Integrity and Plagiarism in the Classroom: An Overview
If you looked up the words “academic integrity” in
the dictionary you would probably not find a definition of the term.
However, one can infer from the meaning of the two words “integrity”
and “academic” that a conceptual definition must include
the adherence to an ethical code in the context of higher learning
(Berube, 1991). This type of code-driven approach to academic integrity
is often bottom-lined in academia as, “Don’t cheat!”
(Hinman, 2002). More recently, academic integrity has been considerably
broadened to include all aspects of learning, teaching and research
One of the leaders in the development of research on promoting
academic integrity in higher education is the Center
for Academic Integrity (CAI) at Duke University. CAI has defined
academic integrity from a value-based perspective as opposed to
defining the concept by illustrating prohibited behavior in policies
and codes. The CAI has identified five fundamental values that encompass
5 Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity
||Intellectual and personal honesty
in “learning, teaching, research and service”
(Center for Academic Integrity [CAI], 1999).
||Confidence in persons and systems on campus
that enable a “free exchange of ideas, and enables
all to reach their highest potential” (CAI).
||Clear standards for assessment that are
fairly applied to all members of the college community
||Acknowledging the participatory nature
of learning and respecting the varying perspectives of
||Believing that every person in the academic
community is personally accountable for taking action
when a breach of academic integrity occurs (CAI).
These values have been identified as values that must be present
if the academic life at an institution is to flourish (Hinman, 2002).
Students, faculty and administrators need to evaluate how they and
their respective institutions enable these five core values at their
institutions. The following checklist will help illuminate institutional
and personal commitments to the Five Fundamental Values:
Commitment to Core Values
||Are the values embodied in institutional
policies, discussed within disciplines or a core part
of entering-class courses?
||Have resources been devoted
to advancing these values?
||How do you personally enhance the support
of the fundamental values at your institution?
||Can you personally defend the concept of
academic integrity and why it is important?