
    2. Share the library's Citation Help webpage.
  5. Use Turnitin, a tool that helps both faculty and students uphold academic integrity by providing a means for instructors to check students' work for potential plagiarism and improper citation. Contact the Dean of Language Arts at to set up an account. You can also enable Turnitin in Canvas. The Turnitin Help Center provides customer support and training.
  6. Report academic dishonesty. Faculty are strongly encouraged to report every violation to the Dean of Student Affairs & Activities by filling out the Academic Dishonesty Report Form, available on the Staff Resources - Forms page under "Academic/Faculty Forms." It is also important to communicate with the student how their grade will be impacted. Note: only the instructor can assign a grade; grading is separate from the disciplinary process, and students should not be given the impression that meeting with the Dean of Student Affairs will change their grade.

Suggestions for Online Classes

Suggestions from Foothill Students

Representatives of the Senate's Academic Integrity committee attended an ASFC meeting in October 2012 to talk about the shared academic values of students and faculty and how to express those values widely on campus. Students offered several suggestions for faculty actions in the classroom that we can begin to practice immediately, largely by discussing integrity issues explicitly and often. Here they are.

  • Help to raise student awareness of integrity issues
  • Use discussion prompts like, why is cheating bad? Or, why is academic integrity valuable?
  • Students respond well to other students, so invite students to advertise the importance and value of academic integrity
  • Lay out the case in favor of learning and how cheating short-circuits it. (How would you like to find out that the pilot of your plane cheated on his exam?)
  • Stress your willingness and ability to help students with subject material.
  • Explicitly refer to our academic honor code (students will push the limits if the honor code doesn’t seem important to the instructor)
  • Discuss student cheating scenarios, hypothetical or real
  • Identify and discuss gray areas and "wiggle room"
  • Connect academic integrity to our community, stress that it's not simply an individual matter: "It's not just about you..."

For some great suggestions on discussing academic integrity with your students, check out this article from The Pavela Report.