The syllabus is a critical document that will help you set the tone about academic integrity and your expectations for the class. The Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards recommends using the statement below on each syllabus for your courses. It is also important to set clear expectations of what behavior is acceptable, and what will constitute academic misconduct. What may appear to you as an instructor as obvious may not be to students. Making your expectations clear will help students avoid unintentional misconduct.
Recommended Syllabus Statement*
By enrolling in this course, each student assumes the responsibilities of an active participant in UW-Madison’s community of scholars in which everyone’s academic work and behavior are held to the highest academic integrity standards. Academic misconduct compromises the integrity of the university. Cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, and helping others commit these acts are examples of academic misconduct, which can result in disciplinary action. This includes but is not limited to failure on the assignment/course, disciplinary probation, or suspension. Substantial or repeated cases of misconduct will be forwarded to the Office of Student Conduct & Community Standards for additional review. For more information, refer to studentconduct.wiscweb.wisc.edu/academic-integrity/.
Things to Consider
To help prevent misconduct in your class, you might want to think about adding additional information for students in your syllabus outlining your expectations. Consider these questions if your class involves…
- Lab Work: Can lab partners work on the lab write-up together? Can students use the same data?
- Group Projects: How can group projects be divided among group members? What happens to the rest of the group if one student plagiarizes?
- Collaboration: What does acceptable collaboration look like? What would cross the line and become misconduct?
- Online Assignments: What resources can students utilize (including classmates) for completing online assignments?
- Computer Coding: How are students allowed to help each other when coding? Can they show other students their code? Can students post their code online? Are students allowed to reference codes outside of lecture and the textbook?
You should also consider if you have set standards for sanctions. Some instructors have a minimum sanction if a student is found responsible for academic misconduct in their class. Would being found responsible of academic misconduct automatically result in failure of the assignment or course? If so, then this information should be included on your syllabus.
*Adapted with permission from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County