Iowa State cracking down on cheating, implementing new academic integrity policies

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AMES, Iowa — When the pandemic pushed learning online for students, Sara Kellogg, the Director of Student Conduct at Iowa State University said it created an easier way for students to cheat.

“We saw students using unauthorized resources using websites like Chegg to engage in academic misconduct, at a somewhat higher rate than we had in the past, I think. But with more courses online, I think some of that may be anticipated,” Kellogg said.

Acts of obtaining unauthorized information, tendering of information, misrepresentation, bribery, and plagiarism are general examples of academic misconduct outlined on the university’s website. Although professors usually work individually to create more specific policies for their courses. 

This school year, faculty members are trying new strategies to encourage honesty in the digital age of learning.

One way they are doing that is by a survey. The survey was sent out to about 5,000 students this week asking them about their behavior and academic tendencies. There is also a component for staff.

“The International Center for Academic Integrity also hopes to do an academic integrity survey for faculty to give a little bit of information about their perception of the student culture around academic integrity,” Kellogg said. “What we hope to do then is combine all of that, again to really develop the most comprehensive process for addressing academic integrity on campus.”

Kellogg said the university will get the results in the spring.

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