Academic Integrity

Ways to Promote Academic Integrity and Honor in Remote Teaching and Learning

  • Have students sign the online honor code and/or remind them of Smeal’s Honor Code
  • Include an Academic Integrity Lesson in Canvas
  • Require students to add an academic integrity affirmation to each assignment
  • Use Turnitin for written assignments
  • Create a remote class “code of conduct” or “netiquette” guidelines to promote a remote environment of honor and integrity. Example netiquette statement.

Etiquette expectations (sometimes called “netiquette”) for online discussions, email, and other forms of communication are clearly stated.
Sample Netiquette language that can be used in your course. You may choose to use it as is or modify it for your purposes.
Communicating online is an everyday activity for most of us; so much so that the tone and form of our communications oftentimes becomes highly informal and abbreviated. A breezy, informal communication style is fine with our friends or but can become problematic when we’re trying to communicate with formal acquaintances (i.e., class instructors) or in situations (such as in online course discussions) where we might be trying to convey or discuss complex ideas with relative strangers.

As online communications are considered part of a college course, your writing style should conform to the rules of Standard English. Accordingly, you should introduce yourself, clearly state your reason for making contact, and use the spell check feature prior to sending or posting. Please refrain from using emoticons, slang, or instant texting terms and never resort to using vulgar language. Don’t use all capital letters as it gives the impression you’re SHOUTING! Finally- be professional and respectful.

Here are some suggestions for contributing to online discussions:

  • Ask Nicely. If you are not certain about the meaning of a comment, ask the original poster to elaborate or clarify what they’ve written.
  • Be respectful. Recognize and value the experiences, abilities, and knowledge each person brings to class. Acknowledge the diverse perspectives and viewpoints of class members.
  • Disagree with ideas, not classmates. When disagreeing with the ideas of another, be sure that your comments are directed toward his or her ideas and not the actual person. Never use personal attacks to express your disagreement.
  • Use humor carefully. Be cautious about injecting humor into your comments and remember that it’s easy to misinterpret humor in written language.
  • Be calm. If you’re upset, compose a letter or message and save it for 24 hours before you send it.
  • Reread messages. Reread any messages before you send them. You’ll catch any errors and notice areas for revision.

Ethical Challenges

The following is a module developed by Michelle Darnell, Penn State’s Director of Honor and Integrity, that focuses on ethical challenges in online teaching.

Useful Resources