It is impossible to provide unequivocal academic integrity rules that will adequately cover all situations in which violations may occur. Discussed below are academic integrity guidelines for some academic assignments and situations students commonly encounter. Students are strongly encouraged to consult their professors whenever they have questions about academic integrity.
Assistance with Preparing Papers
If students have a term paper or any written material typed or word processed by another person, they must give precise instructions to the person assisting them that the material is to be typed in accordance with the academic integrity policies of the course as outlined by the professor. In general, if the typed or word-processed version of the term paper is not the student's own work, the student has violated academic integrity policy.
Students may or may not be permitted to receive other forms of assistance when researching and preparing their papers. The policy may well vary from course to course and from instructor to instructor. It is the student's responsibility to understand and abide by the academic integrity policies of the course and the instructor for which the work is being prepared.
For some course assignments, students may be expected to work together-in pairs, in teams, or as a class. The professor has an obligation to make clear the expectations for the work required by each student in such a group assignment. Students are expected to contribute their assigned share. Any violation of the guidelines established by the professor will constitute a violation of academic integrity. In supervising such work, students themselves, along with the professor, have a clear responsibility for ensuring academic integrity.
Quizzes, Tests, and Examinations
It is important, however, for students to guarantee their own integrity in these situations. During tests and examinations, students should keep attention on their own work at all times. No books, notes, or other materials-except those that are explicitly allowed should be brought into a testing area or should otherwise be accessible during the testing period. Unless otherwise expressly permitted by the instructor, the use of any electronic device during a quiz or exam or any graded assignment in class is prohibited and will be considered a breach of academic integrity.
Use of Previously Submitted Work
An assignment prepared for one professor cannot be simultaneously, or subsequently, submitted to another professor unless both professors agree to such a submission. Likewise, an assignment done in secondary school or at another college cannot be submitted without the professor's knowledge and permission.
Any material used in the preparation of an assignment must be verifiable by the professor. If the student falsifies data or materials gained in laboratories, interviews, or research, that student has violated the college's academic integrity policy.
Telling a lie in an academic situation is a violation of integrity. For example, if a student lies to a professor about the reason for missing a test or for the lateness of a paper, that student has committed a violation of academic integrity. In fact, if a student lies about another student's alleged violation, that constitutes a violation as well.
Aiding and Abetting
When a student assists another student in committing a violation of academic integrity, that student (i.e., the one providing the assistance) is equally culpable and can be charged and prosecuted for an academic integrity violation.
If, for example, a student permits another student access to a test answer, unauthorized laboratory data, or homework assignment, both students have committed a violation. When one student abets another in a violation of academic integrity-for example, by lying to protect a student who has cheated-then the student providing the help has also committed an integrity violation.
A student is responsible for maintaining the integrity of his or her computer files, computer printouts, and computer accounts. Computer files and passwords to computer accounts must remain confidential. Printouts from the computer must be collected promptly and kept private. They must not be left in a computer lab or anywhere else where they might be seen or picked up by other students.
Science Laboratory Assignments
Academic integrity rules apply to the laboratory setting just as they do to lecture and discussion courses. However, because laboratory experiments, projects, and reports are often done in a public setting, students sometimes have a more difficult time judging what conduct is and is not allowed.
Although some instructors permit homework or laboratory reports to be group projects, others do not. It is the student's responsibility to know and abide by the rules of the instructor. Unless otherwise permitted, all graded laboratory problems and reports must be completed individually, without collaboration. In general, there should never be any reason for you to look at another student's laboratory report or for you to allow another student to look at your report.
Unless specifically directed to do so by an instructor, a student may not work with a partner or share laboratory data. Laboratory reports are always to be written as an individual effort and never as a group project. Data should not be altered after an experiment has been completed. It is also a violation of academic integrity to falsify data or to discard data without the prior consent of the instructor.
Students may not receive help that amounts to another student directly supplying them with an answer to an assignment or to another student working through the material such that the answers become a product of a joint effort. Giving aid in violation of academic integrity rules is just as much a violation of the system as is receiving aid.
The general rule is that a student's work done on a computer or for execution by a computer must be an original production of the student unless otherwise specified by the professor. Additional guidelines are given below.
- In an assignment in which the student is to solve a problem using a computer (for example, writing a computer program, designing a database or spreadsheet, or any other work for execution on a computer), taking either an idea from someone else's solution or one or more actual lines of instructions from someone else's work is cheating. Obtaining help from someone else or looking at or copying all or part of someone else's solution to the problem is a violation of academic integrity. Similarly, providing help to someone or working collaboratively on an assignment is a violation of academic integrity unless otherwise stated by the instructor. Assistance may be obtained only from the instructor or Computer Lab assistants, and assistants may help only with system operation, not with the substance or the solution of the problem (also see #5 below).
- Editing another student's paper or other work generated on a computer (such as a program or data file) and submitting it as one's own work is cheating.
- Incorporating materials obtained from a computer information source, such as those found on the Internet, into one's own work without appropriate documentation and attribution is plagiarism.
- Work assigned as a team or group project must be done in accordance with the guidelines provided by the professor to insure that the integrity of each student's contribution to the project is maintained.
- Under most circumstances it is permissible to obtain help with the operation of a computer system or software-for example, how to log on, compile a program, or print a paper. The exception to this rule is when learning about such operations is an integral part of the assignment. In this case, assistance with the operation should come only from the instructor unless he/she specifies otherwise.
- Tampering with or destroying files, software, or computer equipment provided by the college for use in a course violates academic integrity by denying access to academic materials.