UMass Boston

For Faculty: Educating About Academic Integrity

As part of being educated here, students learn, exercise, increase, and uphold academic integrity. The resources here are intended to be useful to faculty in teaching about academic integrity in learning spaces. Education involves making mistakes and learning from them, and academic integrity errors can present learning opportunities. Aligned with UMass Boston's commitment to become a leading anti-racist and health promoting university, restorative justice perspectives offer ways to expand the repertoire of options available for educating about academic integrity. Restorative justice has been defined as “a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offense and to collectively identify and address harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible” (Zehr, 2015). Restorative justice in the academic integrity process is intended to “promote inclusivity, engagement, and active citizenship, which are all fundamental principles of any democratic society” (Kara & MacAlister, 2010).

Best Practices

Summarized from ICAI Fundamentals and other resources listed below, these involve multiple opportunities for learning.

  • Include instruction about academic integrity during class time.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for learning about academic integrity, including practicing, making mistakes, reflecting and learning.
  • Embed specific guidance about academic integrity and resources for students in syllabi.
  • Create explicit learning objectives related to academic integrity in assignments, and provide individualized feedback to students.
  • Engage students in active participation in academic integrity rather than passive acknowledgement of academic integrity policies.

Resources for Academic Integrity Educating

UMass Boston Resources for Academic Integrity

Options for Addressing Academic Integrity Errors (not exhaustive)

  1. Conversation between the faculty member and the student and an email summarizing the conversation
  2. Written warning from the faculty member that explains the academic integrity error with a focus on how/what the student can learn; no sanction is imposed (example written warning letter for download coming soon)
  3. Academic integrity assignment from the faculty member which must be completed by the student (see example assignment from a UMass Boston faculty member)
  4. Imposition of a sanction* by faculty member:
    • + The notification of the academic integrity error and the proposed sanction must be communicated by the faculty member to the student in writing. The faculty member must also offer to meet with the student to discuss the error and proposed sanction.
    • + Template Letter from Faculty to Student
    • + Proposed sanctions are reported to the university by the faculty member, at the point when the faculty member initially notifies the student of the academic integrity error and proposes the sanction, via Maxient form (available here, use for both undergraduate and graduate students, requires faculty authentication, see options for sanctions starting on p. 28 of the full Student Code of Conduct
    • + Within 10 days after the meeting with the student, or the notification to the student, whichever comes later, the faculty member imposes the sanction.

*Sanctions will be reviewed by the Associate Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence (for undergraduate students) or the Dean of Graduate Studies (for graduate students), additional sanctions may be imposed. Students have the option to appeal faculty and/or AVPIE or DGS (if applicable) sanctions to the Provost office.