The 2020 ICAI-McCabe Student Survey of Academic Integrity

How it works

  1. Institutions are recruited through social media, word of mouth, etc.
  2. Approval on each campus from all relevant stakeholders
    • Institutional Research Office
    • Academic Leadership
  3. Approval requires a commitment to providing:
    • A means of distributing the survey to all students or a sample of over 5k. ICAI will provide a link to the survey, which we host. Institutions will distribute the survey through email or other electronic means.
    • IRB approval – exempt study
    • Willingness of leadership to communicate with students about the survey, including sending the invitation and timely reminders
    • A small budget for incentives to participate (under $1000)
    • ICAI membership ($650-$900 depending on size of student body; exceptions can be made given current budget situation)
  4. ICAI provides
    • IRB materials
    • Participant recruiting materials
    • Link to survey
    • Schedule of communication
    • Follow up email templates
    • Final report
  5. Timing: The survey will be available in early 2021 for institutional use. Each institution may determine when the survey is administered to their students and for how long. The survey will be available throughout the year.
  6. Final reporting
    • Executive summary, including benchmarks
    • Detailed report of all major variables, including benchmarks
    • Raw institutional data available on request
    • Demographic data will be reported separately from other survey data so as to assure complete anonymity for participants in small demographic groups
  7. Data sharing
    • Data collection is anonymous, so no one can connect responses to individual identifiers.
    • Institutional affiliation is confidential, meaning that no institution’s data will be reported in a way that identifies that institution, except to the IR team (or designee) at that institution.
    • Aggregate data will be reported publicly, broken down by Carnegie classifications.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost?
Nothing, although institutions must be ICAI members. Waivers may be available for institutions experiencing budget constraints.

Can we do it again for longitudinal data?
Yes, institutional members can conduct the survey as often as every 5 years if they have been members during that time. Otherwise, a fee applies.

Can we get our raw data?
Raw data will be available to ICAI member institutions only; although, it will be in anonymized form. Data will be reported in two files. One will contain responses to content-based survey questions and one will contain demographic information. Data files will be in CSV or TXT formats.

What variables are measured in the survey?

  • 20 separate academic misconduct-related behaviors
  • Perception of campus climate re: academic integrity
  • Demographics
  • Attitudes toward school and academic integrity
  • Perceptions of fellow students behavior and attitudes
  • Learning outcomes of academic integrity

Has the study been validated?
A validation study is in preparation for submission to a Higher Education journal in late 2020 or early 2021. Preliminary data indicate that measures have acceptable reliability and predictive validity.

How long does the survey take to complete?
Participants typically spend between 5-20 minutes although some are quicker and others slower.

How many participants can we invite? What participation rate can we expect?

  • Each campus can invite up to 5000 participants
  • Response rates will vary depending on institutional engagement but we anticipate between 10-30% response rate for most institutions

Are sampling strategies flexible?
Institutions may select participants for the sample as they see fit. The survey was designed to be appropriate for students in undergraduate, graduate (Masters and Doctorate) and non-degree programs. We do request that institutions sample as widely as possible from their population of undergraduate students, but this is not a firm requirement.

What about response rates?
Response rates will vary depending on campus context and engagement. If students are surveyed frequently, response rate for individual surveys is reduced, but if personalized recruiting is employed, then the rate may be higher. The survey team is available to consult on recruiting practices, although campus institutional researchers are usually in the best position to make these recommendations for each institution.
Institutions will be responsible for contacting participants, reminding them about the survey, and incentivizing them to complete the survey. We recommend a raffle of multiple prizes that are desirable to your students, with a substantial “first prize” as budgets permit.

Is study IRB approved? What do we need to do about IRB?
The study when finalized will be approved by the IRB at the University of Mary Washington as exempt research. Each institution will be required to ascertain the expectations of its own IRB, although federal regulations allow separate approval to be waived for exempt studies.

What can we do with the data we receive? Will our data ever be published?
Data from this assessment may not be published as original research by institutions, although public dissemination of assessment results and conclusions are encouraged. The research team conducting the assessment will be using aggregated data for scientific research. Data from your institution will be included in the dataset, but never in a way that can identify your institution or any individual participants.

What help is available in interpreting the results?
The final report will contain standard and customized analysis guidance and recommendations for institutions based on their data as compared to the entire sample. The survey team will be available to answer basic questions about data interpretation. ICAI will provide, at a fee, consulting services from experts on making institutional change to promote academic integrity through policy, procedure, culture, and pedagogy.