How to Avoid Academic Integrity Violation in Online Learning?

Academic integrity violations in online learning can take a number of forms, such as cheating, plagiarism, impermissible collaboration, and fabrication. Academic integrity violations are usually specified in the school’s academic integrity policy and the class syllabus. Common reasons why students violate academic integrity include poor time management, fear of failure, the “everyone does it” phenomenon, temptation in unmonitored online environments, or ignorance of academic integrity policies.

Violations of academic integrity carry severe consequences, which include a failing grade, zero grade score, suspension, or expulsion from the university. Disciplinary measures apply whether a student committed the violations intentionally or unintentionally. So, how can you avoid dishonest behaviors in an online class? Read on to learn ways you can avoid plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic integrity violation.

10 Ways to Avoid Academic Integrity Violations in Online Learning

Read the Syllabus

Most times, faculties include important information in the syllabus, including class expectations. The expectations can be different for each class, and knowing them will help you comply. For example, some educators prohibit collaborating on classwork or using AI tools to complete assignments. Still, other practices such as self-plagiarism, resubmitting your work, or plagiarism are considered common knowledge. Always ask your instructor for clarification if you have questions about the expectations indicated in the syllabus.

Start Coursework Early

Most academic integrity violations occur when students wait until the last minute to study for exams or work on a long-term paper. You end up taking shortcuts that result in plagiarism, cheating, and fabrication. To avoid such a situation, start your task early so that you have enough time to ask questions and utilize campus resources. A calendar can also help you prioritize and plan for what’s coming up.

Learn How to Cite Properly

Sometimes, something you read during your research turns out to be exactly the point you want to make, so you want to paraphrase it or quote it in your work. That’s all ok, but you must cite the source to avoid plagiarism. There are different ways of citing sources, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, AMA, and Turabian. Ensure you learn and apply the required format correctly and consistently in your paper.

Use the Help of Custom Writing Services

Getting professional help with coursework and assignments can allow you to maintain high academic integrity standards. Reputable online writing services work with certified experts in each field who provide high-quality custom model papers that meet academic standards. You can use the model papers from experts as a source of original ideas and arguments for your own research and as a source of additional understanding of the subject. This way, you craft top-notch essays, research papers, reviews, or theses that meet all the instructor’s expectations in no time.

Use Campus Resources

Whether you want to learn how to cite properly or discover more about a concept you covered in class, asking for help is encouraged. Get all the help you need from the staff and faculty. For instance, you can contact your instructor privately to clarify your topic or get help with a citation style. Also, use other resources such as the writing center, digital library, and other online student support resources.

Complete Assignments Independently

Gaining an unfair advantage in an assignment is considered an academic integrity violation. Therefore, unless your instructor indicates otherwise, complete every test, project, paper, or lab assignment on your own. For example, do not use AI to write papers or get answers to assignment questions unless permitted by your professor. Also, complete online exams independently and clarify what’s expected in an online group project.  

Use Plagiarism Detection Tools

A paper to have accidental plagiarism, even when you have completed it from scratch. This mostly happens when you forget or misplace citations or when the paraphrased content is too similar to the original. To be sure that your custom paper avoids this serious academic integrity violation, run your paper through plagiarism detection checkers to identify any accidental plagiarism and correct it.

Ask for an Extension

Keeping up with assignments and tests online can be tricky. Still, if you can’t finish an assignment on time, you’re better off asking your instructor for an extension rather than committing academic violations. Your instructor will notice cases of copying, cheating, plagiarism, or impermissible collaboration, so they are not worth it. Talk to your professor about a possible deadline extension to allow you to complete a high-quality paper that meets all expectations.

Don’t Share Your Work with Others

If a classmate has a question, you can help them, but don’t “give” them the answer. Allowing them to copy your assignment or you copying their assignment will not benefit anyone. It won’t teach the person who was looking for help, and will likely get you charged with an academic integrity violation. Remember, once you share your work with another person, you have no control over how it’s used or shared.

Avoid the Impression of Cheating

Sometimes, you can give the impression of cheating in online tests or exams through actions such as using social media to discuss assignments with classmates, posting exam papers online, or sharing files with completed assignments with classmates. Other suspicious behaviors include using your cell phone during an exam. Whether such behaviors result in cheating or not, they are already considered academic integrity violations.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short by Committing Academic Integrity Violations

Dishonesty cheaply robs you of your integrity and causes you to miss out on an opportunity to advance through real accomplishment and effort. You were accepted into your online learning program because you have what it takes to be a successful student. So, study smart, get professional help if necessary, and be proud of the effort you put forward in your course.


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