Unfortunately, every semester the School of Information Technology Administration & Security (ITAS) has many reports of violations of Academic Integrity. Often the students will tell us that they didn’t know that there was a policy or that they had violated it, but saying that you didn’t know about a rule does not excuse you from adhering to it. The information below has been written to provide you with the information that you will need to not make this mistake, or if you do to know how to handle it.
Academic Policy is all of the policies that govern how Seneca College operates, as an Academic Institution. Academic Policy: Academic Integrity is the specific policy that governs how all of the School’s within Seneca College handle situations of alleged cheating and plagiarism.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is defined as using someone else’s work (words, images, ideas, code, etc.) and presenting it as one’s own instead of properly documenting every source. Specific examples of plagiarism see Appendix E. (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy/acpol-09.html)
Academic Integrity means that all Seneca College students will conduct themselves in an honesty and trustworthy manner in all aspects of their academic career. Engaging in any form of academic dishonesty to obtain any type of academic advantage or credit is an offence under this policy and will not be tolerated by the college. (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy/acpol-09.html)
Examples of academic dishonesty in the School of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) include but are not limited to: (and yes, students have been caught doing these)
- Submitting code that you did not create.Even if you created most of the code yourself, if part of it is the same as someone else’s it is considered an Academic Integrity violation.This includes working in a group on an assignment without prior permission from the professor, and all (or some) group members submitting the same code.
- Bringing unauthorized aids to an assessment.This includes bringing the completed practical test to your lab class on your hard drive.It doesn’t matter if you found out what the test was and created it yourself or was given someone else’s test and decided to bring that, both are cheating.
- Copying from someone else’s test (quiz, assignment, etc.) or allowing someone to copy from your assessment.In this case both people involved would be found in violation of the policy.
- Using the internet during a test (quiz, assignment, etc.) when you have been told you are not allowed.
- Submitting a lab(s) completed by someone else.
All of the programs in ICT have been created with each course as a building block to ensure that as a student successfully completes a prerequisite course they have the knowledge required to continue to be successful in the subsequent course. A student that plagiarizes any of the material in a course will not have the foundation knowledge to continue successfully in their subsequent courses. Not to mention, that if the student cheats and gets caught, they will then have to deal with the consequences which could mean losing marks, failing the course or withdrawal from the school.
The value of the Diploma, Degree or Certificate that is earned at the end of your program is based on the integrity of the program. If employers thought that students could graduate without achieving the learning outcomes they would stop hiring students from that program. As a student in the program, you need the students that have graduated before you to have had integrity in completing the program, as do the student that will complete the program after you.
The penalties assigned for an Academic Integrity violation are decided by the Academic Integrity Committee. The penalties outlined below have been taken from http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy/acpol-09.html. Although these are the typical penalties for an offence, if an Academic Integrity Committee decide that a different penalty is appropriate they can apply it.
- A grade of “0” on the work which the offence occurred.
- A comment of “Academic Integrity – First Offence” noted on Student Centre.
- A grade of “F” in the course where the offence occurred.
- A comment of “Academic Integrity – Second Offence” noted on Student Centre
- Suspension from the College for a time period, normally for a minimum of three (3) terms.
- If you want to return to the College you will be placed on Academic Integrity Probation.You must see the Coordinator/Student Adviser for reinstatement.
- A mandatory College initiated withdrawal for academic purposes, normally for a period of two (2) years.
- If you want to return to the College you must see the Coordinator/Student Adviser for possible reinstatement.
In most cases in the School of ICT, the first step in the process for dealing with an Academic Integrity violation is for the Professor to speak with you regarding the situation. During that discussion you have the opportunity to explain the situation from your perspective. The Professor will then decide if they think that it is a violation of the Academic Policy: Academic Integrity or not.
If the Professor believes it to be a violation they will complete an “Academic Integrity Report” and submit it to the department.
When the department receives the report they will reach out to you and request that you complete the “Student Response to the Academic Integrity Report”. You will be given 5 days to complete the report and return it to the department.
An Academic Integrity Committee will then be convened. The Committee will review the documents provided by both you and the Professor and come to a consensus on the decision.
A letter will be sent to you explaining the decision and the penalties, if any.
If you do not agree with the decision you can file an Academic Appeal.
The Academic Integrity Committee is comprised of three (3) faculty not involved in the situation.The Committee is chaired, by either the Academic Program Manager or Chair of the School of ICT.
In accordance with Academic Policy: Appeals, you can appeal any academic decision made by the College, including but not limited to final grades, Academic Integrity decisions, continuation or status in a program, School, Faculty or the College (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy/acpol-13.html).
To appeal the decision of the Academic Integrity Committee, the student can first request a meeting with the Academic Program Manager or Chair of the School of ICT, in an attempt to resolve the concern informally.
If that does not resolve your concern you can then file a formal Academic Appeal.
There are a lot of sources to find out more about Academic Integrity. You can read the Academic Policy: Academic Integrity http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy/acpol-09.html. You can speak with your Professors, Student Advisers, Program Coordinators, Academic Program Manager, or Chair. You can also learn more about Academic Integrity from the Learning Commons.
There are several ways to reduce the chance of being accused of an Academic Integrity violation.
- Keep your work secure, and don’t share with anyone.If you are leaving your computer, make sure it is locked.Password protect your hard drives and USB’s.Do not leave them unattended at any time if you walk away from your computer.
- In a test or exam, keep your paper covered.Don’t bring unauthorized materials in.And don’t use the internet until you are told you are allowed.Be alert to who is around you and may be trying to look at your paper.If you are uncomfortable, ask the Professor if you can move.
- Working in a group to understand a concept or figure out a solution is a great idea.However, ensure that the work that you submit is your own and not the group’s answer.
- Don’t allow anyone to complete the work on your behalf. Finish your labs and assignments on your own.