Skip to Main Content

Faculty Academic Integrity Resources: Promoting Integrity Online

5 Simple Steps to Promote Academic Integrity in an Online Environment

Promoting Integrity Online

Home - Academic Integrity - Subject Guides at Nova Scotia ...This guide provides resources for helping your students understand and meet Fleming College's academic integrity expectations when working in an online learning environment.

For questions about academic integrity, please contact Marcia Steeves, Academic Integrity & Copyright Officer:

Thank you to our colleagues at Sheridan College that shared this content with us.

1:1 Meetings with Students

Library staff are still available to provide 1:1 meetings with students in regards to academic integrity questions and violations.

Contact Marcia Steeves, Academic Integrity and Copyright Officer for more information.

1. Make it Clear that Academic Integrity is an Expectation

2. Include an Integrity Statement on Tests and Assignments

Consider adding an integrity statement on tests and assignments.

  • "As a student in [course title/course code], I understand that academic integrity is fundamental to the values of Fleming College. I certify that I will complete this test/quiz/exam on my own and understand that getting or providing assistance in any manner is a violation of Fleming College's Academic Integrity Policy."
  • "As a student in [course title/course code], I understand that academic integrity is fundamental to the values of Fleming College. I confirm that I have completed this assignment on my own and understand that getting or providing assistance in any manner is a violation of Fleming College's Academic Integrity Policy."

3. Make Use of Technology

Make use of educational technologies in D2L

For example:TurnItIn logo

Reach out to the Learning Design and Support Team for information on other tools available to you at

4. Be Aware of the Types of Cheating Students May Engage In

When students complete assessments online, they don't necessarily cheat more than they would in the classroom. Instead, when they do cheat in online environments, they engage in particular types of cheating:

  • Unauthorized Materials: For tests, this includes: the use of crib notes; sharing answers with other students; accessing answers online. For assignments, this includes: the use of note-sharing sites such as CourseHero; the use of paraphrasing tools.
  • Unauthorized 3rd Parties: This includes having someone else complete their tests (impersonation) or having a 3rd party complete their assignments (contract cheating).

To prevent these types of cheating, follow the tabs in this section for some specific things faculty can do.

In an online environment, assume every test is an open-book test. To that end:

  • Consider the use of online exam proctoring tools including Respondus Monitor and Respondus Lock Down Browser
  • Avoid mulitple-choice questions that involve lower-order skills; students can easily look/up share the answers
    • Instead, if you want to use multiple-choice, ask students to provide an explanation for each of their answers, which helps to deter cheating and also allows students to practice metacognitive skills (Allanson & Notar, 2019).
  • Create a question pool for online tests where students receive a random sampled of questions. See D2L help for Randomizing Questions.
  • Display questions one at a time.
  • Set time limits for test completion, but take into consideration that students may experience anxiety if time limits are too tight.
  • Limit automatic feedback and only post answers after all students have completed the test.
  • Create a practice test in the same format to help students prepare beforehand.
  • Consider making tests collaborative when possible.

As well, provide explicit information on what is acceptable and what is not regarding: tools and resources; collaboration, and the use of note-sharing sites.

For assistance with creating assessments, review the resources and advice on Learning Design and Support Team's Assessment Bank.


  • Use the Respondus feature, and ask students to show their OneCard (or other government ID) to reduce instances of impersonation by using Respondus Monitor online proctoring tool.
  • Get to know your students' writing through: a diagnostic assessment at the beginning of the term; formative assessments and through discussion board postings. If contract cheating is suspected, compare previous work to the work submitted.
  • For assignments, ask students to draw on a personal experience to answer reflective questions.
  • Ask students to make connections between your course and current events, trends, or research that occurs within the confines of the particular semester (Lang, 2013).
  • Consider using WebEx to facilitate oral presentations or to have students explain their work
  • Try to use alternative assessments where possible. Examples include: case studies, annotated bibliographies, blogs, infographics, etc. For suggestions, please see the LDS Team's Alternative Delivery Course Development module for transitioning from F2F to online, or Ryerson University's Best Practices in Alternative Assessments.

5. Be Compassionate

Help students feel well-prepared for tests and assessments

  • Clarify the structure of tests, the weighting of each section, what to study
  • Let them know the test/assessment fits into the learning outcomes
  • Hands and heart transparent clip artDiscuss study strategies with students: You can refer them to the Study Skills information on the Tutoring and Academic Skills Centre site
  • Discuss time management strategies: You can refer them to the Time Management information on the Tutoring and Academic Skills Centre site
  • Recognize that students may have difficulty accessing technology, internet connection or have family care obligations - where synchronous learning strategies occur (i.e. Live lecturing, test taking) exercise flexibility, as needed, to ensure students are not disadvantaged.
  • Consider being more flexible with deadlines during this time so that students don't feel pressured and resort to cheating.

Help students feel more connected

  • ​Make it easy for students to contact you to ask you questions about assessments. Let them know when you are available and how to contact you. Consider using tools such as a WebEx personal room to connect with students.
  • Understand that most students are not used to working online; consider ways you can help induct them into this type of learning environment. Share the Learning Portal's "Learning Online Hub" with your students.
  • Be aware that students may be feeling isolated; think of ways to build a supportive community through activities and a course discussion board in D2L.​

Respect Student Privacy

The rapid move to remote learning has identified a number of vulnerabilities for students in their new online experience. When holding online lectures and workshops, consider these tips to ensure student privacy is protected and that you provide safety for them in this online environment;

  • When you create your event/workshop in WebEx, do not add participants to the event when you create it.
  • The WebEx system will send you an email invitation that can be forwarded to participants or posted to your class. If forwarding to your class list use the BCC field to list the participants.
  • You email invitation, or post to your class, should clearly identify for students that if they ask a question in the "chat" function and/or choose to share their screen/camera during the session their name (and possibly surroundings) will be visible to other participants.
  • Also identify for students that if they would like to remain anonymous they may ask questions privately by selecting "host" as opposed to "everyone", and be careful to respect their wishes when you answer the questions.
  • When you begin your class/workshop, hide the participant list from all other participants to protect the privacy of those attending. You can do this by going to the menu -> Participants -> Assign Privileges and then uncheck "View Participant List" in the Participants tab.

Learn More

Learn more about academic integrity in online environments:

If you need any academic integrity related assistance, including determination if a breach has occurred, virtual meetings with students, or in-class presentations on the importance of academic integrity at Fleming, please contact Marcia Steeves, Academic Integrity & Copyright Officer:


Allanson, P.E. & Notar, C.E. (2019). Writing multiple-choice items that are reliable and valid. American International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 5(3), 1-9.

Lang, J. (2013). Cheating lessons: Learning from academic dishonesty. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

University of Calgary: Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning (n.d.). Academic Integrity and online learning. Retrieved from

University of Waterloo, Centre for Teaching Excellence (n.d.). Encouraging academic integrity online. Retrieved from

University of Windsor: Academic Integrity Office (n.d.). Prevent, detect and respond. Retrieved from

chat loading...