Follow Up Friday: Assignments, Scaffolding, for Avoiding Academic Integrity Issues

April 29, 2022

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Maintaining Academic Integrity

Assignment Design

Consider mixing up the design of your assessments and assignments to remove the incentive for engaging in academic dishonesty. Where possible, design assignments and tests that require the use of resources such as notes, textbooks, and approved external sources. Clearly and plainly explain the rules of using these resources through a rubric. For example, being able to correctly use APA formatting for citations is a fundamental skill for students in the human and social sciences. Instead of having a multiple choice quiz on proper citation, have them deploy it as they cite resources they use to explain a topic.

By giving your learners the tools they would otherwise be tempted to use, you can make the assignment about content and about demonstrating the skills of researching resources, accurately citing and using them to provide analysis.

This type of assignment requires using higher-order cognitive skills such as investigating, applying, analyzing, and evaluating. Whereas a multiple-choice test largely focuses on memory recall and thus should be used for quizzing content mastery early on in the course and not be the sole source of testing mastery of content.

In short, have them explain and not just pick a letter.

Modeling Skills

By designing your assignments and tests in this manner, you are providing an opportunity for them to demonstrate mastery of being able to accurately and appropriately apply resources to content. To help your students succeed, be sure to model for them what successful implementation of these skills looks like.

For example, provide an example of a well-answered question that models what end target they need to hit. Identify for them what components are required for successful submission of the assignment.

Provide opportunities for them to practice those components.

If you want to try implementing this strategy for a final assignment, provide a model for what they should aim for and denote what they need to do to be successful.


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