Academic Integrity Seminar


The purpose of the AI Seminar is to provide students a structured opportunity to learn from their experience, develop their ethical decision-making skills, and learn more about academic integrity and cheating at UCSD. 

Learning Objectives 

The participants in AI Seminar will:


  • underlying ethical and moral principles of academic integrity
  • the importance of academic integrity to all stakeholders (self, instructor, UCSD, and society)
  • one’s own beliefs about “legitimate academic work” and how these align (or do not align) with academic integrity expectations at UCSD


  • the contributing factors to academic misconduct on campus
  • one’s personal experience---what led to the decision to act and what can be learned
  • ethical decision making strategies and the resolution of “right versus right” dilemmas 


  • a personal goal statement/vision for engaging in academic work with integrity
  • a strategic plan for addressing weaknesses that lead to integrity violations

  • a list of ethical/honest solutions to common ethical dilemmas

To successfully reach these Learning Objectives and complete Seminar, carefully read the information in each of the following sections:

1: Seminar Format

The format of this seminar is structured to address individual student needs/unique situations while attending to larger/common organizational concerns with academic misconduct. Students have the opportunity to actively develop notions of ethics in relation to academic integrity by reflecting on ethical scenarios while connecting them to broader ethical conceptualizations. We will accomplish this through:

  • a one-on-one peer advisor consultation (see Step 2 below)
  • four face-to-face class meetings (50 minutes per week for 4 weeks)
  • out-of-class assignments, allowing students time for reflection and learning.

Trained Peer Educators, along with the seminar instructor, will work with students in seminar, as well as be available to work one-on-one with students throughout the seminar experience according to the student’s individual needs and requests.

2: Seminar Expectations and Standards

In order for the seminar process to function well, the following rules and expectations must be respected and observed by all students, Peer Educators, and Instructors.

  1. Punctuality. Respecting time boundaries is a key component of this seminar process. As meeting times are limited and schedules are precisely planned to maximize learning opportunities, it is expected that you be on time to all meetings. 
  2. No cell phones, laptops, or other communication devices should be on during seminar or one-on-one meetings. Staying present to other individuals and/or groups without external distraction is fundamental to ensuring that all members have the opportunity to learn from one another.
  3. Confidentiality.  Although individuals are not obligated to share personal information about themselves or their violation, the seminar is designed as a safe space wherein individuals can feel free to discuss information that is considered personal and/or private. Thus, by participating in this seminar, you may learn confidential and personal information about other students. Communicating such information in any way that it may be attributed to an individual is not permitted. However, you should feel free to share what you learn or insights you’ve gained.
  4. Participation and Respect. All individuals, including students and the instructional team, have experiences and opinions that enrich learning in the seminar process. Each individual’s participation may vary; you are expected to participate as works for you in the seminar process through small group discussions, large group discussions, and one-on-one meetings.  The goal is not to speak for the sake of speaking, but rather to enrich the learning process through consistent participation. You will find that if you are open to participation, you will feel activated to discuss various topics at various times in an instinctive manner.  Participation also relies on the expectation of respect for others ideas, opinions, and values.  Such respect may come in the form of sharing time in discussions for all individuals to speak, as well as listening and learning from differing viewpoints.
  5. Meeting Deadlines. Seminar assignments are designed with the intent of reaching specific learning outcomes, wherein deadlines are set at key points within the seminar process. Time management and meeting all deadlines is required.  If for any reason, you cannot meet a deadline, please immediately contact the instructor. 

3: Complete Your Pre-Requisites.


The following three Pre-Requisites must be completed within 10 business days from the date you received notification to take AI Seminar: 

#1 Write your Telling Your Story Assignment (TYS)

#2 Schedule your One-on-one meeting with a peer educator

#3 Complete the Pre-seminar Assessment

You cannot sign up for an AI Seminar section until these three pre-reqs are completed.

Pre-Requisite #1: Write your Telling Your Story (TYS) Assignment


  1. to provide you a structured opportunity to reflect on the situation that has led to your participation in this seminar

  2. to practice talking about your academic integrity violation with others


First, think of someone who you respect or admire and/or someone who has a "stake" in your academic integrity violation. This could be the Instructor of the course in which the violation occurred, your favorite high school teacher, a parent, a current or future employer, or a future admissions counselor (perhaps for graduate school, medical school, law school, etc.). If you are going to be applying for a job or graduate school and you are worried about having to tell them of this violation, the employer or “admissions counselor” would be a great choice for this assignment.

Second, you will compose a letter to that person. In that letter, you should:

  1. Tell the story of the events that led to the violation (see below for advice and a list of things to include in telling your story)
  2. Consider the factors that contributed to the situation.  What went wrong?  What could be better?  Which of aspects are under your control and which are not? 
  3. Pose questions that you still have about the violation, the consequences, or future ramifications you may experience as a result of the violation, and
  4. Ask the imagined recipient for advice that would help you move forward and recover from this experience. (Think about what might be helpful in avoiding situations like this in the future or in making better decisions and try to ask for advice that will move in that direction.)

Further Tips to Complete Assignment

Your story of the violation and the events leading up to the violation can include characters, character dialogue, realistic details, vivid descriptions (Renner, 1994), as well as a plot with “a beginning, a middle, and an end” (Herreid, 1998, ¶4). Such stories are used to facilitate reflection on a personal experience as well as stimulate dialogue, encourage analysis and critical thinking, and consider multiple points of views (

You can begin the writing process by reflecting on and writing out responses to the following questions:

  1. What was your integrity policy violation, that is, the “problem”? Write out your description.
  2. Who was involved, that is, who are the main characters? Obviously you are one, but who are the others? The instructor, a teaching assistant, classmates, roommate, parent, friend, etc? What roles did they play in the case? Describe the characters and their roles. Don’t forget to use pseudonyms so your case is anonymous.
  3. What was the sequence of events that led to the integrity policy violation? Reconstruct how you came to the final action that led to the academic misconduct allegation.  For example, “The instructor assigned us a research paper on global warming. Within a week I had all of the sources I needed to write the paper but because of other assignments and my job, I left the reading to the week the paper was due. I read all of the material in one night, copying and pasting stuff from the material into my paper. Then, the next night I went back to the paper and started writing and paraphrasing the material; I was up until 3:00 a.m., but I got the paper done. Then, a week after I submitted the paper, I was told by the professor that I had plagiarized and was being reported for academic misconduct!”
  4. Identify the beginning, middle and end of your story---now read it as if you were someone else. What additional details—vivid descriptions--can you provide to help the reader understand the story? For example:
    • Beginning---“I was totally not into writing this research paper because I do not care about the topic and I had never written a research paper before so I was clueless how to start”;
    • Middle---“I was so tired when trying to write the paper that I became angry at having to even do the assignment”; and,
    • End---“My reaction was that the professor was crazy and out-to-get me, and I was worried about how this would affect my grade in the course.”

Incorporate the above information into a concise narrative that gets across the main points of your situation while being interesting and dynamic.

Pre-Requisite #2: Schedule One-on-One Peer Appointment & Upload TYS

In this link, you will complete two tasks:

  1. Make your one-on-one appointment with a peer educator
    • Hint: Your one-on-one should take place before the seminar you want to enroll in begins
    • Pick a date and time that you can make on time
    • Make sure to prepare any questions you may have
    • Write down your appointment
    • If you miss your appointment with a peer educator, or you are late, you will fail the seminar. This means you will need to register and pay for the seminar again.
  2. Upload your TYS assignment
    • Make sure the assignment includes your full name and PID
    • We suspect this letter would have to be at least 500 words in order to address the purpose

If there are no appointment times you can make please email Please include your full name, PID, and reason you cannot schedule an appointment. Make sure to do this prior to your 10 day deadline.

Pre-Requisite #3: Complete the Pre-Seminar Assessment

Complete the pre-seminar assessment here.

Once you are done with Steps 1-3, you will receive an email within two business days. If you do not receive an email within two business days, please email Amanda Brovold at to let her know you have completed all three pre-requisites.

4: Enroll in a Section

Once you complete all three pre-requisites you should receive an email with the different sections available. If you do not receive this email within two business days, contact letting her know you have completed the pre-requisites. Make sure to include your name and PID.

You will not be able to enroll in a seminar section until you have completed the pre-requisites to the seminar

Your one-on-one meeting must take place before the seminar you want to enroll in begins.

5: Attend Class Meeting #1

For exact date and time see the seminar schedule (on TritonEd) for your section.

You are not required to bring any materials to your first section meeting. However, make sure you are familiar with the Expectation and Standards described above, especially make sure to arrive ON TIME.

6: Attend Class Meeting #2

For exact date and time see the seminar schedule (on TritonEd) for your section.

Make sure to bring the handouts that were distributed during Meeting #1 to Meeting #2. Get familiar with them as they will be discussed in the section.  

7: Write Your Ethical Dilemma Case Proposal


This assignment offers you the opportunity to explore the ethical decision-making process through considering the dynamics of a current ethical dilemma that you are facing.


For the proposal you must complete 1-6 below.  You do not have to write all of this out as a polished paper.  It is ok to use notes and bullet points.  The important thing is that to work through all of the information in a way that others can understand.

Step 1: Choose your Ethical Dilemmas

Think of 2 or 3 ethical dilemmas you are currently involved in (this is not about your integrity violation!). An ethical dilemma is a conflict between two “rights” (e.g., loyalty, honesty, trust, responsibility, respect, comfort, security, happiness, freedom) or two “interests” (e.g., self versus community; you versus me; personal versus professional).  We all face multiple ethical dilemmas throughout our lives and there is no doubt that you are facing some right now! These may be short, immediate issues, or on-going, spread over years.  They may be small or large.

If you are having trouble coming up with something, schedule a preliminary meeting with a peer educator to talk about ideas for you to write about.

The situation you choose should be one that is not easy to work through. You should not be sure what to do.  The point is to get consultation on what you should do---if it isn’t difficult, it wouldn’t be a dilemma and you wouldn’t need consultation.

Step 2:  Describe the circumstance surrounding each dilemma

  • who is involved
  • what are the contributing factors that lead up to the situation

Step 3:  Describe each ethical dilemma.

  • Why is it an ethical dilemma? Identify and discuss any conflicting interests, values, and/or principles involved.  
  • How would this situation be viewed by most people if they knew about it?
  • What are you feeling when in this situation?
  • Discuss any rules or behavioral standards that could be violated by taking one action or another.

Step 4:  List possible options for resolving your ethical dilemmas.

  • Think up as many choices for action that could reasonably work to resolve each situation.

Step 5: List the questions you want to ask that may help you navigate your ethical dilemmas.

  • On what issues do you require consultation?
  • Think beyond questions such as “what should I do?”; they often serve to limit discussion.
  • Rather, focus on questions that serve to uncover new perspectives and ways of navigating your dilemma (e.g. Do I have any “blind spots” when discussing this dilemma?  What does this dilemma uncover about my values/perspective? What is your personal perspective on this issue and how does it differ to my own? Etc.).
  • In order to prepare for an effective consultation, write down at least 5 questions.

Step 6: Make 2 hard copies to bring to the next class meeting.

8: Attend Class Meeting #3

Bring 2 hard copies of this PROPOSAL to our 3rd seminar meeting (For exact date and time see the seminar schedule (on TritonEd) for your section.).

During the seminar, your peer educator and your discussion group will help you to think  through your cases, answer your questions, and develop your ideas. This process will help you to decide which dilemma to write about and also help you to think more clearly and carefully about your situation.

9: Write Your Ethical Dilemma Case Draft

Based on the discussions in the third Seminar meeting, you now choose which Ethical Dilemma you will write about for your Ethical Dilemma Case.

For the draft of your assignment (due in the fourth seminar meeting), you must:

  1. Revise your work completed in Step 7 above
    • Re-write the assignment so that you are only talking about ONE ethical dilemma
    • Be sure that you have answered all parts of the prompt completely
  2. Write a draft of steps 7 through 12.
    • It is ok to use bullet points. This does not need to be a polished essay, but it should be complete and clear to your readers

Step 7:              Review your Options

  • Of all the options for action discussed, identify and discuss 2-3 that might be the “right” course of action.  For each action, discuss the following:
    • What would the possible consequences, both positive and negative, be and who might they impact?
    • What values would this choice likely undermine or uphold? (E.g. honesty, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, or fairness)
    • What rules, standards, codes of ethics, policies, and/or guidelines would the “right” choice uphold or violate?

Step 8:            Identify and discuss the “right” course of action that you will take.

Include the following:

  1. Reflect on and discuss what thoughts, interactions, and learnings have led you to your “right” course of action.  Why do you believe it is the best option?
  2. Describe what frustrations, challenges, or obstacles you foresee in choosing the “right” course of action.  What actions can you take to mitigate them?
  3. What reasons/motivations do you have for choosing the “right” course of action despite such obstacles?

Step 9: Identify and discuss 2 strengths that you have that relate to ethical decision-making and academic/professional integrity. 

  • For each strength, describe any foreseeable scenarios in which you plan to use your strength to uphold professional integrity.

Step 10: Identify and discuss 2 weaknesses that you have that relate to ethical decision-making and academic/professional integrity. 

For each weakness:

  1. Describe any foreseeable scenarios in which your weakness may contribute to preventing you from upholding professional integrity.
  2. Identify and discuss at least one specific action that you plan to take to improve upon your weakness.  For each action identified, how do you plan to measure/assess your improvement?

Step 11: What frustrations, challenges, or obstacles do you foresee that you could prevent you from upholding professional integrity in the future? 

  1. What can you do to mitigate them?
  2. What specific motivation(s) do you have for doing your professional work with integrity even if presented with the opportunity to act unethically?

Step 12: Briefly discuss what professional integrity means to you. 

What are 2 things that you can do to help spread a culture of professional integrity?

10: Attend Class Meeting #4

Bring 2 hard copies of your Ethical Dilemma Case Draft to your 4th seminar meeting (For exact date and time see the seminar schedule (on TritonEd) for your section.).

11: Finish & Submit Ethical Dilemma Case

Instructions for the FINAL version of your  Ethical Dilemma Case:

  • The final of your Ethical Dilemma Case is to be submitted through TritonED on the course page for the AI Seminar.  Find the link in the folder for your section. 
  • For exact due date, see Schedule & Deadlines document posted for your section in TritonED.
  • This assignment does not have to be completely narrated. Some steps are better expressed as bullet points (e.g., step 4 & 5) and you may keep them as such in your final draft.
  • There is no maximum page limit for your case analysis, but if you wrote it in essay form, we suspect it will take you at least 2 pages, double-spaced, times new roman font (12) to accomplish the learning objectives.  If you use bullet points, your assignment may be longer.

12: Write & Submit Your Apply Your Learnings Assignment

There are two purposes to this assignment:

  1. to provide you a structured opportunity to actively experiment with your new knowledge and understanding of academic integrity
  2. to practice writing and talking about your academic integrity violation for such things as graduate and professional school applications.

First, consider applications you might be completing in the future which may require you to talk about your academic integrity violation (e.g., dental, medical, pharmacy, graduate school applications). Second, compose an essay that does the following four things:

  1. Conveys 2-3 critical information points about your violation (i.e., what it was, what led to it, what happened/how it was resolved);
  2. Includes a constructive analysis of the situation, paying particular attention to what you could have done differently;
  3. Includes what you have learned as a result of the violation and participation in the AI Seminar and relate those learnings to your future (i.e., how it will make you a better doctor, dentist, accountant, or your profession of choice).

Note: Remember to be as specific as possible.  It may help to incorporate a particular example of how you have already changed and connect it to how it will make you better in your chosen profession.

  1. Articulates how your experience can actually benefit the employer/school to which you are applying (i.e., how will what you learned from this experience help your future school and/or profession?; what will your specific contribution be?).

Note: While you can’t predict the future, it is recommended that you continue to write as concretely as possible.  It may help to think of examples of the most likely ways that your experience will assist your contributions to future academic and professional communities. 

The Seminar Instructor will give you feedback should you ever want to actually modify this essay for use in the future.

FINAL NOTES: In order for you to facilitate your meeting of the specified learning objectives, the final submission of this Essay would have to be at least 500 words (much longer than an actual application essay might be), but you use as many words as you need to use to convey your learnings and yourself in a convincing and compelling way.

13: Complete the Post-Seminar Assessment

  • After you have submitted your Final Draft of your Ethical Dilemma writing assignment and your Apply Your Learnings essay, you will complete a post-seminar assessment. 

    You can complete the assessment here.
  • Note that this assessment MUST be completed AFTER you have submitted your assignments and BEFORE the deadline assigned for your section.


Late/No-Show Policy

Because much of the learning happens during the meetings, timeliness & attendance at the Seminar meetings is mandatory! If you enroll in the seminar but do not show or arrive late to the Section Meetings or One-on-One Meetings, you will FAIL Seminar.

It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to take note of your meeting dates, times and locations (NOTE: responsibility is one of the five fundamental values of academic integrity). If you cannot meet these responsibilities, you must contact the AI Office or AI Seminar Instructor to communicate what is going on.

Assignments/Assessments Policy

Because learning occurs through the assignments and assessments, timely completion of them is mandatory!

If you fail to submit any assignments or assessments by the deadline, you will FAIL Seminar.

It is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to download the Seminar syllabus from TritonEDtake note of when assignments and assessments are due and submit them on time. If you cannot meet these responsibilities, you must contact the AI Office or AI Seminar Instructor to communicate what is going on.


There are only two grades for this seminar--- Pass or Fail. 

PASS: complete the prerequisites, attend all seminar meetings on time, submit all assignments by the deadline and with clear thought and engagement, participate in the seminar activities and discussions, and meet all outlined seminar expectations, standards and policies.

FAIL: failure to do any of the above. If you fail, $75 will be charged to your student account and additional sanctions may be imposed.

Common Seminar Locations