Cheat the Cheaters: strategies to improve academic integrity

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

This presentation will discuss the behaviors of students, expectations of faculty, and strategies that instructional designers can use to help advance Academic Integrity in our online courses. The presentation will be informed by current literature and will examine strategies, solutions and tools for best practices. This presentation will discuss the behaviors of students, expectations of faculty, and strategies that instructional designers can use to help advance Academic Integrity in our online courses. The presentation will be informed by current literature and will examine strategies, solutions and tools for best practices. 


Dr. Sandy Bennett is the Director of Baylor’s Online Teaching and Learning Services department within the university’s Library and Academic Technology Services department. Sandy has been with Baylor since 1995. She is a library faculty member and has taught for over 10 years in Baylor’s Management Information System department and more than 14 years at Tarleton State University’s Management department, where she has taught both in the classroom and online. Sandy holds a Ph.D. in Applied Technology and Performance Improvement from the University of North Texas, a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Chapman University, and a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. Recently, she has lead several major initiatives for Baylor including: - Creating an instructional design team for Baylor University to support online, blended and flipped teaching; - Implementing two online graduate programs – the Masters of Business Administration and the MS in Nursing, Leadership and Innovation; - Leading the evaluation and transition of the campus Learning Management Systems and - Exploring the use of E-textbooks by participating with the Educause/Internet2 and Follett E-textbook pilot programs. Sandy is married and has two adult children and one granddaughter who all reside in North Carolina. When she is not working, she enjoys being a grandma, watching movies, and taking cruises with her husband.

Extended Abstract

Is academic integrity on the rise? or is it declining? Arguably, this is a topic that as leaders in online education, we must address with every new group of students who enter our programs. At Baylor, when we started offering online programs, issues around academic integrity were among the first discussions.  We have attempted to address the “easiest” issues related to this topic with technology such are locking the browser, locking the computer from the network and providing proctoring. However, when providing instructional design support, I feel like we are not truly addressing the roots of the problem, but merely working on the symptoms and outcomes.  This conference session will present the issues associated with academic integrity for the online course and open a dialogue within the professional community. The questions will be address will be from the student, faculty and instructional designer point of view.

Students View

From the student perspective, we will examine l some of the current research that addresses academic cheating, look at the Academic Cheating Fact Sheet from the Educational Testing Service and explore some of the ways students are cheating. After all, we cannot build a better mouse trap – or better assessment -- without considering the student perspective.


The faculty clearly have a differing point of view from the students and the presentation will explore the expectations and desires of the faculty perspective, examine how this perspective can be accommodated and operationalized in the online environment, and explore the pitfalls and pain points to make this happen.

Instructional Design

By understanding the behaviors of the student and needs of the faculty, the presentation will begin to address strategies for preventing cheating.  The tools for cheating prevention will be will be discussed including anti-plagiarism solutions, proctoring, and computer lockdown systems. Experiences and data from Baylor’s experiences will be shared along with experiences from the audience. Lastly, we will discuss other alternatives that are not technology driven but rather examine at how we assess and evaluate student learning and foster a community of academic integrity in the classroom to build some best practices. 

In this presentation and discussion, we will examine what is academic integrity, talk about faculty and student behaviors and look at current research regarding identity verification and cheating prevention. With regards to prevention, we will continue the discussion of prevention by exploring strategies and best practices as a group.


Effective Practice Criteria:

  • Innovation – The presentation will seek to present new and different strategies for academic integrity in online education by exploring proctoring tools and services available and novel assessment strategies. 
  • Replicability – All the ideas that we will present can be easily duplicated at other universities and for a variety of settings. 
  • Impact – The techniques that we will discuss, along with other approaches, should help decrease cheating and has the potential to do likewise in other institutions as well.
  • Evidence – We will show documentation of the materials we use for the presentation and will gather the ideas shared by the group discussions on a google document.
  • Scope – The ideas that we share will be applicable in a wide range of settings.


  • We will have a power point presentation to highlight key points.
  • We will also provide a web link for attendees to have as reference later:
    • A google document accessible from QR code for sharing ideas about assignments/assessments and techniques to deter cheating
    • The website will also have the power point available for download and contact info

Target Audience:

  • Higher Education faculty, instructional designers and program administrators will find the session most useful.
  • All levels of experience may benefit from this session.

Audience Active Engagement:

  • Presenter will use small group moments to discover some instructional design assessments methods that are used to encourage academic integrity
  • Audience members will be asked to contribute to the conversation on academic integrity especially in regards to techniques that they are using and have found successful to deter cheating and improve Academic Integrity.
  • Questions and Answers will be encouraged throughout the session, but we will also leave 5 minutes at the end specifically for this purpose.
  • I will share a QR code and the link to a google document created to share the ideas generated in the presentation.