Teaching Academic Integrity:  A Guide for Faculty and Teaching Assistants

Teaching Academic Integrity

A Guide for Faculty and Teaching Assistants


Our philosophy

We believe that University students learn from experience as well as from coursework and have the capacity not only for intellectual growth but also for developing character and personal integrity.

The Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA) works with the UC Davis campus community to preserve academic integrity, promote responsible behavior, and facilitate student learning.


Our services

Student conduct

OSSJA administers the student conduct process at UC Davis and OSSJA addresses all forms of academic dishonesty and social misconduct, including sexual violence.

Students of concern

If you encounter a distressed, distressing or disruptive student, please contact us for advice and assistance. OSSJA case managers help coordinate care for students experiencing difficulties, solve problematic situations, and provide feedback to involved parties.

Student grievances

OSSJA offers information and advice to students about their rights and responsibilities, privacy of student records, and university policies and procedures.

Student leadership opportunities

UC Davis students play a critical role in maintaining academic integrity. Each year we select 12 students to serve on our Campus Judicial Board (CJB). They participate in student disciplinary hearings and conduct outreach activities to promote integrity and academic excellence at UC Davis.

If you are aware of students who might excel in this role, please let us know. Applications for the Campus Judicial Board are available early winter quarter.


Preserving Academic Integrity at UC Davis

Under the Code of Academic Conduct, all members of our community are responsible for maintaining an environment of honesty and integrity. As faculty and teaching assistants, you play a key role in upholding standards of excellence, fairness, and integrity.

Enlist your students’ help:

  • Encourage your students to talk to you if they have questions about course materials or rules.
  • Explain that integrity is essential to the learning process. Honest work builds knowledge, skills, and self-esteem.
  • Educate students about plagiarism. Teach students how to correctly use and cite sources. Stress the importance of developing their writing skills.
  • Ask your students to report any suspicious behavior they witness. Let them know they can remain anonymous.


Insist on honesty

Explain to your students that you care about their learning experience and why honesty and integrity matter. Influence their choices by reminding them about the UC Davis Code of Academic Conduct.

We recommend including an honor statement in your syllabus and on exams: “I will be honest and act fairly at all times. I will not cheat or seek an unfair advantage during this exam.” Have students sign the honor statement prior to beginning an exam.

Take preventative steps:

  • Set clear standards for grading and assignments.
  • Clearly state whether students may work together and, if so, how much.
  • Remind students of exam rules such as not talking during exams, keeping their eyes on their own paper and storing all devices and materials out of sight in a bag or backpack.
  • Structure test environments, homework, and writing assignments to reduce opportunities for cheating and plagiarism.
  • Monitor exams to discourage cheating. This lets students know you are paying attention and that you will report suspected misconduct to OSSJA.
  • Inform students that using solutions from previous assignments, posting course materials, audio or video recordings of a class are prohibited without explicit permission.

How to report suspected misconduct:

  • Online at ossja.ucdavis.edu (preferred)
  • Mail addressed to OSSJA, 3200 Dutton Hall
  • Fax to 530-754-6195
  • Email to ossja@ucdavis.edu
  • In person at OSSJA, 3200 Dutton Hall


When to refer a student

You should refer a student when you have a reasonable suspicion of academic misconduct. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • A student appears to be looking at another's exam.
  • A student appears to have notes or unauthorized material out during an exam or is using a cellphone.
  • Exam answers correspond to another version of the test.
  • Students seated next to each other have similar, unusual wrong answers on an exam.
  • Correct exam answers do not correspond with the work leading up to the answer.
  • A correct exam answer does not show work needed to obtain the answer.
  • An exam submitted for re-grading appears to be altered.
  • A student's writing style appears to change significantly within a paper.
  • Portions of a student's paper are copied from or improperly paraphrased from a source.
  • Two students’ assignments appear similar in outline and style even though collaboration is not permitted.
  • A student gives an excuse for missing an exam or turning in an assignment but cannot verify the information.
  • A student's answers on an assignment or lab that you have revised match the answers from a previous year's assignment.
  • A student disrupts a class or attempts to pressure or intimidate you.


Visit us online

On our website, ossja.ucdavis.edu, learn more about how the disciplinary system works, how to prevent cheating and how to deal with in-progress cheating.

You can download handouts to share with students on topics of plagiarism, unauthorized collaboration, student conduct policies, academic integrity, and suggestions for avoiding academic misconduct.


We’re Here to Help

Contact us: 3200 Dutton Hall 530-752-1128 ossja@ucdavis.edu ossja.ucdavis.edu

Please contact us or visit our office, if you:

  • have questions or concerns about a student.
  • have questions about how to handle a particular situation.
  • have questions about the student disciplinary process.
  • want help preventing academic misconduct in your classes.
  • have suggestions about how to improve our services.
  • would like our office to give a workshop or presentation for your class or department.



UC Davis, Division of Student Affairs, Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs, September 2017