Within this shared enterprise, instructors have another, rather heavy responsibility: making certain students can function in an atmosphere free of academic dishonesty.Section 4.2 of the UNL Student Code of Conduct is specific about the importance of maintaining academic honesty and integrity in our classrooms. While integrity is expected of all members of the university community, teaching assistants are uniquely positioned to teach, model, and assure integrity in students' academic assignments.
Persons with academic integrity work honestly, ethically and accurately, taking full credit for their own work, and giving full credit to others who have helped, or whose work has been incorporated into their own. Your primary responsibility as a teaching assistant is not merely to react to incidents of academic dishonesty, but to prevent them from happening at all, and to instill in your students a healthy sense of integrity and pride in themselves, their work and their profession.
- Teach students how to successfully research and write a paper or prepare a lab report.
- Teach students proper methods of attribution. Describe and give examples of plagiarism, paraphrasing and direct citation.
- Assign specific topics or give students a limited choice of topics. Become familiar with the literature in those areas, both in print and online. Require students to discuss paper topics with you before getting started.
- Be reluctant to allow students to change topics or hand in something that is off the assignment.
- Have students submit an essay outline or first draft for feedback.
- Discuss areas of difficulty in assignments. Meet with students to monitor their progress and offer feedback and support.
- Provide specific guidelines for the format of written assignments and adhere to them when evaluating student work.
- Prepare new assignments each semester.
- To lessen the possibility of papers or assignments being lost or stolen, require students to submit assignments in class or directly to you.
- Prepare new exam questions each time you teach the course. If a pool of multiple-choice questions is available, rotate their use.
- When proctoring, circulate throughout the room, especially at the back.
- Prepare a seating plan or have students sit in every other seat.
- Ask students to leave their bags and backpacks at the end of an aisle or at the front of the room before sitting down to write an exam or test.
- Collect examination papers individually.
- To discourage any additions after exams or tests are returned to students, place a mark or dash at the end of each answer and/or a line through any unused sections of their examination papers or booklets.
See also Academic Integrity at UNL: Understanding Plagiarism http://www.unl.edu/gradstudies/current/integrity#plagiarism