Teaching about Integrity

The Kutak Ethics Center is dedicated to helping you teach about integrity.

Follow Academic Integrity Events at UNL on Twitter: #UNLIntegrity

Below you'll find information that can help you teach about integrity.

For more information or guidance about teaching about integrity, please, feel free to contact us at (402) 472-8229 or ethics@unl.edu.

  • Overview

    The precepts of academic integrity are meant to give expression to a number of values. These values tend to transcend time, place, and culture. As such, the vie for universal status. Having students grapple with and ultimately understand these values and the way in which they underwrite the dictates of academic integrity can help motivate them to adhere to those rules as they start to see them as founded on values they appreciate and likely antecedently accept. Are learning activities that you might use to help them grasp the value of academic integrity.

    The Value of Academic Integrity (Learning Activity 1)

    PURPOSE: To develop student appreciation of the value of academic integrity.


    At Home:

    Step 1: Read about the value that underwrite academic integrity at one of the following:

    Center for Academic Integrity

    European Network for Academic Integrity

    Asia Pacific Forum on Educational Integrity

    Step 2: Choose one of the values cited in the reading from Step 1 to explore.

    Step 3: Explain in your own words the way in which that value is expressed, respected, or otherwise promoted in at least three of the following:

    - rules against plagiarism;

    - rules against cheating on exams, quizzes, etc.;

    - rules about citing as authors of your work all of those who deserve to be included as authors;

    - rules about managing data sets;

    - rules against mission creep;

    - rules regarding classroom and lab climate;

    - rules against sexual harassment;

    - rules against fabrication or falsification of data or evidence;

    - rules about managing conflicts of interest;

    - rules about confidentiality;

    - rules about the treatment of human animal subjects; and

    - rules about the treatment of non-human animal subjects.

    Step 4: Bring your answers to class and email them to the instructor.

    In Class:

    Step 5: Get into groups according to which value you chose as the focus of your work from Step 2.

    Step 6: As a group, draw a concept map that connects the various responses to Step 3 into a coherent and useful tool for understanding the various ways in which your chosen value underwrites the rules you each chose.

    Step 7: Open discussion with your instructor or GTA and classmates.

  • Overview

    Below you'll find a few targeted assignments created by Adam R. Thompson, Assistant Director of the Kutak Ethics Center. The assignments target student (mis)understanding of plagiarism in an attempt to help them see how you or your discipline define plagiarism.

    Understanding Plagiarism Through Plagiarism

    (Adapted from an assignment given by Mark van Roojen, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

    PURPOSE: Lack of knowledge about what unoriginal work is or what it is to pass off someone else’s work as one’s own contributes significantly to whether an individual plagiarizes in order to complete an assignment. The purpose of this exercise is to provide students with a better understanding of the difference between truly original work and unoriginal work.


    At Home:

    Step 1: Locate an article online that is at least one page long.

    Step 2: Plagiarize the article.

    Step 3: Print the original article and your attempt to plagiarize.

    Step 4: Bring the print versions of the original article and your attempt to plagiarize.

    In Class:

    Step 5: With your instructor or GTA and classmates, discuss the ways in which your attempt to plagiarize was a successful attempt and what you could have done to include information from the original article in an assignment without plagiarizing.