NTC relies on faculty to prepare evidence when they make an allegation. We can help by requesting documents from third-party entities (like Chegg), but we do not prepare the evidence (check for plagiarism, highlight plagiarized sections of papers, compare exam answers to third-party solutions, etc.). This is both an issue of resources and expertise. We believe the faculty member is the best person to assess misconduct on their assignments. When the evidence is clearly laid out, students are much more likely to be charged, to accept responsibility and/or to be found responsible by an honor board panel.
Download Quick Tips for faculty, here.
Download Exam Tips for faculty, here.
Be clear about all expectations and instructions. Tell students if they can work together and how to do so. Tell them the resources they can use and be specific (titles of books, your own class notes, etc.). Tell them if there are any resources they cannot use (no internet generally, specific websites, etc.) and add a disclaimer like “and other similar sites.” For example, “Students may not use Google Translate or other online translation sites to complete this assignment.” “Students may not rely on anyone else to complete assignments or to check their work; this includes Chegg and other online tutoring sites.”
Be aware that exam materials, homework assignments, quizzes, essay prompts, test banks, and more are available on dozens of online sites (Chegg, Quizlet, Coursehero, Tutor.com, and so on). For this reason, we highly recommend faculty prohibit the use of the internet on exams with a simple instruction: You may not use the internet during the exam period. Do not use language about exams being “open internet” or “open resource.” This sends a message to students that anything they find is acceptable, including old exams and answers provided by online “tutors.”
Be aware that students often obtain their textbooks in online form and keep their notes online. If you have an “open book” or “open note” exam, this means students will be online. Be specific about how they should use these resources. Consider asking students to download material for offline use.
We recommend using a timed exam that begins as soon as the student opens the exam within a given window (e.g. “Students must take the exam between 8am-12pm and will have 2 hours once they begin.”). Students should not have access to the exam until their time begins. We recommend giving students only enough time to complete an exam such that a well-prepared student can do well. The more time students have with the exam, the more opportunity there is to engage in misconduct.
Be aware that “working together” often includes students texting, emailing, instant messaging, and calling each other. If such behavior is prohibited, specify it (e.g. “Students may not work together physically or via electronic communications.”).
If students will need technology for exams, faculty should let students know from the beginning (Lockdown browsers, webcams, etc.) and should require students to test it out well before an exam on an assessment that does not count against them.
Incorporate multiple assignments with different weights and avoid putting substantial weight on one or two assignments (e.g., final exams worth 50% of the grade).
Be open to all kinds of questions from students, even if you have answered it before or the answer is located on the syllabus. It is better for students to ask than to assume.
Faculty should use TurnItIn when students are submitting papers and other written assignments. This “plagiarism checker” is not always accurate, but it detects the most egregious cases and provides clear evidence that is very useful in the conduct process. It may also act as a deterrent. It also adds to the TurnItIn database, and the more papers it has, the more accurate it can be.
Remind students about the instructions multiple times. It is not enough to put them on the syllabus and never mention them after the first day of class.
Faculty should not handle academic misconduct on their own. Students have rights under the Code of Academic Conduct. When faculty adjudicate these cases on their own, students are denied the opportunity for an objective body (the honor board) to hear their case. Further, this behavior encourages repeat offenders because our office has no record of the misconduct.
Click here, to download the Student Resource Guide for Faculty.