The mid-semester transition to remote instruction has created unusual circumstances, but the Honor Code is as important as ever. As we head into finals week, the following advice and reminders may be helpful for both faculty and students.
Remind your students about the standards to which they are held and consider sending the following to your students:
I sincerely appreciate your effort these last weeks to adapt to remote learning and its challenges. Remote learning and the end of the semester can be very stressful—please ensure a strong finish to your semester:
- review CU’s Honor Code and the standards to which you are held at CU.
- recognize that CU faculty have a responsibility to report academic misconduct.
- recognize that engaging in academic misconduct can negatively affect others too.
- recognize that preserving your integrity and character are more important than your semester grades.
Help your students be clear about what Honor Code violations might look like in your class:
Use specific examples that are related to your course when discussing what an Honor Code violation looks like. For example:
- During the final project or exam:
- is it okay to talk to a classmate via Zoom or another platform while screen sharing?
- is it okay to upload course material to Quizlet or another study site and access that material during the exam? It may be okay to study from those websites or create notes in an online platform, but are those student “Notes” on an open-note exam?
- is it okay to get real-time online or in-person tutoring/assistance during the exam?
- Be clear in your expectations
- Will the final project or exam be:
- open-note, open-book, or open-internet?
- can students collaborate with classmates?
- Tell students the academic consequences for students who cheat or otherwise violate the Honor Code
The purpose of the Honor Code is to secure an environment where academic integrity can flourish. The Honor Code recognizes the importance of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility and aims to instill these principles as essential features of the University of Colorado Boulder campus. The Honor Code allows all students to have responsibility for, and the ability to attain, appropriate recognition for their academic and personal achievements.
SCCR has the time to investigate alleged academic misconduct, while faculty may not have the time. SCCR also maintains records for all Honor Code cases and can address repeat behaviors when they are reported.
Honor Code reporting
Talking with the student
Faculty should speak with students before reporting an Honor Code case. Here are some tips:
- Present the information you have and explain the allegation:
- I observed you looking at another student's paper during a quiz. When I graded the quizzes, you had nine of 12 of the same answers, and of those similar answers, four were incorrect. It seems like you may have copied from your neighbor.
- Your essay has a Turnitin score of 55% and 33% is a match to a Wikipedia page.
- Allow the student an opportunity to respond:
- Can you tell me what happened?
- Can you help me understand why these exams/essays are so similar?
- Tell them what you are going to do next. Consider the academic sanctions and if you will report this incident to the Honor Code.
- I am going to give you a zero on this quiz and report it to the Honor Code.
- I am going to report this to the Honor Code and adjust your grade based on the outcome of the case.
- I need to consult with my supervisor/dean/chair and I will email you in the next few days with more information about what you can expect.
What to include in your report
- When reporting, include: who, what, when, where (which class?)
- Who do you think violated the Honor Code?
- What behavior or action did you observe or find while grading that causes you to think that?
- When did the violation occur and when did you discover it?
- In what class did the violation occur?
- Any supporting documentation, like the class syllabus, similar exams or assignments, answer keys, access logs (if a student logged into a course Canvas page during an exam), i-clicker reports, Turnitin reports, etc.
If a student withdraws from the course, faculty can administratively re-enroll them to ensure the academic sanction stands. See your department policies for more information.
The Advisory Board discusses trends and observation of issues of academic misconduct, recruits faculty to administer educational sanctions, and educates other faculty on the Honor Code and Procedures.
If the Advisory Board determines that the hearing officer has failed to give the consensus expertise of the Advisory Board proper consideration, the Advisory Board may submit a written complaint to the attention of the Boulder Faculty Assembly Chair, Dean of Students, and CUSG. If necessary, the Advisory Board reserves the right to work directly with the Director of Student Conduct to review cases, and/or to submit a report with concerns related to case determinations and improper consideration.
- Stay calm.
- Clearly explain what you think may have happened and what evidence you have to support your allegation.
- Give clear examples and share with them what the next steps are.
- Tell them the grade impact, if you will report it to the Honor Code, and what they can expect next.
- Seminar on a topic such as ethics, writing, or time management
- CU Restorative Justice: Restorative Justice helps to address the relationship between victims, offenders, and the community in a way that repairs the impacts of an incident, holds the offender accountable for their actions, and builds community.
- Written Warning: A warning is a written statement from the conduct officer that the behavior was inappropriate and that more serious conduct action will be taken should subsequent violations of policy occur.
- Honor Code probation: Probation is a status on which the university can place students found responsible for violating the Honor Code. It includes a written statement that the student’s behavior was inappropriate and a timeframe within which the student remains on that status. Any violation of the Honor Code or the conditions of probation committed during the probationary period will result in further disciplinary action.
- Honor Code suspension: A student is required to leave the university, and not participate in any university activities, for a specified amount of time. This sanction is noted on a student’s transcript during the period of the suspension, and a student must apply for readmission after the term of the suspension if that student wishes to remain a student at the university. A suspension includes an exclusion from all University of Colorado system property for the duration of the suspension. Any exceptions to that exclusion must be approved by the director of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution or that person’s designee.