Macaela Mackenzie & Katie Kretschmer
It’s important for issues of academic integrity to be properly dealt with at every high school. But how and why students cheat is rarely a black-and-white matter. As increasing academic pressures and technology in the classroom change the landscape of academic integrity, students and staff must learn to address these issues and uphold academic standards.
“I believe, for the most part, students don’t come to [school] intending to cheat,” says James Black, director of the Center for Academic Achievement at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. “More often than not, they get overwhelmed and panic.”
You can help prevent academic integrity violations through helping students with tangible tactics such as better time management and encouraging the use of school resources to help them prepare.
How to help students not feel pressured to cheat
Most students who cheat don’t usually set out with the intent to be dishonest—instead, they find themselves in a situation where cheating seems like the best or only option. “Often, students who cheat haven’t set aside enough time to complete a paper, start researching online at 2 a.m., and find themselves copying and pasting material to cobble [it] together,” says Jessica Waters, dean of undergraduate education at American University in Washington, DC. “This is a recipe for disaster.”
One of the best ways students can keep themselves out of a situation where they’re tempted to cheat is by practicing better time management. Here’s how to make sure they don’t get to a point of despair.
Encourage them to compare syllabi.
For all their classes, at the beginning of each term. This way, they can flag any due dates that fall close together, which can help them prepare as early as possible for test day.
Give them a time frame for how long an assignment could take.
When it comes to papers (even the short ones), it’s important that students “set aside enough time to thoroughly research, write it carefully, and then have time to check that [they] have properly attributed and cited any outside resources,” says Waters.
Hold extra help sessions.
If students do find themselves in trouble, encourage them to ask for help or come by at lunch or after school to discuss strategies for staying on top of their work load.