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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an abrupt shift in biology courses, with many transitioning to online instruction. This has led to an increased concern about academic integrity and cheating in online courses. Here, I draw upon the peer-reviewed literature to provide evidence-based answers to four questions concerning cheating and online biology courses: (i) What types of cheating are prevalent with the shift to online instruction? (ii) Should instructors make assessments open book and open notes? (iii) How does cheating occur in biology lab courses? (iv) Finally, what strategies can biology instructors take to uphold academic integrity with online learning? I frame these answers not only around academic integrity but on the potential impacts on student learning and discuss some strategies that may not only deter cheating but also promote greater student learning.


This article was originally published in Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, volume 11, issue 1, in 2021.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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