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Online Academic Integrity


Access the slide deck from the 2020 Teaching Conference


Many faculty moving into online instruction have questions about maintaining academic integrity in their courses, in particular on assessments such as quizzes and exams. We will guide you through some best practices. Please keep in mind, if online students are given clear guidance and expectations in a well-designed online course, they are not any more likely to cheat than students in on campus courses. Students in any format will be more likely to give into the temptation to cheat if they are experiencing high anxiety and time pressure. Consider starting with the following:

  • Lower time pressure: don't put time limits on your online activities, including exams.
  • Lower due-date pressure: allow late submissions (this may come with late penalties).
  • Lower grade anxiety: spread out the points across activities and avoid having one assignment carry enough points to possibly wreck a final grade. 
  • Lower communication anxiety: Explicitly tell students that you are open to hearing about the challenges they face, and give them multiple avenues for making contact if things don't go as planned. Actually say that you are willing to accept late work, offer extensions, think of accepting revised work—whatever you are willing to do, say it, so that students do not feel that you are unapproachable and they have no choice but to "make the grade" any way they can.

Thank you to Thomas Tobin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the above suggestions.

Please see his White Paper on Academic Integrity in Online Courses. 

Best Practices on Canvas

If you are concerned about cheating on quizzes and exams with Canvas, consider the following best practices. 

1. Mix up your questions: Give students questions that are objective and assess lower levels of understanding (multiple choice, true/false, fill in the blank) and questions that are subjective and assess deeper levels of understanding (short answer, essay). Application questions may especially reduce cheating as it will be obvious if students have shared information. 

2. Consider randomization: Randomization on tests can take several forms. All test questions could be randomized. Keep in mind with this option that knowledge groups will not be kept together (for example, if you test by chapter the questions will be all over the place). Answers for each question could be randomized. Again here, keep in mind that this option will not work if you have multiple choice questions that allow for "all of the above". The questions can also be randomized by student. See number 3. 

3. Random question groups: 

        First, learn to create a question bank.

        Second, learn to create a question group. 


4. Set the timer: Canvas allows you to set a timer and also gives you the option to allow students to continue working past the timer or to have the test auto-submit when time has expired. Keep in mind, setting a timer creates more anxiety and pressure, but it does make it harder for students to look up answers in a text or online. If you set a timer, always consider whether there are students in your course with extra time accommodations - you will need to set exceptions for them in the test options. 

Using Respondus

5. Consider using Respondus: Loyola has an unlimited license for Respondus Lockdown and Monitor. We do not need to add course fees for its use. Lockdown is a separate browser that is used to access the test - it locks students into the test screen. Monitor live records students taking the exam and will "flag" problem behaviors such as materials shown on the desk, multiple people on the screen, or student leaving the testing area. Students are required to show some form of picture ID before taking the exam. Monitor is not live proctoring by a real individual, but gives the instructor more view into the student's testing environment.

Respondus must be added to the blue box below the course name on LORA. Students need to know the course will require a webcam and computer that meets the specifications. Although the company is working on a solution, Respondus cannot currently be used on Chromebooks. 

If you are using Respondus, please add the appropriate technology specifications to your syllabus (Respondus provides such language on the detailed resource pages) and also offer a practice quiz to ensure students work on any kinks before taking a graded assessment. 

For more information, see this video (from the student perspective) and/or reach out to Erin Dupuis at For detailed resources visit these pages, Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor

Using Urkund

6. Consider using Urkund (now a part of Ouriginal):

Loyola has licensed Urkund, a plagiarism/similarity prevention program. Access the instructor guide to learn more. 

Watch the Loyola Training (Password: .5U#9aZy)

Access the Urkund Support Guides

Knowledge Hub (includes sample report, case studies, and plagiarism guide for students)

Urkund's System Status Page

Watch the "Urkund Analysis"

If you need to submit a student paper directly to Urkund (and not through Canvas), please read these directions carefully:  “Instructors can request information via the email address.  The instructor will need to include the following information in their email: the School’s Urkund Unit ID (Loyola’s is U6487), their full name, and their Loyola email address. They will then receive an automated email from Ukund inviting them to create their Urkund receiver account and other instructions.”  They can also visit our FAQ page for more details and on the email submission option -"

The support email for instructors and students is