Academic misconduct may take place when the six fundamental values of academic integrity aren’t being adhered to. At ACC, all of our stakeholders receive education about academic integrity. This could be a module like what we have here in class sessions for students or professional development sessions for staff, instructors, or administrators. We also do a lot of work to prevent and reduce the possibility of academic misconduct before it occurs. This could mean using different software and technologies, or even the way your assignments, tests, or exams are designed.
More information on academic integrity, the different types of academic misconduct, and how to prevent them can be found in the Academic Integrity for Students guide. You will have seen the link in this module, and we’ll see it again later on. On the left-hand side of this guide you will see several different types of academic misconduct.
Plagiarism is a very common type of misconduct. In policy A25, it is defined as using another’s words, ideas, theories, or images without crediting the source. An example could be a student writing a research paper without citing the sources found in their research. Another example might be a student working with media using Creative Commons licenses without attribution. Attribution and citing are academic skills that can be built over time, and there are many supports in place for ACC students. Once a student graduates, using the work of other people could lead to a legal issue involving copyright violation or even potential job loss.
Contract cheating is when the student outsources their work to a third party, whether that’s a commercial website or a person that they know. This can range from an agreement with a formal contract and payment to a simple verbal discussion. While the commercial side of the contract cheating industry is predatory and illicit, and also illegal in many places in the world, they market themselves to students as homework help or study resources. To help protect our students, ACC blocks access to sites like these on its institutional networks. Many students have been blackmailed and extorted by contract cheating companies who have reported activities to schools after a student graduates, causing students to lose their credentials and their jobs.
Collusion is defined as when students work together in a situation where they are not allowed or supposed to. An example is two students working together on an assignment that was assigned individually. A good way to prevent collusion is to take responsibility for your learning and ask your instructor for clarification on if and how you can work with a classmate.
Facilitating Academic Misconduct
Facilitating academic misconduct could involve one student lending another student part of their assignment or uploading their assignment to a file-sharing site where other students might find it.
Test Cheating and Math Cheating
Test cheating and math cheating are defined as the use or attempted use of unauthorized materials, information, or study aids in any academic exercise. This could be when a student brings notes, a phone, or a calculator to an exam when they aren’t allowed to do so. For math cheating specifically, this could mean using a math app to do your work for you.
Working with the value of honesty will help prevent cheating and ensure that you learn the skills necessary to work in your field, where you may not have had the time or opportunity to rely on additional information or apps.