Case Study 6 - Share, You Share, We Share Academic Misconduct
Case Study Publish Date:
Summary of the Case:
While grading assignments during a winter-mester class, a grader noted that assignments submitted by two separate students were identical. How much sharing of information is too much? Where is the line drawn when discussing the concepts of a subject turns into academic misconduct?
Text of the Case:Violation Report
The Reporter (hereafter R) suspects Alleged Violators (hereafter AV1 and AV2) of plagiarism and complicity on their final paper in INST 322. The two students turned in identical papers within 10 minutes of each other. Judging by the writing style, R was able to determine that AV1 was the original writer of the paper.Investigators’ Summary
R indicated that a PhD student, grading assignments for an online winter-mester course, noticed two identical papers submitted for a 30 point assignment (out of 500 possible points for the course). The papers in question were due near the end of the course. R emailed both students and determined that AV1 was the original writer of the paper. R also made it clear that each assignment was supposed to be done individually and did not detect any evidence of cheating on any previous assignments.
AV1 is a General Studies major. AV1 stated that he received an e-mail from AV2 about an hour before the assignment was due, asking for help. AV1 acknowledged that this assignment was supposed to be done individually, but wanted to help a friend by providing his answers as a concept only. AV1 emphasizes that he asked AV2 to only use his answers for conceptual purposes.
AV2 is a Sports Management major. AV2 acknowledges that she asked AV1 for help. AV2 copied and pasted the assignment from AV1’s email into a word document, before accidentally submitting his answers into the e-learning submission box. Once realizing she had submitted the wrong paper, AV1 then submitted her correct paper. R noted that AV2’s second submission came well after the course had concluded and was closed.
Both students have a high B in the class, and there was no evidence that cheating had occurred on previous assignments.
Questions for Discussion:
Both AV1 and AV2 pled not responsible to complicity and plagiarism in INST 322.
- Honor Council members may ask questions of R, AV1, and AV2
- What additional information would you need to make a decision in this case?
- Would you find AV1 and AV2 responsible for academic misconduct? Why or why not?
Additional Commentary:Sanctions Phase
After finding AV1 and AV2 responsible for academic misconduct the following information was given to the members of the hearing panel:
- Alleged Violator 1
- AV1 has no previous history of academic misconduct
- AV1 is a student athlete receiving an athletic scholarship
- AV1 is currently competing for his athletic program
- AV1 is an international student who would be sent back home if he fails the course
- Alleged Violator 2
- AV2 has no previous history of academic misconduct
- AV2 is a student athlete receiving an athletic scholarship, and could possibly lose her scholarship if she fails the class.
- AV2 is currently competing for her athletic program
- AV1 received no grade penalty, and was required to complete the AHSO remediation program within 6 months. If he does not complete the remediation program within 6 months, he course grade will be changed to an F.
- AV2 received an F* for the course.