As institutions gear up for another academic year, faculty are again tasked with setting up their courses for the upcoming semester. Whether your institution is fully online, continuing to operate in a hybrid/hyflex model, or returning fully in person, there is always room to discuss ethics and academic integrity. Looking at the current iteration of your course plans, consider these 5 topics:

  1. Subject Mastery Motivation: Faculty are already designing assignments to help students master the course content, but students may not realize this. When they do not understand this purpose, or why it matters for their future coursework, they may find themselves motivated solely by grade acheivement. Plan to motivate your students by discussing why the assignments were chosen and how they are created to help them move to future coursework and careers.

  2. Assignment Requirements: Do any assignments ask students how they made sure it was ethically completed? If the students' future professional codes of conduct need to be considered in the project, it may help familiarize them with the standards they will need to follow later in life. Further, having the students explain why that aspect of the code of conduct matters may help them connect their personal values to the ethical standards institutions and employers expect them to uphold.

  3. Rubrics: Rubrics help students understand how grades are assigned. Providing a rubric may be the bare minimum. Adding information telling students how they can complete an assignment with integrity may help you avoid some cheating issues. For example, if students are allowed to collaborate on the assignment, the rubric should lay out the parameters for appropriate collaboration vs. collusion. If faculty are assigning a writing project, the rubric should have links and information to the campus writing center, library, and any plagiarism resources. 

  4. Strategic Integrity Talks: It may be tempting to address academic integrity on the first day of class and assume students understand what is expected. However, each assignment offers an opportunity to discuss honest work both in the classroom and their careers. Connect assignments today to ethical conduct in the future. For example, faculty assigning a project that involves data collection and reporting may want to discuss the ethics of data falsification. They can address the consequences to individuals that have falsified data and the impact of data falsification.

  5. Flexibility: The pivot to distance and remote learning provided students with more flexibility, and it allowed faculty to see students as individuals. As institutions return to pre-pandemic formats, this flexibility does not need to disappear. Compassion for students may just be the key to their continued success. 

 This list is not exhaustive. There are many opportunities to embed integrity into every course, and institutions may have an office to help faculty develop their courses to promote honest student success. Students are often told to take advantage of the resources offered by the institutions, and faculty should do the same.

If you have examples of how you've embedded integrity in your courses, share them share them by commenting below or tweeting @TweetCAI.