Academic Integrity and Online Learning


Spencer Stepp, staff writer

In our new digital (or at least semi digital) age of schooling, it not only brings new challenges, but new loopholes to use as well. Academic integrity has always been incredibly important, but this year it seems that holding not only yourself but your peers accountable as well has taken on a new level of responsibility. Thus, it only seems fitting to have an article about the importance of academic integrity. There are multiple facets of academic integrity, and dishonesty, some of which will be covered below.

What is Academic Integrity?

Well it’s pretty self explanatory but academic integrity can be defined as a moral compass when it comes to your education. This encompasses traits like honesty, time management, and flexibility. It means being honest about your work, doing your work on time, and not cheating when it comes to your work.

What is Academic Dishonesty?

In a nutshell, academic dishonesty is exactly what it sounds like and can pretty much be summarized but saying that it encompasses all forms of cheating. However it could take other forms such as looking up the answers to a test from home (just because you can doesn’t mean you should), getting an assignment off the internet, PLAGIARISM (All caps because that is a fairly important one), as well as just generally being disrespectful. These aren’t all of them, but it should at least get you thinking.


It’s not fair to yourself or to anyone else when you cheat in class. You are cheating yourself out of an education and it’s likely you won’t be the only one punished in class. Maybe the whole class fails an assignment because the teacher knows at least one person cheated, and that isn’t fair to anybody.


Depending on your grade it’s more than likely that you still have your fair share of high school left to do. We also know that trust is an important part of any relationship, but especially important between you and your teachers. Once you lose their trust once it will be incredibly hard to win that back.

Moral Integrity

You probably aren’t going to be in high school for the rest of your life, and whether you choose to go to college or straight into the workforce, this point is incredibly important. Having a strong set of morals is possibly the most important thing you can have to guide you after high school. And especially in the “real world” the consequences for cheating or bypassing rules are much more severe.

On this matter, Mr. Wade left us with some parting words of wisdom. “It’s important to keep in mind as a student that academic integrity isn’t intended to put teachers against students, as a teacher my goal is for you to learn and for you to understand what I’m trying to teach you and I’m not hunting people down trying to find cheating. On the other hand, it’s important to catch it because it makes me afraid that you might not understand what’s actually going on in my class or in the future. In the high school setting there are negative consequences but if you did the same in a college scenario you could be kicked out of a program or a school and that’s an expensive mistake to make. There are far reaching ramifications especially if it becomes a habit rather than a one-time thing.”

So in conclusion, don’t cheat, it isn’t worth it, and this year has been tough for all of us, but before you do anything, stop and consider the consequences and your future self will thank you.