Cheating Policy

I understand that it is often helpful to work on projects, homework and to study for tests with other students. I encourage you to do this, as I believe that all involved benefit from this practice. This, however, does not abrogate the responsibility of the student to produce their own work, and by no means does it allow the student to plagiarize.

Penn West Academic Integrity Statement

It is expected that all work submitted through this course is the student's original work, generated for the express purpose of completing the requirements of this course. All papers submitted in this course may be screened for originality using plagiarism detection software.

Students are to be aware that academic dishonesty is not tolerated in this course and should be familiar with the following definitions:

  • Cheating. The use of unauthorized materials, information, ideas, study aids, etc., in any academic exercise. May include, but is not limited to: copying answers from another student's exam; using notes, books, or other resources for an exam when not expressly permitted to do so; using electronic devices when not expressly permitted to do so; fraudulently obtaining or sharing an exam; submitting a term paper or other assignment written by someone else; plagiarizing the work of others; submitting the same term paper or other assignment to more than one instructor without obtaining prior permission to do so; or having someone else take an online course or online exam for you.
  • Plagiarism. The representation of the work of another as your own, without proper credit and/or citation. When an individual submits work that includes the words, ideas, or data of others, the source of that information must be acknowledged through complete, accurate and specific references, and if verbatim statements are included, through quotation marks or other accepted citation practices.
Additional violations of academic integrity may be found in PennWest's Policy AC059: Academic Integrity, which also includes potential sanctions faced by the student for violations of the policy.

Unless otherwise stated, work turned in by a student is expected to be substantially the work of that student and that student alone. You may discuss problems with others, have others assist you in tasks such as debugging but you are responsible for performing your own work.

If, in my opinion, work turned in by a student is not the work of that student, I WILL take appropriate actions. This can include a failing grade for the assignment, a failing grad for the class, as well as other disciplinary actions.

Some Examples

Sue and Bill are in the same programming class. On Monday they are given a programming assignment. After class, they discuss the algorithm and the data structures that they will use. I feel that this is perfectly acceptable.

On Tuesday, Sue has just about finished her program when Bill walks into the lab. She is having a problem with a few syntax errors, which Bill helps her fix. This again is acceptable.

Later, Bill asks Sue for a copy of her code so he can correct "just a few minor logic errors". Sue gives Bill a copy of her program and Bill changes the comments and submits the code as his own. This is cheating. Both Bill and Sue have engaged in cheating and will be treated as such.

Later, Bill and Sue are working on homework. They work through each problem as a team, both contributing and both understanding the problem and the solution. This is acceptable. It is expected, however, that each will produce an individual solution. Identical solutions, or solutions which differ only by cosmetic alterations are not acceptable. Furthermore, it is expected that students working closely together will credit each other in their solutions.

Tom, sitting at the table next to Bill and Sue, is listening to their discussion and copying down their solutions. This is cheating.

Updated 8/22