What Actions Can Be Taken to Prevent Unintentional Cheating in Online Classes?

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Cheating in Online Classes

Cheating refers to copying or plagiarizing the content and information from a source or some user as your own. Online cheating is a common issue among students. It feels more convenient for the students to copy the desired and required content rather than putting effort.

How Unintentional Plagiarism Occurs?

Unintentional plagiarism occurs when students use someone else’s work without giving proper credit. This could occur because of oversight or a lack of knowledge about citation guidelines. Anti-plagiarism software can detect unintentional plagiarism and allow the user to edit and properly cite the sources. The person’s reputation may be severely harmed because people may perceive them as dishonest, unethical, and unprofessional. It can limit a person’s ability to advance in their academic or professional careers.

Academic Dishonesty and the Importance of Avoiding Inadvertent Cheating

Academic dishonesty is defined as any unethical or misleading action in an academic setting. Cheating, plagiarism, data fabrication, collusion, and other activities that threaten the integrity of the learning process are examples. Inadvertent cheating, on the other hand, refers to unintended violations of academic integrity in which students may engage in dishonest behaviors without realizing it.

How to avoid unintentional cheating even if behavior was unintentional?

If you want to avoid unintentional cheating in online programs, maintaining academic integrity and abiding by your school’s code of conduct is essential. You can follow the below rules to keep your academic integrity in online classes:

  • Learn about the academic honesty policy at your institution
  • Recognize the requirements of the course
  • Make an optimal environment
  • Use only materials approved by your instructor
  • Avoid conversation during assessments
  • Seek clarification
  • Thoroughly Review Your Work

Learn about the academic honesty policy at your institution

Make sure you are familiar with the unique regulations and standards for academic integrity at your institution. Learn what defines academic dishonesty, such as plagiarism, cheating, cooperation, and data fabrication. Learn the precise guidelines for academic honesty at your institution. It is crucial to understand any policies that each institution may have. Academic dishonesty erodes one’s moral character and integrity. It undermines respect and trust in many spheres of life, not just the academic one. By maintaining academic honesty policy all students will compete on an even playing field attributable to academic integrity. Cheating unfairly benefits those who do it, which is unfair to diligent and sincere students.

Recognize the requirements of the course

Know what constitutes cheating in your online course and what constitutes permissible collaboration, if any. Ask your instructor for clarification if you have any questions.
Time management: Plan your day so that you provide enough time to study and finish your homework. Shortcuts and potential cheating can result from procrastination.

Stay involved during virtual lectures: Pay attention and participate actively during virtual lectures. Participating in the learning process can lessen the urge to seek outside assistance during exams.

Make an optimal environment

Take online tests and quizzes in a calm and distraction-free environment. To avoid obtaining unlawful assistance, ensure that you have everything you need before beginning the assessment.

Use only materials approved by your instructor

During tests, avoid using unapproved websites, notes, or textbooks. The instructor selects approved materials that comply with the course’s specific objectives and syllabus. They make sure the information is relevant to what you need to know. Resources that have been authorized by the instructor cover key course topics.

Avoid conversation during assessments

Unless explicitly permitted by the instructor, do not communicate with other students during tests. This includes chatting, video conferencing, and answering questions.

Recognize the ramifications

Be cognizant of the implications of academic misconduct, even if accidental. The consequences can range from failing the assignment to being kicked out of the class or institution.

Seek clarification

If you have any questions about the rules or requirements, ask your instructor. Clarifying doubts ahead of time is preferable to unknowingly breaking rules later.

Be open about your mistakes: If you discover that you made an unintended error during an assessment, notify your instructor right away. They will appreciate your candour and may offer an opportunity to remedy the error without repercussions.

Thoroughly review your work

Reviewing your work thoroughly is vital, not only to avoid cheating but also to maintain academic integrity and generate high-quality work in online classrooms. Here’s how to conduct a top-notch review:

  • Begin by thoroughly reading and comprehending the assignment requirements. Make sure that you understand what is required of you, such as the structure, length, and special recommendations.
  • Instead of hurrying at the last minute, give yourself plenty of time to complete the project. Anxiety can lead to poor performance and the urge to cheat.
  • Make sure your notes are structured and clear when researching or studying. To make it simple to reference your sources later, make a note of the sources you use, including page numbers for any quotes.
  • Put unique thought and critical thinking first in your work. Be careful not to merely copy and paste data from sources without comprehending them or properly citing them.

Correct referencing and citation

Correct referencing and citation are critical for academic honesty and crediting the original authors and sources of information used in your work. The principles below will assist you in ensuring correct reference and citation.

Cite all sources

Provide correct attribution whenever you use the thoughts of another person, phrases, data, or other information that is not common knowledge. Direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries are all examples of this.

Examine your source’s credibility

Make certain that the sources you cite are credible and trustworthy. Avoid referencing dubious websites or sources that lack trustworthiness.
Citation Tools: Use citation management software such as Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote to help you organize and format your citations correctly.

Consequences of Unintentional Cheating

Jeopardizes Personal Integrity

Academic dishonesty jeopardizes one’s personal integrity and character. It undermines confidence and respect not only in the academic community but also in other areas of life.

Loss of Learning and Growth Opportunities

Educational aims are to foster learning and human growth. Cheating denies pupils the ability to gain the required skills, information, and critical thinking abilities for personal development and future success.

Lack of Fairness and Equity

Maintaining academic integrity ensures all students have an equal opportunity to perform in their exams. However, academic dishonesty constitutes cheating, which gives an unfair advantage to some students.

Damaging Academic Reputation

Academic institutions thrive on their academic excellence reputation. Dishonesty can harm the reputation of the institution and its graduates.

Significance of Using Anti-plagiarism Software to Detect Accidental Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a significant academic violation that jeopardizes the principles of honesty, originality, and fairness. Students and researchers can guarantee they are submitting their work and giving credit to the original authors where necessary by employing anti-plagiarism software.


Recall that maintaining your academic integrity is essential for both your personal development and the worth of your education. You may make sure that your educational experience is sincere and respectful to your teachers and fellow students by adhering to the above-mentioned rules.

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