To best support academic integrity in light of the remote learning context, instructors may wish to develop community values for a course in the online environment and to include an honor code to reinforce community values on assignments. Instructors can also consider the use of grading and assessment structures that promote academic integrity.
Community Values for Online Education
Establishing community values from the beginning of a course can demonstrate the importance of academic integrity to the students. Instructors may wish to invite students to contribute their thoughts to the creation of agreed community expectations to promote student ownership and understanding of class policies. Other instructors may wish to provide community values from the outset.
1) Broad academic integrity statement
Instructors may adapt the following sample language to address academic integrity for online classes. The sample opens with an invitation for students to express concerns to faculty, since we know that issues of academic dishonesty often arise when students feel anxiety or stress.
As our course takes place online, I recognize that new challenges to participation and study may arise. I encourage students to contact me or another member of our course’s instructional staff with any concerns they may have. Our efforts to establish new habits and work together will benefit from your ongoing commitment to academic integrity. We all gain from each other’s commitment to honest work and full participation in course practices. As a reminder, Yale College maintains firm policies on academic dishonesty of any sort. Please review the syllabus and my latest updates for information about course policies and expectations.
2) Signed academic integrity statement
This sample statement asks students to “sign” it to acknowledge that they have read it and are committed to it.
Honor and respect each other, acknowledging our similarities and differences.
- Be mindful that many in our community are facing unique challenges. Engage with others in respectful discourse, always assuming that others are well-intentioned in their words and actions.
- Demonstrate kindness toward others, particularly regarding issues that may be personal or controversial, as you would in face-to-face contexts.
- Be aware that harassment or discrimination of any kind detracts from everyone’s educational experience and is personally harmful. As on campus, these practices go against Yale’s values and will not be tolerated in a virtual context.
Uphold academic and personal integrity.
- Continue to follow Yale’s policies and expectations concerning Academic Dishonesty. The same standards for academic integrity apply to online and remote forms of education. All coursework submitted by students is expected to be their own and accomplished according to course guidelines. Dishonesty, plagiarism, and unauthorized collaboration will be subject to disciplinary action, according to Yale’s academic standards.
- Be accountable to your courses. To the best of your ability, learn and become comfortable with new technology, meet expectations for participation and assessment, and maintain the positive elements of community and rigor you experienced on campus.
- Be accountable in your actions and language. Online engagement can feel less personal. Consider how your words and actions may affect others, particularly during a time of uncertainty and stress.
- Unless your instructor explicitly states otherwise, educational material shared by your instructor or classmates is not intended for distribution beyond the online classroom. Educational material includes, but is not limited to, images, message board posts, digital presentations (e.g., PowerPoint, Keynote, etc.), and links to live or recorded class sessions.
Remember that we all continue to participate in the Yale community, no matter where we find ourselves this semester. We can work together to create and reinforce our sense of classroom community. Yale will continue to support all community members in online modes of engagement, and we trust these values will be upheld by everyone.
If you have any concerns about your ability to follow the principles of academic integrity outlined above, please talk to your instructor, your residential college dean, or the academic dean for your school. Should you experience any instances of harassment or discrimination, Yale’s standard reporting mechanisms remain in operation.
By signing this statement, I pledge to uphold the values of academic integrity outlined above.
Below are two sample honor codes that instructors may implement to ensure that academic integrity is maintained during remote learning.
1) Assignment-specific honor statement
Instructors may ask students to electronically sign a statement verifying that work submitted is their own.
The work submitted here is my own and was completed in compliance with the instructor’s expectations for academic integrity.
2) Broad honor statement
Instructors may ask students to electronically sign a statement that communicates values of respect and academic integrity, with the intention that this pledge covers all course activities for the term.
Yale University is committed to upholding our shared values while community members are spread throughout the world. To carry out Yale’s mission and continue to cultivate educational excellence, we ask everyone to abide by the following principles of academic integrity. Yale continues to lead during all circumstances, and we invite our community to uphold these values as we move forward together.
Do you have other questions? Please contact us with questions.