Manage academic integrity in online assessment

WHEN and WHAT this tool/approach is to be used

Online assessment presents new issues for managing academic integrity. Action is needed to respond to the problem of contract cheating sites, which are using the crisis to full advantage by offering students immediate online assistance with exams and extra support. Opportunities for inappropriate help are also being created much more on social media by these sites or between students.

It is important to address these issues in the assessment instructions and information given to students.

Why would a teacher use this approach/tool, and link to the 4C features

This approach will enable you to take some useful steps to manage academic integrity in online assessment.

Unfortunately, the current situation has led to many more opportunities to cheat in online assessment. Contract cheating sites promote their services by saying ‘don’t let coronavirus affect your grades’ and ‘we provide the support you need to graduate’. Off campus and possibly feeling isolated, more students may be persuaded to use these sites and end up cheating.

Therefore, it is important to consider the appropriateness of assessment instructions and for there to be consistency in raising students’ awareness of academic integrity issues, regulations and good practice. Students also need to be informed about the support services (see below) at Brookes to enable them to make good decisions.

How to use this approach/tool

Inclusivity and Accessibility review

This approach presents a set of steps designed to help staff to manage academic integrity issues in online assessment. The steps involve providing clear instructions and information to students through available support and links at Oxford Brookes, to help them make good decisions and avoid risks of cheating.

Ensure all relevant activities are added to the Student Study Plan for the module in question.

All online resources should be compatible with the UK Digital Accessibility Standards 2020. See Creating Digitally Accessible Learning and Teaching Materials Brookes Moodle course.

Use the Blackboard Ally tool to help check the accessibility of the content you have prepared (available within Moodle late July - early August 2020).


  • Mary Davis