Welcome! This page provides information and resources about academic integrity for educators. Go to academic integrity info for students instead.
Please select from these options for educators below:
- Including Academic Integrity in Your Classroom (Educational Resources)
- How to File an Academic Integrity Violation Claim (Procedures and Form)
Including Academic Integrity in Your Classroom (Educational Resources)
In our research and service at Penn State University, we act with integrity to advance knowledge and impact our communities. We know that academic or research misconduct can lead to harm.
As educators, our role is to help students learn to act with integrity. If they make mistakes, it’s also part of our teaching to explain what they did wrong and how they can improve.
These resources intend to provide some practical guidance on how to teach students about academic integrity at different stages of your course.
When planning your syllabus:
Be sure to include an AI policy statement. Here are some sample syllabus statements.
Include a Canvas Module highlighting academic integrity resources.
- A basic Canvas Module has been developed and posted on Canvas Commons that can be pulled into any course. It can be used as-is or adapted it to instructor needs.
- After signing into Canvas, click on the Commons link in the left menu and then go to the module. Click the “import/download” button to integrate it into a course of your choice.
Consider using Penn State’s site for training students about academic integrity. Educators can create this as an assignment within their class by including the link in the course and then have students complete that training and upload the certificate as evidence of completion. A student who has already completed the training can just upload their certificate (or re-do it as a good review).
Throughout the semester:
Communicate the specifics of how academic integrity applies in different elements of your class.
- Check out examples provided by your colleagues (DOC) that you can revise for your specific assignments to help make your expectations clear.
- Share student videos about their AI experiences through the resources on this page.
Provide a secure environment when using exams as one of your assessments. There are several different ways to accomplish this:
- Learn about Exam Proctoring Options.
- Read the Penn State Canvas guide to using Canvas Quizzes and the Canvas information on quiz settings to maximize security.
- Learn about the use of webcams for assessment activities: follow University policy and guidance.
- Understand how to use Canvas settings to maximize security. You can set strict limits for students about navigation away from the exam during the exam period and enforce that through Quiz logs to reduce student temptation to consult Chegg or other resources. Let students know that statistical analysis of exam answers can be conducted following an exam to identify students who have answers that are likely to be the result of collaboration.
How to File an Academic Integrity Violation Claim (Policies and Procedures)
Whether violations are common or rare, it’s important for instructors to understand and use the process appropriately. Here are a few key principles:
- Academic integrity is an instructor-governed process. Instructors decide how to handle a violation. From an institutional perspective, it is best if instructors report all violations, rather than try to handle them outside of the process because:
- Reporting makes sure that repeat violators face increased sanctions.
- Reporting makes sure that both instructors and students are treated fairly.
- Reporting builds trust within the system
As difficult as it may be, put your emotions, your anger, and your frustration aside, and remain professional.
If a faculty member suspects that an Academic Integrity incident has occurred:
- Please note that AI cases are best successfully resolved when instructors act in a timely fashion. As soon as possible after the violation is detected, the faculty member should meet with the student to discuss the incident. If the student is not attending class, the faculty member should use multiple communication methods to arrange for a meeting, including methods of electronic communication.
- At the meeting, the faculty member explains why they believe an act of academic dishonesty occurred, and allows the student an opportunity to respond. After hearing the student’s explanation, if the faculty member still believes that a violation has occurred OR if the faculty member is unable to meet with the student, they should fill out the electronic Academic Integrity form and submit it to begin the process of filing a claim. As a best practice, instructors should tell students they can expect to receive information about the claim in their email. The student sees the material submitted electronically and is prompted to respond in the online system.
If a student accepts the charge and/or sanction, and has no prior violations:
Once the student has electronically signaled acceptance in the system, or once seven days (one week) have passed but the student has not responded, the case will be finalized.
If a student accepts the charge and/or sanction, but has prior violations:
- The Academic Integrity Committee will review the case; they may change the academic sanction. The student will have the opportunity to accept or contest the allegation and/or new sanction.
If a student wishes to contest the charge and/or sanction:
- The Assistant Director for Academic Administration will provide the Academic Integrity Committee with the case file.
- The committee will convene electronically to review the case. The contents of the case file are made available to the student and the faculty member.
- If the student would like to participate in the hearing of the Academic Integrity Committee to provide additional information related to the academic integrity sanction, the student should submit, within five business days, a letter describing the reasons a live hearing is requested, including a brief explanation as to the additional information that will be offered outside of the evidence already submitted to the committee by the student and faculty member. Upon receipt of the letter, the Academic Integrity Committee will have five business days to decide if a live hearing is warranted.
- Within ten business days of the hearing, the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee will send a letter indicating the decision of the hearing to the Assistant Director for Academic Administration. The Assistant Director for Academic Administration will distribute the letter to 1) the student and faculty member involved in the hearing, 2) the Director of Student Affairs, and 3) the College Registrar.
Additional Process Information
The hearing of the Academic Integrity Committee should occur within 30 days within a reasonable timeframe after the academic integrity incident.
The committee must have at least three voting members available.
- One of the committee members must be a student representative who has undergone training in student accountability and conflict response by the Division of Student Affairs.
- When possible, one of the two participating faculty members will belong to the academic school in which the alleged violation took place.
- A case manager from the Office of Student Affairs will attend as a non-voting ex-officio member.
The Assistant Director for Academic Administration will instruct the University Registrar to place a “drop hold” to prevent the student from dropping the class during the appeal process. If a student has already dropped a class, the student will be re-enrolled.
The student may select one adviser of their choice during this process.
If a hearing cannot be scheduled during the semester in which the incident occurred, the student will be given a grade of DF and the hearing will be held at the beginning of the next semester. The Assistant Director for Academic Administration has the discretion to schedule hearings at any time of the year for students whose graduation has been postponed until resolution of the academic integrity incident.
Please note: According to Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, faculty members may not assign an “XF” grade. “XF” is a formal University disciplinary sanction, and may be assigned only with the concurrence of the instructor, the College of Academic Integrity Committee, and Judicial Affairs. Reliance on the “XF” should be a rare occurrence and reserved for the most serious breaches of academic integrity. In any instance in which the instructor believes an “XF” sanction is warranted, and whether or not the student has admitted responsibility, the case is forwarded to the College Academic Integrity Committee for review and then to the Office of Student Accountability and Conflict Response (OSACR) for appropriate fact finding and judgment.
- To begin reporting the violation, access the electronic workflow form.
- Read Penn State’s G-9 policy which describes the AI violation process in detail.
For general questions or a discussion about something you are seeing in your course, please contact Dr. Sarah Whitney.