Academic Integrity

UNLV Teach Online Best Practices

UNLV policies and processes related to academic misconduct apply to students learning online as well as those in traditional on campus face-to-face classes. Students in online or hybrid classes are responsible for knowing and abiding by those university policies and processes.

We recommend that online instructors familiarize themselves with the university's academic integrity policies and resources.

Student Authentication

Student authentication is the verification of student identity without compromising academic integrity or resulting in financial fraud at the institution. It is federal law to make sure the person registered is taking the course and taking it alone. Student authentication is a concern for both face-to-face and online courses. Students' rights to privacy need to be protected.

Best practices:

  • Let students know at the start of the semester that there will be high-stakes exams that require proctoring and how that proctoring will be handled.
  • Include exam and proctoring information in your syllabus. All proctored exams must be listed as required on the syllabus.
  • Consider pedagogical strategies as alternatives to high-stakes testing.
  • Use anti-plagiarism software to verify the originality of your students' written work.
  • Address academic integrity in your course syllabus. Explain the subtleties in academic dishonesty, such as plagiarism, fabrication, and facilitation, as well as the policies and consequences.
  • Work with the university library to provide plagiarism, citation, and bibliography resources for students to refer to and use.
  • Ensure that students are able to access course assignments in a safe, password-protected environment such as WebCampus.

Pedagogical Strategies

The following are examples of pedagogical strategies that may be implemented to reduce cheating in your course. If you are working with the Office of Online Education to develop a new online course, your course development team may have suggestions for other pedagogical strategies that are appropriate for your specific subject matter and course.


  • Use different test formats.
  • Randomize your multiple choice answer questions.
  • Use question pools for your multiple choice quiz or exam.
  • Set a limited time for assessments and exams.

Authentic assessments

  • Create assessments that assess students' learning using Bloom's Taxonomy higher-order thinking skills.
  • Give students complex or unique assignments that will produce individualized responses or analysis.
  • Include formal and informal written assignments throughout the course.
  • Provide opportunities for hands-on learning.
  • Ask students to connect learning to their personal experience.

Active learning techniques

  • Ask students to discuss what they are learning, write about it, practice it, and relate it to their experiences or apply it to their lives.
  • Provide opportunities for regular and substantive interaction with you and among your students in discussions.

Online Proctored Exams: ProctorU

If you are including an online proctored exam for your online or hybrid class:

  • Students must be made aware of any proctored exams at the time of registration.
  • Students are charged an additional fee for online proctoring services.
  • Additional steps to authenticate students' identities are required for the proctored session(s).
  • Currently, ProctorU handles online proctored exams for UNLV.

Instructor's responsibilities:

  • You must arrange the proctored exam(s) with ProctorU.
  • You must notify the administrative assistant responsible for adding courses to MyUNLV so that the proctoring note is included when they input data in MyUNLV about the course.
  • The proctored exam(s) must be listed in the course syllabus as "required."

In-Person Proctoring

You may require students to be physically present at UNLV to take an exam or make other arrangements with you. This approach is best for hybrid classes in which on-campus meetings are expected by the student and classroom space has been scheduled for the course. Keep in mind that requiring students in a fully online class to be physically present for an exam is possible but creates additional challenges for you and each student.

For local students: You may want to check with your department to arrange to hold the exam in a UNLV classroom.

For non-local students: You may want to make arrangements for a proctor through National College Testing Association (NCTA) in the student's residing state. If an NCTA testing site is not available, you may allow students to coordinate with you to make arrangements for another proctor. This will be a significant amount of extra work for you as an instructor. However, if you choose to require an in-person proctored exam for online students, we recommend the following:

  • Provide students with a form to fill out to ensure proctor arrangements are made prior to a test.
  • Have a list of people who cannot be proctors (e.g.: family members).
  • List proctor responsibilities
  • List other details, such as fees, equipment requirements, and advance time to schedule a proctor.
  • As the instructor you will need to vet all information about the proctor and send the exam to the proctor.

Instructor's responsibilities:

  • You must notify the administrative assistant responsible for adding courses to MyUNLV about any in-person proctoring requirement so that the proctoring note is included when they input data in MyUNLV about the course.
  • The proctored exam(s) must be listed in the course syllabus as "required."
  • See above for other steps you must take to coordinate in-person proctoring for your class.

Anti-Plagiarism Software: Turnitin & iThenicate

Anti-plagiarism software compares submitted papers against databases of documents, books, publications, and internet content to look for similarities. Some software is focused on the originality of the content, while others also check for missed citations and other mistakes that could be characterized as plagiarism.

UNLV currently provides two third-party anti-plagiarism software tools: Turnitin, which is available via WebCampus, and iThenticate, which is available to full-time graduate faculty, all doctoral students, and advanced master's students (those who have completed 15+ graduate credits in their degree program).

The Office of Instructional Technology provides information about using Turnitin.

The Graduate College provides information about iThenticate.

Additional Resources