Multiple Assessment Strategies and Prevention of Plagiarism

-   Ensuring the academic integrity of the assessment of student learning is an essential faculty responsibility. Therefore, faculty must be actively involved in structuring appropriate course assessment. Faculty may choose to use multiple assessment techniques in place of, or to lessen reliance on, final examinations. Indeed, most distance learning providers use multi-faceted assessment strategies rather than traditional final examinations. Assessments should be designed to be frequent, varied, and directly relevant to course learning objectives. One suggestion would be to make assignments cumulative (students turn in parts of a project or paper throughout the semester) to minimize opportunities for fraudulent submissions. Examples of learning and assessment activities include: interactive threaded discussions, writing assignments, quizzes, capstone projects, group work, and online exams.

-    Assessment activities should be modified from semester to semester.

-    Instructors should become familiar with students' writing styles through multiple submissions and online discussions.

-    Plagiarism detection software (such as SafeAssign or Turnitin) should always be used for written assignments.

-    Both the research process and the product should be evaluated. After an assignment is due, have students post on the discussion board, describing the assignment and the research method used, a summary of conclusions, and an abstract (a meta-learning essay).