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Academic Integrity and You: Faculty and Staff

Overview:

OSRR’s Mission

  • The mission of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) is to promote responsibility and encourage honesty, integrity, and respect among Purdue students through education, compliance through behavioral standards, and support of individual rights. To sustain this mission, we are committed to:
    • Facilitate, with dignity, the resolution of concerns and disputes at the lowest level possible
    • Guide students towards a greater sense of personal responsibility and mature and ethical behavior that enhances the quality of the University and community environment
    • Provide educational experiences to assist students in making appropriate choices concerning behavior
    • Disseminate and interpret University regulations and standards to students, faculty, staff, parents, and the general community

Purdue Honor Pledge

“As a Boilermaker pursuing academic excellence, I pledge to be honest and true in all that I do. Accountable together—We Are Purdue.”

Purdue Honor Pledge Graphic

What is Academic Dishonesty?

  • Purdue prohibits “dishonesty in connection with any University activity. Cheating, plagiarism, or knowingly furnishing false information to the University are examples of dishonesty.”
  • Additionally, the University Senate has stipulated that “the commitment of acts of cheating, lying, and deceit in any of their diverse forms is dishonest and must not be tolerated. Moreover, knowingly to aid and abet, directly or indirectly, other parties in committing dishonest acts is in itself dishonest”

Why Does Academic Integrity Matter?

  • As a student, it is understood that learning is the most important goal, that we embrace ethical values and principles, and reject academic dishonesty in all of our learning endeavors.
  • When not addressed, academic misconduct:
    • Devalues the work of other individuals
    • Hurts the reputation of the university and the value of a Purdue University degree
  • At Purdue, all members of the community are responsible for upholding and promoting academic integrity.

Examples of Academic Dishonesty

In the Classroom:

  • Substituting on an exam for another student
  • Substituting in a course for another student
  • Giving or receiving answers by use of signals during an exam
  • Copying with or without the other person’s knowledge during an exam
  • Using unauthorized notes or electronic devices during a quiz or exam
  • Fabricating data
  • Signing in for attendance for someone who is not present
  • Using “iClickers” for students who are not present in class

Outside the Classroom:

  • Plagiarism—taking the words, thoughts, ideas, or concepts of another person and claiming them as your own
    • Using exact language of someone else without proper attribution
    • Using someone else’s ideas without acknowledgement
    • Submitting someone else’s work as your own
      • Online resources
      • Another student’s work (whether given to you or taken without permission)
      • Books, articles, and other written published work
  • Self-plagiarism-turning in a previously completed assignment for another assignment
  • Fabricating documents—both on assignments and documents to ask for extensions/excused absences
  • Fabricating research data
  • Accessing and altering grade records—whether online or on assignments returned to you
  • Using unauthorized resources to complete assignments
  • Padding items of a bibliography
  • Stealing class assignments from other students and submitting them as one’s own
  • Turning in a paper/project that has been purchased from a commercial research firm or obtained from the internet
  • Obtaining an unauthorized copy of a test in advance of its scheduled administration
  • Unauthorized collaboration
    • Having someone help you complete an assignment
    • Working on an assignment as a group or with another person (whether in person or electronically/virtually) without permission

Online Courses:

  • Unauthorized collaboration on exams
    • Working with another person(s) while completing your exam
    • Contacting (i.e. texting, calling, Facetime, GroupMe) another person(s) for help while completing an exam
  • Unauthorized use of materials and resources
    • Using notes, textbooks, and other resources to complete an exam or quiz when the exam or quiz is not in fact “open book”
    • Using unauthorized resources during an “open book” exam or quiz
    • Using the assistance of another person (friend, roommate, partner, family member, etc.) to complete assignments
    • Substituting on an exam or assignment for another student/asking another student to substitute for them
  • Failing to Use Appropriate Proctor
    • Not using an appropriate proctor or failing to utilize a required proctor at all to administer an exam completed offline
    • Not using required online proctor services to monitor online activity while completing exams or quizzes

Understanding Academic Dishonesty

Why Do People Engage in Academic Dishonesty?

  • Poor Time Management
    • Procrastination and saving assignments until the last minute
    • Not planning enough time to complete assignments or to study
  • Struggling with Course Material
    • Doing poorly in class
    • Struggling to understand material
    • Struggling to understand or complete assignments
  • Laziness/Disinterest
    • Viewing the class as a easy or a “blow off”
    • Not going to class regularly
  • Mental Health
    • Struggles with anxiety related to tests or completing assignments
    • Impacts on motivation or ability to complete things
    • Impacts on belief of abilities
  • Lack of ethical development-perceived need to achieve the goal no matter what it takes
  • Pressure from parents, peers, and self to achieve good grades no matter what
  • Belief that “everybody does it”
  • Belief that the instructor does not care

Tips to Avoid Engaging in Academic Dishonesty: Resources:

  • Poor Time Management
    • Academic Success Center provides success coaching for students who are struggling with their time management, and also provide time management tools on their website
  • Struggling with Course Material
    • Recommend that students who are struggling utilized course recommended resources (office hours, open labs, tutoring, etc.)
    • Recommend that students utilize campus resources like The Writing Lab, Peer Success Coaching, or the Disability Resource Center as appropriate
    • Recommend that students form study groups
  • Mental Health
    • Encourage that students contact and meet with a mental health professional at CAPS or in the community
    • Encourage that students meet with a Support Specialist in the Dean of Students
    • Encourage that students develop self-care and support strategies that they can use regularly
    • Submit a Student of Concern report to the Dean of Students so that the student can receive additional support as needed/appropriate

Addressing & Reporting Academic Dishonesty

Deterring Academic Dishonesty in Your Classroom

  • Clarify expectations regarding academic dishonesty in your syllabus outside of required statements regarding academic dishonesty. Make sure to review this on the first day of class.
    • Address common problems for the course (i.e. unauthorized collaboration on assignments, code sharing, plagiarism, using unauthorized resources on online or take-home exams)
    • Clearly state what is and isn’t acceptable
  • Determine and communicate your procedures for responding to issues of academic integrity in your syllabus and on the first day of class
    • Will there be standard responses in regards to the student’s grade?
    • Will you always report students directly to the Dean of Students? (We really hope that you do!)
  • Define and communicate exam requirements and expectations
    • Determine list of non-permissible items during exams (i.e. cell phones, hats, water bottles, and other non-essential items often used for cheating)
    • Create staggered and assigned seating charts
    • Require students to present their Purdue identification prior to the exam
    • Have alternate test forms and use different tests each semester
  • Keep open dialogue with your students
    • Students are encouraged to follow-up with faculty and staff when course policies and expectations are unclear. We encourage you to be open to these conversations and be as helpful as you are able to be
  • Provide equal access to study and course materials
    • Understand that some students may be unable to utilize office hours, open lab hours, or online materials in the way other students may be able to. Be willing to work with students who want to learn and complete assignments the right way
  • Utilize detection software (i.e. SafeAssign, MOSS) and communicate that you will be using such software

Tips to Monitor Academic Dishonesty

  • Carefully watch students for wandering eyes and other suspicious actions
  • Ask another person (Teaching/Graduate Assistant, Exam Proctor) to verify/confirm your observations
  • Look for patterns and similarities among student work
  • Look for changes in writing style, quality of work, and sudden improved performance
  • Grace in distinct colors like red or green
  • Take reports from concerned students regarding other student behavior seriously and address them as appropriate

Responding to Academic Dishonesty in Your Classroom

  • Collect all of the facts—test materials, observations, software detection results, witness statements, etc.
  • Meet with the student in question
    • Openly explain your suspicions to the student and give them a chance to respond
    • Document the conversation you’ve had with the student (i.e. follow-up e-mail)
  • If occurring during an exam, minimize the disruption in test environment-allow the student to finish the exam and confront them after
  • Determine appropriate grading response
    • Consult with course supervisor, department head, etc. as needed
  • Report incident to the Dean of Students
  • Not sure what to do?
    • Follow up with those in your department who are appropriate resources
    • Call the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 765-494-1250

Reporting Academic Integrity

What Should I Include in a Report?

  • As much detail as possible, including:
    • Student(s) of concerns names & PUID #s
    • Name(s) of witness(es) or other involved parties
    • Detailed description of what occurred
    • Information regarding how you have or are going to respond to the situation
    • Any supporting documentation:
      • Pictures
      • Screenshots of text or group messages
      • E-mails
      • Syllabi
      • Student’s coursework of concern

Why Should I Report?

  • If it is not a mandated reporting incident, we cannot require you to report the incident to the university. We ask that you do so because it helps the university keep track of a student’s disciplinary history and behavioral concerns accurately. This allows our office to respond appropriately to each reported incident and hold students accountable as needed.
    • Unfortunately, students are not always honest with you about their previous disciplinary history regarding academic dishonesty. If you do not report the incident to the Dean of Students, they may continue engaging in such behavior without any accountability.
  • Remember: promoting academic integrity is the responsibility of the entire University community—including YOU!

Conduct Process Overview

Types of Conduct Processes

  • There are two types of conduct conferences utilized by the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities:
    • Administrative Conduct Conference
      • Conducted before one or more members of the OSRR staff
      • More informal in nature, but designed to provide the student certain procedural safeguards
      • Suspension and expulsion are not possible outcomes
    • Community Standards Board Conduct Conference
      • Conducted before a board of panelists—mixture of students, staff, and faculty
      • Formal in nature
      • Suspension and expulsion are possible outcomes

Student Rights Throughout Process

  • Students and other concerned parties can read up on everything related to the process and rights on our website here.
  • Student rights in conduct proceedings include:
    • The right to be informed in writing of all charges
    • The right to be informed of the reported circumstances of the alleged violation
    • The right to witnesses and to be informed of witnesses
    • The right to an advisor
    • The right to respond to the charges
    • The right to remain silent and that silence will not be taken as an admission of responsibility
    • The right to a written letter of the conference findings and sanctions

Possible Outcomes

  • Students are found either Responsible or Not Responsible of violating each University Regulation they have been charged with.
  • If a student is found responsible, they can receive sanctions in two categories:
    • Primary Sanctions:
      • Written Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Probated Suspension, Suspension, and Expulsion
    • Secondary Sanctions (non-comprehensive list):
      • Integrity Seminar, Follow-Up Meetings, Reflective Writing Assignments, Restitution, Letter of Apology, Signing Recommitment Statements
  • If a student has been previously reported to the Dean of Students for issues of academic integrity, the response from the university will appropriately reflect this.

What Role Do Faculty and Staff Have During the Conduct Process?

  • Depending on the severity of the case, you may be asked to serve as a witness to provide further information regarding your understanding of the situation
  • A staff member from OSRR may follow up with you regarding clarification and other information gathering
  • The reporting faculty/staff member can be copied on the decision letter if they so choose—it is an option when submitting the incident reporting form for Academic Dishonesty
    • What you as a faculty or staff member choose to do with this information is up to you when determining an appropriate response in the class. Our office will not instruct you on how to respond to the student’s behavior in the classroom.

Academic Integrity Resources

Ways to Get Involved:

“As a Boilermaker pursuing academic excellence, I pledge to be honest and true in all that I do. Accountable together—We are Purdue.”

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