Student Conduct

Faculty and Instructors

There are a number of steps you can take as an instructor to cultivate and sustain a climate of academic integrity in your course.

Let students know the extent to which collaboration is permitted and the degree to which resources may be used in completing assignments.  A good rule of thumb is that students will interpret more liberally than you intend in deciphering what acceptable rules for collaboration and outside resource use are.  Therefore, be as granular as you can-- perhaps with explicit examples from your course-- for acceptable parameters. Also, be explicit about what happens in terms of grading if a student is academically dishonest in your class-- will the student fail the assignment at issue?  Fail the course? (For advice on how to grade academically dishonest work, contact us.)

    Tips to Promote Academic Integrity in the Classroom
    On the Written Syllabus

    • Include the text of the Duke Community Standard
    • Set expectations for academic integrity in all aspects of the course
    • Provide specific guidelines for collaboration
    • Note standards for use of data, electronic translators, etc. specific to your discipline

    In the Classroom

    • Be a role model (cite sources in lectures, etc.)
    • Highlight issues of academic integrity through ongoing discussion
    • Require students to write and sign a pledge on all assignments that their work was completed honestly
    • Instruct about proper research techniques, including note-taking strategies and citation methods
    • Inform students of such resources as the Writing Studio, reference texts, websites, etc.
    • Thank students for their honesty in taking an exam as you pass it out.  Research suggests that "priming" students in this regard reduces instances of dishonesty.
    • Have students put all electronic devices (including watches) in their bag off to the side of the room/their desk during an exam.  While most classrooms have a clock, it is a good idea to periodically announce (or write visibly) the time and how much time is left for the exam.  
    • Give different versions of an exam (even as simple as reordering questions) to reduce opportunities for looking on another's test during the exam.
    • If you give students an opportunity to submit a request for a re-grade, scan the exams prior to returning them-- and better yet, tell students that you do so.  This not only reduces student temptation to change answers, but also makes it easy to identify should it occur.

    Should you encounter potential academic dishonesty in undergraduates courses, Deans Arlie Petters and Linda Franzoni have the following request of you:

    “When a faculty member makes an academic dishonesty allegation, the faculty member should first consult with the appropriate Dean’s Designee for Academic Misconduct Allegations. The current Designee for a Nicholas, Sanford, or Trinity undergraduate course is Dean John Blackshear; for a Pratt undergraduate course, the Designee is Dr. Michael Gustafson. The Designee will not conduct an investigation into the allegations. The role of the Designee is rather to offer guidance on best approaches to managing the allegation of academic dishonesty and to help guide the faculty member through all the options. Minor, first-time infractions may be resolved between the faculty member and the student. However, more serious cases or repeat offenses must be handled more formally through the Office of Student Conduct (OSC; conduct@duke.edu, 919-684-6938).”


    It is imperative that faculty/instructors follow through on each and every possible instance of academic dishonesty encountered?  Why?

    • To ensure consistency of response across departments
    • To protect faculty/instructors by ensuring due process
    • To verify that a student has no prior incidents
    • To identify resources for students who may need assistance.  Academically dishonest behavior may indicate an (additional) signal that a student has other underlying issues motivating the behavior.
    • As a gauge for evaluating the academic integrity climate on campus.

    Read more about our policies regarding Academic Dishonesty.