Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct

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What is Academic Integrity?


What is Academic Misconduct?


FAQ's


Tips to avoiding Academic Misconduct


Meeting with your instructor


Academic Misconduct Sanctions

What is Academic Integrity?

 

Oxford Dictionary defines Integrity as: "The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles".

Integrity
is essential to all elements of education and scholarship. Without integrity, academic qualifications cannot be relied upon, research cannot be trusted, and degrees, diplomas, and certificates lose their value.

Academic Integrity: MRU students are expected to consistently submit original work, give credit to other peoples' ideas and work and complete all submissions independently and honestly.

MRU is committed to the fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. There is an expectation that students, faculty and staff will maintain these values, the result being the high standard of academic integrity present across the University community. Upholding the expectation of students to consistently practice academic integrity helps to build the reputation of a university respected for its principles and for the value of its credentials. The message to the larger community, including industry partners and prospective employers, is that a credential earned at MRU is of high value producing outstanding employees.

SCS strives to promote awareness of academic integrity across the community, by providing students' with a fair and consistent framework of what MRU deems to be acceptable standards of academic and non-academic behaviour. What is Academic Misconduct?

 

Academic misconduct occurs when a student/s misrepresents facts or information and gains an unfair academic advantage over other students. Specifically, the giving, taking or presenting of information or material that unethically or dishonestly benefits an individual student or a group of students in the achievement of academic merit.

Plagiarism & Cheating
Plagiarism refers to a form of academic misconduct that occurs when an individual leads others to believe that work has been authored by them when the work has been authored by someone else.

Examples of plagiarism include but are not limited to:

  • Using an idea, an image, data or the words of someone else as your own.
  • Submission or use of information or data which has been altered or contrived in any way that is intended to mislead.
  • Academic submission which includes misleading references to materials that don't accurately reflect the actual sources used.


Cheating is another form of academic misconduct.

Examples of cheating include but are not limited to:

  • Possessing unauthorized materials, in whole or in part, that have not been approved for use by your professor. This includes crib notes, notes written on any part of the body, copying from another student or using or possessing any electronic device not previously approved by the professor.
  • Re-submitting all, or portions of, academic work previously assessed and graded for credit without approval by the current professor.
  • Altering or forging any document related to academic status or progress.
  • Collaborating with another person/s, assisting another or receiving assistance from another on an assignment, exam or in satisfying any other course requirement.
  • Altering answers or grades and submitting the altered assignment or exam to be re-graded.
  • Outsourcing academic work .ie.Chegg,Course Hero,Quizlet
Will misconduct appear on my academic transcript?
This depends on the circumstances surrounding the misconduct. In very serious cases of academic or non-academic misconduct, a Panel Hearing may be convened. As a result, a notation of misconduct may be placed on your transcript for a prescribed time.

Do I have to meet with my instructor?
Whenever possible, you are encouraged to meet with your instructor. You may be contacted by SCS to meet with a staff member for further discussion.

Won't it be my word against the instructor? Who will believe me?
The Code of Student Conduct ensures all Mount Royal students are treated consistently and objectively when facing allegations of misconduct. The Student Community Standards Office was created to protect the interests of students as well as faculty and staff, and to balance the rights of all.
  • Educate yourself on institutional and faculty policies regarding plagiarism, cheating, and acceptable formats for citing academic sources (APA, MLA, etc.).
  • Sometimes individual instructors will differ in their expectations regarding formatting and citation requirements. Speak with your instructors about what is considered acceptable, including limits on quotation without citation, collaborative work, mobile devices in class, and expectations during exams. Read your course outline or syllabus that should address academic requirements and restrictions.
  • Take advantage of supports offered by Student Learning Services, such as workshops on APA and MLA referencing, paraphrasing, time management and planning papers. You can also make an appointment with Writing and Learning Strategist to get individual help.

Meeting with your instructor

 

When your instructor suspects academic misconduct they will request to have a meeting with the student/s involved.


Things to consider before meeting with your instructor:

  • Ask your instructor to advise you what the meeting will be about so you can be prepared.
  • Consider bringing a support person with you. This can be anyone you choose to bring. The Student Advocacy Coordinator(SAMRU) or a designate, regularly meets with students to help them prepare for all types of meetings with instructors. If a student requests it, the Advocacy Coordinator or designate will accompany students to meetings as silent support. It's important to remember that whoever you choose to take is present as a non-participant; that person does not represent you or speak for you unless a student is genuinely not capable of doing so themselves.
  • Take a look at the Student Community Standards website and review the policy to give yourself a sense of the Code of Student Conduct policy.


Meeting:

  • When an instructor either suspects, or determines that misconduct has occurred, they are obligated to report the infraction to the SCS Office.
  • At your meeting, your instructor will provide you with the description of the incident from their perspective along with any information pertinent to the incident.
  • This meeting is a time for you to explain your version of the event to your instructor and for the two of you to have a conversation about how best to resolve the situation and move forward. You may actually agree with your instructor's perception of an event and the two of you will be able to quickly move forward to resolution.
  • Alternatively you may completely disagree with what your instructor has said and that's fair.  If you do disagree, please stay calm, respectful and choose what you say very carefully. All parties present are expected to treat one another respectfully and professionally, no exceptions. Becoming defensive and argumentative will quickly change the meeting into a confrontation.

 

Please consider the following:

  • Take some slow deep breaths.
  • Politely advise the instructor that you disagree with what you have heard thus far and as such, you think it would be best to conclude the meeting now and you will follow up with the SCS Office.
  • Politely request copies of the documents your instructor has compiled.  If the instructor doesn't have copies, or is unable to make copies for you, remember you will be issued copies of everything. 
  • Thank everyone present for their time and politely leave the meeting space.

 

After the meeting: 

  • Your professor will submit a completed form to the SCS Office outlining what happened from their perspective.
  • You too will have the opportunity to submit a written version of the event from your perspective.
  • SCS will review the submission and subsquently send you an email to let you know a report has been received and any consequences your instructor is recommending.

Academic Misconduct Sanctions

 

Prior to making a decision regarding sanctions, there is a reasonable expectation that the instructor, or if applicable, the Academic Review Panel or the Academic Appeal Panel, have considered all relevant details, and, based on a balance of probabilities, have concluded that the incident does establish academic misconduct.

Participants are encouraged to contact SCS discuss examples of sanctions that have been assigned in prior, similar cases. The following guidelines may be considered when choosing a sanction that is proportionate to the incident:

  • previous incident/s of academic misconduct;
  • the severity of the incident;
  • whether there is more than one allegation;
  • personal circumstances of the student;
  • a disability that relates to the misconduct;
  • cultural factors;
  • language factors;
  • age factors.

Additional considerations:
A less severe sanction may be most appropriate where there has been no previous reported misconduct and it is agreed that although the student has submitted plagiarized work, it was due to the student's lack of knowledge and not an intent to deceive.

A more severe sanction may be considered appropriate where there are multiple allegations of misconduct.

The following are examples of consequences commonly used as a result of a finding of academic misconduct. There is no requirement to choose solely from the list below. Decision-makers may choose one or more of the following sanctions, and/or additional sanctions, based on the circumstances of the case, have a remedial emphasis, and are proportionate to the incident.

 


Warning: written notice advising that a recurrence of similar academic misconduct will result in more severe academic consequences.


Grade reduction: a reduction in grade for any aspect of the assessment of the student's work associated with academic misconduct.


Failing grade: a student receives a failing grade in the course associated with the academic misconduct.