The University of Western Ontario provides campus resources to support faculty members and graduate teaching assistants to ensure the academic integrity of all of our programs. On this page you will find a list of resources that will be useful for you to employ in the classroom. This includes a tutorial on academic integrity that can be added as a OWL module to your courses, university policies on academic integrity and academic sanctions, and links to other resources that may be helpful to enhancing the academic integrity of your courses. Western has taken a proactive stance on improving academic integrity through our membership in the Center for Academic Integrity and through conducting research on this topic in 2003.
What is Academic Integrity?
The Center for Academic Integrity (CAI) defines academic integrity as "a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to five fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. From these values flow principles of behavior that enable academic communities to translate ideals to action" (CAI, Fundamental Values Project, 1999).
Resources for Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants
Western's Academic Integrity Tutorial
This tutorial is a OWL module designed to help students learn about issues of academic integrity. This module may be easily added to any course on campus.
Western's Senate Academic Policies and Sanctions
The Handbook of Academic and Scholarship Policy, maintained by the University Secretariat describes the Scholastic Discipline policies and Academic Sanctions related to academic misconduct. In particular this section describes Western’s definition of plagiarism and other forms of misconduct. Further information on the scholastic discipline policy for undergraduates can be found in the Academic Calendar.
The current Senate Policy on Medical Excuse Slips will be replaced (as of September 1, 2008) by the Senate Policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness for Undergraduate Students. The largest change to the existing policy is that a UWO Student Medical Certificate (SMC) will be required when a student is seeking academic accommodation. This documentation should be obtained at the time of the initial consultation with the physician or walk-in clinic. More information and background on the development of this policy is available here.
Plagiarism Checking Software
In 2001 The University of Western Ontario adopted plagiarism checking software to assist faculty with detecting essay plagiarism. Currently Western utilizes Turnitin.com to check for plagiarism. Over 600 instructors have used Turnitin in their courses since 2001.
- Instructions on using Turnitin on OWL can be found in the OWL documentation under Instructor > OWL Tools > Assignments
- Statement to be added to course outlines if you use plagiarism checking software
- Further information on this software can be found on their website Turnitin.com homepage
Cheating Analysis with Scan Exam II
The answer sheets (Scantrons) used for most multiple choice exams are processed by a program called Scan Exam II, which includes Answer Choice Match Analysis to assist with the investigation of cheating. The number of answer matches between any pair of exam papers can be compared with the expected number of answer matches. The program does not prove cheating took place, but it does alert the instructor to that possibility. Examples and details about the statistical criteria Scan Exam II uses are available at http://ssnds.uwo.ca/scanexam/advancedtopics.html#cheatinganalysis.
Research on Academic Integrity
- The Center for Academic Integrity at Clemson University provides a wide variety of resources to faculty members and assists universities with conducting research on this topic. Western has been a member of the center since 2002.
- From Misconduct to Integrity in Teaching and Learning: Five Levers for Change (PDF)
Keynote presentation by Julia Christensen Hughes, Director of Teaching Support Services, University of Guelph at the 2005 Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education held at the University of Western Ontario on May 29, 2005. This presentation discusses the results of the research she conducted with Dr. Donald McCabe on academic integrity at 15 Canadian universities.
- Cheating and Plagiarism (PDF)
Presentation by Debra Dawson, Director of the Teaching Support Centre in 2006 on the how Turnitin works including what sources it checks and potential benefits of using this internet plagiarism checking software.
- Handling Cheating and Cheaters: An Informed Approach
Article from Reflections by Frances Bauer, Ombuds Office
Faculty/Department websites related to academic integrity
Each faculty/department acts individually when it comes to general education and awareness of Academic Integrity issues on campus. Many departments provide additional information beyond the definition outlined in the Academic Calendar in order to clarify the definition within their discipline-specific context to ensure that undergraduate students have a clear understanding of academic misconduct. Some examples are provided below:
Department of Philosophy Undergraduate Procedures and Guidelines
Computer Science Departmental Policy on Academic Offences
Media, Information and Technoculture: Plagiarism, Collaboration and Recycling of Assignments
Senate Policy on Scholastic Discipline:
Flowchart summary of procedures for course-related offences for faculties with department structure
Flowchart summary of procedures for course-related offences for faculties without department structure
Resources for Undergraduate Students
- "Writing your own paper" - Physical Sciences %7e Health Sciences %7e Social Sciences
These short tutorials from Western Libraries assist undergraduate students with writing their own papers and clarifies what plagiarism is and what the penalties may be for academic misconduct.
- Cheating, Plagiarism and Other Scholastic Offences
The Office of the Ombudsperson has developed this clear, succinct guide on cheating, plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. A brochure (pdf) is also available.
- The Student Success Centre provides information about Academic Integrity at Summer Academic Orientation (SAO) to students and parents. The Centre also promotes academic integrity through the Peer Mentor program and through Study Groups.
Links to other sites with information on academic integrity
- Ontario Council of Academic Vice-Presidents (OCAV) - Academic Integrity
- Center for Academic Integrity
- VirtualSalt -- Anti-Plagiarism Strategies for Research Papers
- York: Academic Integrity in Couses @ York University
- Simon Fraser University Survey Results
- University of Alberta Academic Integrity Site and Resources: Truth*In*Education - Integrity Into Learning
- McGill's Academic Integrity Site and Resources
- Combating Plagiarism - Is the Internet causing more students to copy? (PDF)
Please see the University Ombudsperson's series of Annual Reports for examples of the different issues that undergraduate and graduate students may confront. These annual reports also offer suggestions to faculty to help ensure that students are informed about issues related to academic integrity.