Producing quality academic scholarship requires at least three important stages for successful student time-management:
- Face-time – Guidance from the instructor of record about procedure & policy.
- Make-time – Encouraging realistic time management for course assignments.
- Take-time – Encouraging students to seek editing and revision assistance.
These stages provide a framework for helping students understand the importance of academic integrity to their academic careers. In this article, you will find an explanation of these stages along with teaching strategies and resources that can help you design and develop class activities and assignments for promoting academic integrity.
Face-Time: Preventing Academic Dishonesty
Face-time (whether literal or virtual) with instructors, teaching assistants, and other forms of support is a student’s best possible safeguard against accusations of cheating or plagiarism.
Students must first face the fact that coursework requires a significant time commitment from them and a realistic time-management plan. Because academic integrity and adequate citation styles require diligence and time to master, it helps greatly to give guidance in your syllabus, offer clarification of expectations in an early class discussion, identify the kinds of academic support available, and provide in-class previews of your assignment guidelines as the semester unfolds.
Make-Time: Helping Students Manage their Time
As an instructor, it is often helpful to remind students that their coursework involves significant time commitments outside the classroom. Students should be certain to make time for the important and very distinct processes of research, outlining, and writing and revising. Identifying these processes for students is crucial in preventing academic dishonesty. You might even consider breaking down class papers and assignments based on each of these processes with a certain percentage of the grade going towards each step. For an idea of how you might walk students through these different processes or break down your own grading process see below, see below:
- Make Time for Research: Sometimes students don’t see the purpose of a citation, therefore it is important to make it clear to them. When students search out information, be sure they know to re-search citations and other sources to verify accuracy, credibility, and verifiability of expert consensus. Consider meeting with a UNT subject librarian. They can come to your class (or you can schedule class time in the library) to show students how to use the library for research.
- Make Time for Outlining: Careful citations during the research process help students identify reliable sources for their projects. As students begin to identify an important problem, debate, or competing perspectives around which to focus their own research interest, an outline of main points with opening arguments and closing conclusions can begin to be drafted. Consider requiring students to submit an outline for a low stakes grade. You could also provide sample outlines to students to show them how to outline or model creating outlines for them. Do not assume they already know how to outline.
- Make Time for Writing & Revising: The process of writing, editing, and revising is essential for student success and academic integrity. Every student should expect to develop multiple drafts before turning in work to their instructor. Instructors can also require students to submit initial drafts for review. Be sure to incorporate application of feedback into the requirements for later drafts. Instructors can also allow students to resubmit papers for a higher grade.
Take-Time: Incorporating Research into Academic Writing
Besides face-time for providing policy and procedure guidelines and make-time for conducting research, students should also be encouraged to take-time for adequate writing, editing, and revising. These take time guidelines for incorporating research into university-level student writing can help insure student academic integrity:
- Concise Thesis/Research Question: In order to help students develop stronger thesis/research questions, instructors can create a select-response (e.g. multiple choice, matching, etc.) quiz where students identify and/or rate a series of thesis/research questions according to clarity or conciseness. Students could also work in a group activity to rate thesis/research questions according to clarity or conciseness and justify their reasoning. See our Academic Integrity: A Classroom Activity Guide for an activity related to this topic.
- Reviewing Scholarship: It may be helpful for students to approach this as following a problem-solution format. That is, a review of literature identifies some problem for which a thesis statement or research question then attempts to explore answers or discover possible solutions available. It may also be helpful to have students think of the review of literature as the outcome of their research outline. Whereas the research outline process narrows a topic to identify a specific debate or conversation they wish to engage, the review of literature offers the reader an overview of major concepts, perspectives, and debates that they interpret into a problem/solution format.
- Integrating Research References: Avoiding academic dishonesty can often depend upon taking care not to “steal” the words and ideas of someone else with careless citation errors or mere superficial substitutions. Work with students to learn how to distinguish between paraphrasing, summarizing, citing, and quoting. See our Academic Integrity: A Classroom Activity Guide for an example activity.
Center for Learning Experimentation, Application, and Research. (2016). Teaching Resources for Engaged Educators [online training modules]. Denton, TX: University of North Texas.