Academic integrity

Remote learning and adapting with integrity

Although the face of teaching and learning has changed, the rules and principles governing academic integrity remain the same.

With the adjustment to remote learning, some cues that normally remind us to act with integrity are not always as visible. For instance, tests and exams are no longer supervised in the typical way. We might assume that having fewer physical and social cues makes it easier to cheat. Fortunately, the research shows that online learners are no more likely to cheat than in-person learners.

What is academic integrity?

As a community we share a responsibility to uphold standards to protect the integrity of our own work as well as the work of others.

The International Center for Academic Integrity defines academic integrity as "a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values: honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage”.

Did you know?

Our community relies on information to learn, research, and share knowledge with others. We must be able to trust that all in the community are honest if we are to gain or create knowledge.

Acting with integrity means:

  • producing original work that clearly reflects your abilities and understanding
  • representing work accurately, including methodology, data and null results
  • citing sources correctly
  • collaborating with others only with permission
  • following guidance about the use of additional supports or technology

Not sure?

If you ever have questions about what may or may not be permitted, ask your instructor.

Academic misconduct

What is academic misconduct?

When a person is not honest in their academic pursuits the result is misconduct.

Misconduct includes:
• cheating
• plagiarism (i.e. copying the work of someone else)
• inappropriate collaboration (i.e. working with others when not specifically assigned)
• impersonation
• fraud

The university defines academic misconduct in detail in this document. It is the responsibility of everyone in the university community to become familiar with this document.

Did you know?

Often misconduct is unintentional and can occur by accident. These are a few ways you can avoid accidental misconduct:

  • make sure to stay on top of your assignments as time pressures can make cheating tempting
  • keep good notes so you don't accidentally forget to cite where you found your research
  • revisit citation, quotation, and paraphrasing guidelines
  • don't sit next to a friend during an exam
  • don't assume that because something is allowed by one instructor or college, it is allowed by another
  • read your syllabus and if you don't understand something ask your instructor

Need help?

If you need representation or someone to answer your questions contact your student union.

Academic integrity tutorial

This interactive tutorial will help you better understand the fundamentals of academic integrity.

Contract Cheating

Contract cheating happens when you outsource your work to others. For an in-depth definition and information about the Day Against Contract Cheating, visit the International Centre for Academic Integrity.

Compromising your academic integrity is not an option. Looking for alternatives? Try this instead:

Connect with USask’s online Writing or Math & Stats Help, or with Student Learning Services for tips, virtual one-to-one help, and online resources.

Contact your TA or lab instructor if you need help with the material.

Keep a separate note-taking file so you don’t risk accidental plagiarism.

Preparing for Exams

Cheating on exams is often not intentional. To prevent accidental cheating, make sure to properly prepare for exams. Take advantage of the university's many resources, and when in doubt, ask your instructor.

Exam Skills Guide

The Student Learning Services' Study Skills guide is filled with great resources to help you build your exam-taking and study skills. 

Exam Skills Workshops

Student Learning Services offers many sessions, both live and pre-recorded, to help with the preparation of exams. They share resources, offer guidance and delivered by fellow students.

For staff and faculty

Procedures, regulations & resolution

For up-to-date information on remote teaching, including assessment design, visit teaching.usask.ca. Resources there include ideas and recommendations for:

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