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Contact Us

rabideau@svsu.edu
(989) 964-2220
(989)964-6095

TurnItIn Information

Helen Raica-Klotz
(989) 964-6062

Academic Integrity

Academic Affairs
(989) 964-7303

Office

Curtiss 114

Faculty Resources
for Academic Integrity

How to Encourage Academic Integrity

  1. Affirm integrity as a central value in academic work. Be aware of and support University policies and practices regarding academic integrity.
  2. Communicate expectations for academic integrity. Include SVSU's academic integrity policy as well as clear course expectations in your syllabus; include a clear definition of plagiarism and a statement of repercussions. Discuss these with students to be sure they understand the reasons as well as the strategies for preventing plagiarism. Explain why integrity matters and how citations show respect for scholarly work.
  3. Plan your course calendar and sequence the assignments to allow adequate time for students to complete learning tasks successfully.
  4. Create tests and assignments that are explicitly linked to specific course learning goals and difficult to complete in dishonest ways. (Example assignment: create a historical persona and, writing from that moment in history, recount events in the language of the person [in the form, say, of a diary or personal journal]. Add links to the [electronic] text that open "explanatory" footnotes in which you say more, in an academic voice, with references, about particular things the invented person is recounting. Include at least one piece of information from the text or class discussion.)
  5. Become involved in students' writing processes. "Prevention is a critical line of defense against academic dishonesty" (ASJA Law and Policy Report, Gary Pevala).  Of particular value are seven tips for designing writing assignments that may prevent plagiarism; these specific practices make it unlikely that students will be able to download papers that meet these requirements:
    • Create unique assignments (e.g., require both primary and secondary sources; specify specific journals or dates for articles; require an abstract, which is hard to construct if a student didn't write the paper; if appropriate, require a relevant image or table)
    • Require paper topics to be approved
    • Review working bibliographies/outlines/sections of the paper, to be approved before the paper is submitted
    • Require drafts and source materials to be submitted with the paper
    • Require written peer review
    • Add a reflection piece to the paper, in which students reflect on the most useful sources, or the questions left unanswered by research, or the ways their papers evolved from first to final draft
    • Collect a piece of student writing at the beginning of the semester as a “benchmark.”  (This could take many forms:  a response to course objectives, a reflection on a core question in the course, a short exploration of a relevant case or situation to set the stage for future learning. This also provides an immediate alert about issues of disability, English language proficiency, and lack of previous preparation that can be addressed in subsequent assignment design.)
  6. Establish mutual trust with students and get to know them. Use the "benchmark" writing pieces to identify issues a student may struggle with and direct the student to University resources available to assist him or her (e.g., the Office of Disability Services, the English Language Program, the Writing Center).
  7. Be aware that some international students may come from cultures that do not place the same emphasis on intellectual property as Americans do. Be explicit about how and why intellectual property is important in American universities and workplaces.
  8. Use University Resources available to assist faculty (e.g., Turnitin.com, the Writing Center).
  9. Focus on developing the writer, rather than on teaching formats and documentation styles
    (see "Citation Obsession?  Get Over It!" in a recent article in The Chronicle).
  10. Report violations of the Code of Student Conduct to the Student Conduct Officer. "Faculty members who ignore or trivialize academic dishonesty send the message that the core values of academic life aren't worth enforcing" (ASJA Law and Policy Report, Gary Pavela). Keep documentation for any reported instances of plagiarism.

University Policies

FERPA Policy (1kB)

Summary: School faculty, administrators, and staff may not disclose personally identifiable information about students nor permit inspection of their records without written permission of the student unless release or inspection is covered by certain exceptions permitted by the Act. Access to student information is limited to a school official's legitimate educational interest.

Academic Integrity Policy Statement of Philosophy

The primary purposes of a university are to produce new knowledge and to share knowledge acquired from others. These purposes can be achieved only when intellectual property rights are recognized by everyone within the university. Thus academic integrity is essential; university citizens must take responsibility for their own work and give credit when using the work of others.

Definitions

Academic integrity is undermined whenever one is dishonest in the pursuit of knowledge. Dishonesty takes many forms, including cheating, plagiarism, and other activities for undermining the educational process:
Cheating occurs whenever one attempts to gain an advantage through violation of rules regarding the relevant behavior. It should be assumed that collaboration is cheating unless explicitly authorized.
Plagiarism involves intentionally or unintentionally presenting another person's expressions –ideas, opinions, illustrations, data, style–as one's own expression.
Undermining the Educational Process occurs whenever one attempts to prevent another's learning or subverts the recognized means by which learning occurs.

Procedures for Dealing with Instances of Academic Dishonesty

The first step should be a review of evidence to ensure that there is sufficient reason to warrant a charge of academic dishonesty. This should be accomplished prior to failing a student for an assignment or a course and/or referring the matter to the Office of Student Conduct Programs. Faculty may elect to consult with a department chair, academic dean or the Coordinator of Student Conduct Programs. When the violation involves plagiarism, faculty members are encouraged to employ all available resources (e.g., Turnitin.com, Google searches, etc.) in developing a set of evidence.

Disciplinary Process for Incidents of Academic Dishonesty

All provisions for due process will be afforded to students charged with a violation of academic integrity. The disciplinary process is outlined in its entirety in the Code of Student Conduct.

Sanctions

The Hearing Panel may impose sanctions upon any student determined to be accountable for violations of the Academic Integrity Policy. Sanctions are cumulative and may be increased based on a past disciplinary record, the severity of the violation, and the impact upon the academic community. There may be circumstances that are cause for exception as determined by the Hearing Panel.

Appeals

Students have the right to appeal outcomes of hearings and/or sanctions imposed. Written appeals must be submitted within three days following the written notification of the decisions reached by the Hearing Panel. Appeals will be reviewed jointly by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Student Services and Enrollment Management.

Records

All cases concerning academic dishonesty must be recorded in the Office of Student Conduct Programs. Additionally, student grade grievance proceedings that occur due to academic dishonesty must be recorded in the Office of Student Conduct Programs. This means that faculty, academic chairs or deans must notify the Office of Student Conduct Programs when a student's grade is changed for reasons of academic dishonesty.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What Do Faculty Need to Know About Academic Integrity?

What information about Academic Integrity should a syllabus contain?

Every course syllabus should include the following:

  • A clear statement about academic integrity
  • The instructor's course policies for dealing with breaches of integrity
  • The URL for this website

If a student's academic integrity is called into question, the faculty member will need to follow his/her syllabus statement when dealing with the issue. Many faculty use syllabus statements such as the following:

Example One (D. Boehm):
The value of a university degree is based on its academic integrity; it certifies that the student has acquired the knowledge, skills and professional behaviors required by his/her program of study. Thus, scholarly honesty is an expectation for all student work. In the case of researched writing assignments, scholarly honesty requires a student to appropriately document sources for all material that is not personal knowledge or public doman. The student who incorporates source material into a paper, whether by summary, paraphrase, or quotation, will identify the source of that material both in-text and in a bibliography, following the documentation format required for that assignment.

Unethical writing practices, such as plagiarism, often occur when students fail to provide in-text citations and/or references, when they fail to use their own language when summarizing or paraphrasing, or when they fail to mark the original language of a source as a quotation. Such unethical writing practices are subject to the policies stated in the SVSU Student Handbook and in the Code of Student Conduct , Section 1.8, Academic Dishonesty.

Example Two (F. Dane):
Every student enrolled in this course is expected to be familiar with the Code of Student Conduct. If, at any time, you have any questions about the Code or information about a violation of the Code related to this course, you should contact me. You may do this in any way that is most comfortable for you (e.g., email, telephone, in person).

According to Webster's II New Riverside University Dictionary, to plagiarize means either "to steal and use (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own" or "to take passages or ideas from and use them as one's own" (p. 898). In an academic setting, academic dishonesty includes:

  1. Submitting a paper, examination, or other assignment as your own when it was written or created, in whole or in part, by another.
  2. Using portions of another's writing (word-for-word phrasing) without enclosing the passage in quotation marks and acknowledging the source in the appropriate scholarly convention.
  3. Using a unique term or concept without acknowledging its author or source.
  4. Paraphrasing or restating someone else's ideas without acknowledging that this other person's text was the basis for that paraphrasing.
  5. Presenting false data, for example, data that have been fabricated, or altered, or borrowed from someone else.
  6. Submitting the same paper or assignment for more than one course or purpose without the expressed consent of all of the instructors involved.
  7. Having someone correct your writing (as opposed to pointing out errors) without explicitly acknowledging that person as a co-author, copy editor, proofreader, or other appropriate term.

If material you submit fits any of the above examples, you shall receive a zero on the relevant assignment; dishonest work is not an acceptable means by which to fulfill course requirements. In addition, your case will be referred to the Dean of Student Affairs.

You must neither receive, nor give, assistance on any test. I encourage students to study with others for this course. However, it is important that you prevent any appearance of collusion during exams. If questions arise about collusion during an examination, then the fact that two people studied together will not be acceptable explanation except when the students were well separated during the examination. Academic dishonesty on examinations will earn a zero on the examination. Violations of the no-assistance rule for examinations will also result in your case being referred to the Dean of Student Affairs.

How can a faculty member implement an honor code into his or her class?

A faculty member who wishes to implement an honor code must incorporate it into his/her syllabus and course policies/practices. One way to do this is to have students sign and date an Honor Code statement, such as the following, each time they submit an assignment:
I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this assignment/examination.

How can an instructor check for potential plagiarism?

Several methods can be used:

  • One method is to use Google or a similar internet search engine; type the questionable passage into the Google search box with quote marks around it. If that passage can be found on the internet, Google will link to the original location.
  • SVSU has a site license to Turnitin.com plagiarism detection service, which searches both the internet and selected databases, as well as its own database of previously submitted papers. Turnitin.com can also be helpful as a teaching strategy; require students to submit their own papers to Turnitin.com and to include an Originality Report when they submit their assignment. To use Turnitin.com,  email dboehm@svsu.edu.

How do FERPA laws apply when a student is charged with academic dishonesty?

FERPA laws must be observed. Faculty may not disclose personally identifiable information about students, nor permit inspection of their records without written permission of the student, unless release or inspection is covered by certain exceptions permitted by the Act. Access to student information is limited to a school official's legitimate educational interest.

In the case of a student being sanctioned due to academic dishonesty, the faculty member will receive notification about the disposition of the case.

If you have a question that isn't answered here, check out the Faculty Resources page. It contains links to valuable resources for answering questions regarding academic integrity

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What Happens When a Student has Plagiarized or Engaged in Academic Dishonesty?

What happens when an instructor discovers plagiarism or academic dishonesty?

Instructors deal with plagiarism and/or academic dishonesty according to their own professional judgment, but must adhere to any processes stated in their course syllabus and/or departmental policy. Many faculty give a 0 or F for the first instance of plagiarism, depending on the level of the course. Subsequent violations usually result in course failure; these are to be reported to the Office of Student Conduct Programs for disciplinary action. Other types of academic dishonesty are handled in a similar fashion.

What is the process for reporting a student who has plagiarized?

The reporting process for allegations of academic dishonesty would follow the same protocol as any other complaint regarding student behavioral issues. The regulation that would most likely be cited in the Code of Student Conduct would be 1.8 Academic Dishonesty, 1.8.1: "No student shall cheat, plagiarize, or facilitate academic dishonesty by another student. Students are responsible for completing all assigned academic work without unauthorized aid of any kind."

Faculty may contact Marie Rabideau, Coordinator of Student Conduct Programs, Curtiss 113, (989) 964-2220, for clarification or assistance in filing a complaint.

How much evidence does an instructor need to cite a student for plagiarism?

It is up to the instructor to decide what constitutes plagiarism or other breaches of academic integrity.

What is the adjudication process for a student who has been reported?

The adjucation process would follow due process as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct, Article 2: Disciplinary Process . The procedure would be facilitated by the Coordinator of Student Conduct.

Could an instructor have different course penalties for different types of academic dishonesty (e.g., failure to cite, failure to signal quotations, copying a paragraph, copying a paper, buying or downloading a paper)?

The instructor is free to assign whatever penalties he/she deems appropriate for various types of academic dishonesty. However, students do have the right to a hearing if they feel that they have been wrongfully accused or if they feel that the penalty assigned is too severe.

Can an instructor impose penalties for failure to report another student's academic dishonesty?

According to Section 1.8.1 of the Code of Student Conduct, "No student shall cheat, plagiarize or facilitate academic dishonesty by another student." Instructors may consider failure to report another student for academic dishonesty to be facilitation of academic dishonesty. The instructor would be free to impose penalties for this violation. Once again, students do have the right to a hearing if they disagree with the penalty.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What information about Academic Integrity should a syllabus contain?
How can a faculty member implement an honor code into his or her class?
How can an instructor check for potential plagiarism?
How do FERPA laws apply when a student is charged with academic dishonesty?
What happens when an instructor discovers plagiarism or academic dishonesty?
What is the process for reporting a student who has plagiarized?
How much evidence does an instructor need to cite a student for plagiarism?
What is the adjudication process for a student who has been reported?
Could an instructor have different course penalties for different types of academic dishonesty (e.g., failure to cite, failure to signal quo
Can an instructor impose penalties for failure to report another student's academic dishonesty?