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Academic Integrity – Challenges and Opportunities

Tuesday 2 July: Pre-conference parallel workshop, 9:30am – 12:30pm



Room 206-314



R. Lobb
University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

S. Manoharan
University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Presentation type

Pre-conference workshop



Most academic institutions have a code of academic honesty, yet about 70% of students admit to some form of cheating1. While plagiarising take-home assessments is the most common form, cheating in supervised examinations is not uncommon2. Sophisticated electronic cheating devices are now readily available (e.g., and there are numerous online ghost-writers offering services from solving a programming assignment to writing a complete doctoral thesis. Maintaining academic integrity standards is increasingly difficult for teaching institutions, with considerable time and effort being devoted to checking for and dealing with violations. However, research results suggest that plagiarism can be reduced using a range of techniques including educating students about ethics, fairer assessments, academic care, open-book tests, personalized assessments, and group work3;4. This interactive workshop explores the challenges that cheating poses as well as the opportunities presented by recent research and technology to maintain high standards of academic integrity. The workshop will use some of the modern tools (such as CodeRunner5 and Dividni6;7) to showcase how technology can be used not only to maintain academic integrity but also to encourage student learning.


Target audience

We expect this workshop to attract academics, education providers, researchers in pedagogy, and anyone passionate about academic integrity.


Intended activities

The activities will be carried out in small groups, and the key findings will be shared with all participants. Participants will discuss what various terms like cheating, plagiarism, copying, sharing, etc, mean to them, and will be invited to report on their own experiences with cheating and their insights into the underlying student attitudes. We will look at some of the hi-tech and lo-tech means readily available to gain unfair advantage, and will discuss some techniques such as randomization and personalization as potential means to reduce violations of academic integrity. Participants will attempt some simple hands-on assessment tasks to see how they might be prone to integrity violations, and will discuss how they could be made more cheat-resistant. Participants will finally explore ways in which the ideas gleaned from the workshop might be applied within their own disciplines.


Intended outcomes

The participants will have a deeper understanding of the techniques and technologies of cheating and of the student attitudes that lead to it. They will therefore have a better appreciation of how they might detect and deter academic integrity violations. They will also be able to apply their newly-gained knowledge when designing their future assessments, and to share this knowledge with their peers in their institutions.


Alignment with the conference theme and sub-themes

Maintaining academic integrity is increasingly becoming a challenge due to the advancement of technology which assists cheaters and cheating. However, we are also able to use the same advancement of technology to counter cheating and design mechanisms to help with integrity violations. Higher education that is free from academic integrity violations is fair to all students and maximizes their learning potential; it saves academics time that they otherwise might spend on dealing with integrity violations; and it allows the institutions to maintain their quality and reputation. Therefore, we argue that this proposal fits well with the conference theme and sub-themes.



  1. Broeckelman-Post, “Faculty and student classroom influences on academic dishonesty”, IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 206–211, May 2008.
  2. Zobel, “Uni Cheats Racket: A case study in plagiarism investigation”, in Proceedings of the 6th Australasian Conference on Computing Education, vol. 30, 2004, pp. 357–365.
  3. C. Heckler, D. R. Forde, and C. H. Bryan, “Using writing assignment designs to mitigate plagiarism”, Teaching Sociology, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 94–105, 2013.
  4. Carpenter, T. Harding, C. Finelli, S. M. Montgomery, and H. J. Passow, “Engineering students’ perceptions of and attitudes towards cheating”, Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 95, no. 3, pp. 181–194, 2006.
  5. Lobb and J. Harlow, “CodeRunner: A tool for assessing computer programming skills”, ACM Inroads, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 47–51, Feb. 2016.
  6. Manoharan, “Cheat-resistant multiple-choice examinations using personalization”, Computers & Education, p. to appear, 2019.
  7. Manoharan, “Personalized assessment as a means to mitigate plagiarism”, IEEE Transactions on Education, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 112–119, May 2017.


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