Threats to Academic Integrity

Threats to academic integrity can occur regardless of how the instruction is being delivered, but an online course presents a unique set of circumstances that may make it a little more challenging depending on the instructional material to be delivered.

Exam integrity is always the first thing that people think about in an online course. How do we know who is taking the test? How do we know what they’re doing when they take the test? Both are important questions, and fortunately technology has advanced rapidly so these questions are much less of a concern than in previous years.


Before we talk exams, let’s talk about AI.

Since students are already using AI tools in creative ways beyond the copy-paste-rinse-repeat, let’s be proactive!

You know your content best and can determine how AI can play an advantageous role in your classroom. To understand it best for your discipline, start using it! This permits you to know the boundaries according to each lesson, activity, or assessment.

Create an AI statement for your syllabus that will give clear instructions on what types of AI is allowed, if any, on an assignment and give specific instructions on how students will use AI with the assignment and what students must submit.


Exams are a fact of life in most undergraduate courses, and giving tests to people separated by time and space can seem like a big leap of faith. However, technological advances have made test taking more secure than ever.

Realtime proctoring tools record your students while they complete their exams and even flag video when the system detects certain student behaviors such as looking away from the computer screen or interacting with others in the room.

Many students would never cheat on an exam or even set out to commit violations of the academic integrity policy but still do so through poorly written and sourced work. Blackboard has an anti-plagiarism checker built in to allow you to check student work against a database of publications as well as an institutional database of student work previously submitted. In most cases, the report will indicate that the student didn’t cite quoted material or other sloppy undergraduate mistakes. This is why the plagiarism tool, SafeAssign, can also be a valuable teaching tool. You can allow the students to see the reports too. This helps them to understand what they are doing wrong before it becomes a problem.  Many instructors find the institutional database check to be helpful. Because every paper that goes through a check enters the database, you will be able to identify papers that have been presented by other students in earlier semesters.

If you’re intrigued with AI but unsure how to begin – check out to the TIPS AI page or contact the  Instructional Design team at Global Campus. We are working with these technologies daily and constantly learning about their function and features. Heck, we’ve even podcasted about it already! We’d be happy to work with you as you lead your students in this new, unknown, and exciting frontier.


Recommended Reading



Now that you have considered academic integrity from an online perspective, let’s move on to the next topic.



Module 02


Module 04