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Academic Integrity: Leveraging Technology

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This guide is part of Academic Integrity at Macalester College. For more information about our academic integrity program, please contact Ginny Moran (

Materials here are available for reuse under a Creative Commons  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA license.

Leveraging Technology - Overview

Technology tools that assist you with your academic research and writing can help prevent academic integrity issues but can also be the source of violations when used improperly.

Using Wikipedia to plagiarize, online translation tools as a shortcut for completing a language assignment and calculators when these devices are not allowed are just a few ways that technology can create academic integrity issues. Such tools can be very useful, but knowing when and how you should use them is key to performing honest work.

Let's look more closely at some common issues

  • Language Translation Tools:
    Language translation tools, such as Google Translate, can be helpful in certain situations for language classes. But keep in mind that Instructors have varying policies on how you can use this kind of tool. At minimum, you should be aware of what these translation tools can do and the purposes they can serve. You should also be aware of the expectations of your instructor for using such devices. They do not work well for translating extensive amounts of text. In many cases they will work just fine for providing an adequate translation of a single word or a two or three word long phrase (serving the role of bilingual dictionary), but they will not work for anything longer than that.

What Happens Next?

What Happens Next?

The What Happens Next video series introduces scenarios that relate to academic integrity. They can be used as conversation starters to help students better understand the dilemmas that might arise during their time in college, and problem-solving skills to avoid plagiarism.

Case Studies

Informal Case Studies:
Macalester Students Tell Their Stories...

Case studies are a great way to better understand an issue. A group of Mac students who were found to have violated the College's academic integrity policy agreed to share their experience through brief essays. These 'informal case studies' ask the students to discuss their violation, what led up to it, as well as identify lessons learned.

        Too Much Collaboration on Lab Reports

      Sharing Responses During a Take-Home Exam