Spotlight: Building Student Buy-In

Topics: Blog, Spotlight

With limited access to students over the summer period, and social distancing guidelines disrupting student gatherings this fall, universities need another way to develop student buy-in to their institutional honor codes. This can be done electronically. 

At the University of Georgia, students are provided with a link to “Take the Pledge” on the Academic Honesty website. This was embedded in online orientations for both undergraduate and graduate students and will be integrated into the academic integrity module set to pilot this fall. When students visit the link, they see the Fundamental Values of Academic Integrity and how to apply these values to their academic work at the University of Georgia. Students are then provided the space to create their own integrity pledge. Once a student submits their pledge, the Office of Academic Honesty provides a certificate of completion. 

So far, many of the pledges have been thoughtful and engaging:

I will be honest in all of my academic work and will trust other students to do the same. I will be fair to the University community and respect the honor code at the University of Georgia. I acknowledge that the honor code is my responsibility and will act with courage.”

“I will commit myself to complete each assignment to the best of my ability with integrity and honesty.”

“I will be honest in all of my academic work and will trust other students to do the same. I will be fair to the University community and respect the honor code at the University of Georgia. I acknowledge that the honor code is my responsibility and will act with courage.”

“I  pledge to uphold the integrity of the university in my work and actions in the classroom. I pledge to work hard and succeed through my own experiences not through the work or help of my peers. I pledge to do my best and take the responsibility to uphold the honesty policy.”

With over 500 students making the pledge since it’s release, faculty may consider using this tool as a way to engage students in the honor code. Further, the pledge can serve as a gentle reminder to students that they are responsible and courageous, even in the face of an uncertain future. 

What online tools have you used to build student buy-in? Comment below to share.

About the Author
Courtney Cullen is the Program Coordinator in the Office of Academic Honesty at the University of Georgia. Cullen processes appeals for the Petitions Subcommittee and works to support the initiatives of the Office of Academic Honesty. Cullen is working towards a Ph.D. in Higher Education, and received both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs from UGA.
css.php