Instructor's Guide


Quizzes, Reflective Questions and Activities

This tutorial on Academic Integrity, Plagiarism, and Copyright is applicable to all Penn State courses and helps to fulfill the instructor's obligation to address the topic of academic integrity. Because the content of this tutorial is very comprehensive, you may want to pick and choose sections for your students to complete, depending on the content of your course. If you are using this tutorial to ensure the students in your class are well informed about Penn State's policy on Academic Integrity, you may wish to assign the tutorial as work to be done outside of class, or even as work to be completed before the semester begins.

If you are planning to use the plagiarism detection tool "" in your course, we recommend that you have your students work through this tutorial first to be sure they understand what plagiarism is and the consequences of being caught plagiarizing. More information about "" is available at


The following assignments are embedded in the Academic Integrity tutorial:


Relationship to Other iStudy Tutorials

This tutorial is directly related to the Search Strategies and Source Evaluation tutorial. Many of the strategies illustrated here are used when one is accessing information.


Suggested In-class Methods of Presentation

Many faculty members are increasingly frustrated by students' academic integrity violations and by the long and stressful process that they must go through to correct, prove, and/or penalize these violations. What can we do, then, to try to raise awareness among students and to find ways to make violations less likely?

What follows is a collection of suggestions for staff and faculty (both authors and instructors) on how to design and run courses to discourage academic integrity violations and to encourage proper research methods and student learning.


Suggestions on How to Encourage Academic Integrity and Discourage Plagiarism and Cheating

compiled by

Ian W. Riddell—Instructional Materials Designer

Penn State World Campus

February 2003


Below you will find a collection of suggestions for designers, authors, and instructors of courses. These pages suggest ways to help build courses to lead students away from temptation; both through raising their awareness of how to do proper research and writing and through designing assignments to make it more difficult for them to cheat.


What follows is an amalgamation and adaptation of material from several sources:

Colyer, Anita. 2001. "13 Design tips to foster academic honesty". E-mail summary of discussion at February 2001 Instructional Design and Development "open mic" session. [Colyer]

PSU Libraries. 2002. "Information literacy and you." A modular, on-line course in beginning research methods. [LIAS]

PSU Teaching and Learning with Technology. 2001. Cyber-plagiarism: Detection and prevention. Web site: [TLT]

Harris, Robert. 2002. Virtual Salt: Anti-plagiarism: Strategies for research papers. Web site: Site adapted from: Harris, Robert. 2001. The plagiarism handbook. Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing.) [Harris]


Note:These suggestions have been categorized into sections for course designers, authors, and instructors, but they may be useful to all three groups and to students as well.


Course Designers





Key Points

Integrity is a moral value that resides in the affective domain. Therefore, the best way to help students develop integrity is by presenting the relevant information and then giving them opportunities to apply it to various situations through conscious thought and discussion. A primary goal of this tutorial is to encourage students to develop a personal philosophy of academic integrity based on Penn State principles.

This tutorial begins with a description of academic integrity and the policies at Penn State, followed by information about plagiarism, cheating, copyright, fair use, excuses students use, and penalties for academic dishonesty. The content has been broken into topics to allow instructional flexibility. Instructors can use the entire tutorial, or select just the topics they want to cover. Quizzes present various situations for students to evaluate. The final activity is a series of situations the students are asked to evaluate and respond to. The final activity would also work well for small group discussions or as discussion board topics using an electronic message board. Instructors may wish to add additional or different responses to the final activity, depending on their course content.

The key points to make on this topic are that academic dishonesty affects the student as well as the entire community, ignorance isn't an acceptable excuse for committing academic dishonesty, and academic dishonesty has consequences.


Assessment Criteria

The following assessment criteria was used in developing this tutorial and may be useful to instructors in evaluating student performance.


Assessment Criteria





Content of iStudy Tutorial


The student can define academic integrity, cheating, plagiarism, copyright, and fair use.



Activities in iStudy Tutorial


The student can identify instances of cheating, plagiarism, and copyright violation.



Activities in iStudy Tutorial


The student can apply copyright rules to a situation to determine if use of the materials is OK or not.


Case Study Activity


The student can develop his/her own philosophy of academic integrity based on the Penn State principles.






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