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Community Standards & Student Conduct

Tips for preventing cheating

The methods described below are not intended to be exhaustive.


  1. Remind students of the academic integrity code, in class and in writing, how the code applies to your specific course, explain the difference between permissible collaboration and unapproved copying, and warn students of the consequences of cheating;
  2. Ask any students who have concerns about cheating to bring them you or to my office;
  3. Cheating often occurs when students feel they have no other alternative be sure they can talk to you or your TA.

In-class exams

Please include the following methods in your efforts to prevent cheating on exams:

  1. If using blue books for exams, be sure to collect all blue books, whether used or not;
  2. Use alternating copies of exams, with different colors and questions in different orders;
  3. Randomize seating order (using assigned seating) to avoid friends or cliques sitting together;
  4. Require all students to bring government-issued IDs or Husky Cards and check them against your class roster;
  5. Space students at least one seat apart;
  6. Have at least one proctor per 20 students and remind them of the importance of monitoring students carefully for the duration of the exam;
  7. Request additional proctors if your TAs or graders are unavailable;
  8. No electronic devices (calculators, mobile phones, Iphone, etc) of any kind allowed for any purpose during the exam;
  9. All papers or books, except exam papers and blue books, must be stowed during the exam, unless open book;

Homework assignments

Since collected homework can never be fully screened for copying, it may be more effective to put greater effort into preventing cheating on in-class exams and quizzes which can be closely monitored or in final projects, and instead reduce the role of graded homework in determining course grades.

  1. Limit grades for collected homework to no more than 10% of the total course grade, except in courses where regular practice is deemed essential and which cannot be replaced by in-class quizzes or exams;
  2. Encourage TAs and graders to give essentially full credit for obvious effort, lowering the incentive to copy and increasing the incentive to use homework as a learning experience and not a determining factor in the course grade;
  3. Replace the balance of customary homework assignment grades (traditionally, 25-30% of the course grade had been typical) with a second midterm or in-class quizzes closely based on homework assignments;
  4. Rotate homework assignments so that no two similar assignments are used in back-to-back years
  5. Explain clearly what level of collaboration is acceptable;

Final project assignments

  1. Vary final project list so that no two similar projects are assigned in back-to-back years
  2. Randomize project assignments, so friends or cliques are not assigned the same projects;
  3. Never allow students to use a project which they propose instead of one on your project list (they could be attempting to recycle a work project or a project from another course);
  4. Require students to include a signed statement in their report stating that the project report represents their own work and includes complete citations to all references or sources of help, including other students or work colleagues;
  5. Explain clearly what level of collaboration is acceptable, keeping in mind that students must submit individual reports and are graded individually.