TI Lithuania: Integrity pledges and discussions promote academic integrity

Published June 5, 2019

After discussions about academic integrity, students tend to cheat less, shows Transparency International Lithuania initiative carried out in eight schools in Kaunas city and Vilnius county. The purpose of the initiative was to understand what tools can encourage students to behave more honestly in the class.

During the initiative, the students were invited to participate in discussions on integrity and to sign an integrity pledge. The results indicate that discussions had a substantial impact on students who reported cheating the most. After the debates, the number of students stating that they cheated once or a few times a week reduced by a quarter (from 38,1%. to 29,1%).

Students who both participated in the discussions and signed a pledge not to cheat were two times less likely to tolerate their classmates’ cheating. The pledges were signed before tests and other assignments.

After the initiative, students’ willingness to cheat also reduced. The number of students who considered cheating again at school decreased by four times for female students and two times for male students.

Every third student who participated in TI Lithuania discussions both enjoyed them and expressed their interest to continue debates about academic integrity in their schools.

“When you ask students whether they would board the plane piloted by those who cheated on their tests, everyone screams NO! So students understand the problem of cheating and want to talk more about it. This for sure is a clear message for schools. I encourage school communities to engage with students more and start experimenting with such novel means as integrity pledges”, said Sergejus Muravjovas, CEO of Transparency International Lithuania.

The initiative took place during the months of October and November in 2018 in eight schools in Kaunas and Vilnius county. During the time, students engaged in discussions about academic honesty and tested integrity pledges – before tests or written assignments students made a pledge not to copy off their classmates. To examine the results of the experiment, TILC carried out surveys with students before and after the initiative.

The initiative was financed by the Washington DC Lithuanian Professionals’ Club.

A short summary about the results can be found here (in English), a practical guide can be found here (in Lithuanian).

More information:

Sergejus Muravjovas, sergejus@transparency.lt, +370 689 97579.