Advice for preventing plagiarism and cheating in the college classroom

by Arlena Jackson
PhD student, University of Florida

Prevention is the best solution to mitigating plagiarism and cheating in the class room. When prevention is the priority, the teacher commits to investing the time that is needed to help students understand their assignments and the resources available to students to assist them with writing and to provide tutoring as needed.

Creating a classroom culture that promotes academic honesty can be fosters by the class syllabus. The syllabus can serve as a written document that guides the class format and assignments from start to finish, enabling students to plan the time needed to complete assignments and requiring them to turn in big projects in stages to prevent them from trying to complete too much work at the last minute. The syllabus is a great tool to remind  students to their university academic honor code and code of conduct.

To learn more about preventative measures that are available to teachers, please visit this site, which is sponsored by the University of Florida’s Warrington School of Business:

http://warrington.ufl.edu/itsp/docs/instructor/OnlineAssessment.pdf

Here you’ll find recommended teaching activities for preventing cheating and plagiarism. My favorite is the 21 tips for handling technology advanced cheating.

As a teacher, be sure to check to see what resources your university provides to assist you in determining plagiarism in student writing. For example, the University of Florida provides Turnitin.

Remember, you are not alone. Familiarize yourself with the department at your university who is responsible for managing academic dishonesty violations. At the University of Florida, the Dean of Students Office manages this process and should be contacted when assistance is needed to manage academic dishonesty or code of conduct violations.

Arlena Jackson is a student in Mass Communication Teaching.

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