Preventing and Deterring Academic Offences

Use Turnitin, a plagiarism deterrence and detection tool, in your course. See Turnitin at U of T for information, or contact CTSI for more information and assistance in setting up your account.

Design assignments carefully:

  • Avoid using the same essay topics and/or test and exam questions each year.
  • Design assignments that require more original input from your students
  • Assign outlines, drafts, and/or annotated bibliographies.
  • Set clear policies on submission of assignments, late penalties, and extensions. State the conditions under which an extension would or would not normally be granted.
  • During midterm tests, enforce Faculty exam procedures related to aids, electronic devices, presentation of ID cards, and time limits, so students will be aware of policies before writing a final exam.
  • During tests and exams, assign one or more TAs to circulate through the room as observers. Coach them to look for strange behaviour or communication between students.
  • To deter unauthorized collaboration during test and exam cheating, create two or more versions of the test paper by scrambling the order of questions. Distribute the different versions on alternate desks in a “checkerboard” fashion.
  • Return assignments to students in a secure manner (e.g. do not leave them outside your office door or on a shelf in a public office).