Academic Agreement

Corrigan-Gibbs et al. (2015) found that “Displaying a pre-task academic integrity warning that focused users on potential negative outcomes of dishonesty deterred cheating”. Students should be directed to read, acknowledge, and electronically agree to the Honor Code when they review the course syllabus. Throughout the semester, students should be reminded of the Honor Code before completing major assessments.

The following are tips to assist you as you address academic integrity with students:

  1. Clearly communicate expectations. Clearly communicate expectations in your syllabus regarding cheating behavior, establish policies regarding appropriate conduct, and encourage students to abide by and agree to those policies. Use strong language that clarifies faculty expectations of appropriate academic behavior.

  2. Creatively remind students of academic integrity policies. Create and post a video explaining the guidelines for completing course assessments (including online exams) and review the institution’s academic integrity policy and consequences that are listed in the course syllabus. There may be some psychological impact on students after seeing and hearing their instructor discuss academic integrity right before an exam begins, which may deter students who were thinking about cheating. For instance, you may adapt the following language as a reminder to students before they complete an online exam:

    • “This is not an open-book or open-notes exam. This exam is to be taken during the allotted time period without the aid of books, notes, or other students. You have approximately 45 seconds per question to complete this exam. This exam must be taken online from start to finish. Do not download the test to take it or distribute it to anyone. The Canvas statistics (New Analytics) feature…will monitor and report how you take this exam.”

  3. Require students to sign an academic integrity contract. After reviewing the academic integrity reminder video, have students electronically sign a contract that lists what the university considers cheating. Include a link to the university website that hosts the academic integrity policy and require a signed contract prior to beginning an exam or completing an assessment. Use the Canvas survey tool feature, to execute the contract as an assignment prior to the exam/assessment.


Corrigan-Gibbs, H., Gupta, N., Northcutt, C., Cutrell, E., & Thies, W. (2015). Deterring cheating in online environments. ACM Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction, 22(6), 1–23. DOI: 10.1145/2810239