Academic honesty and integrity lie at the heart of any educational enterprise. Students are expected to do their own work. Students shall not give nor receive assistance during quizzes, examinations, or other class exercises, nor assist other students in violating academic honesty standards of the University.
Proactive Strategies to Encourage Academic Honesty
- Include a statement in the course syllabus regarding academic honesty as it relates to that particular course.
- Discuss the issues of cheating, academic misconduct, fabrication, and plagiarism at the beginning of each semester and before examinations.
- When assigning term papers, discuss the issue of plagiarism. Ensure students understand referencing requirements and the specific extent of collaboration on class/term projects. Assign specific topics and set a time limit.
- Give essay tests, instead of multiple-choice tests, when appropriate and where class size permits.
- When using proctors, more than one should be present for over forty students. Instruct proctors about their responsibilities during exams.
- Require positive identification from students (University student identification card, driver’s license) when students enter the classroom to take an examination or when they turn in their answer sheets, if the students are not familiar to you. This is particularly important in large classes.
- Have each student sign his/her answer sheet. Signatures can be compared if a question arises over who actually took the examination.
- Keep examinations in a secure location (e.g., locked desks, locked files, etc.). Faculty offices may not be a secure location for examinations.
- All waste copies of an examination should be destroyed.
- Number exams and count the number distributed and returned.
- Alternate forms of the same examination, particularly with multiple choice examinations, should be administered during the test period. Color-coding of the alternate forms will emphasize the difference.
- When bluebooks are used for examinations, faculty should collect the bluebooks from students and redistribute them before the examination begins.
- Clearly indicate what materials students may have in their possession during an exam (e.g. textbook, formula sheet, scrap paper, calculator, etc.). It is recommended this information be shared in multiple formats (in syllabus, verbal reminder before exam is distributed or released, listed on physical exam or as first part of electronic exam).
- Design a pre-arranged seating plan or sign-in sheet by seat number, so that the location of each student may be determined.
- When possible, students should be seated so that at least one seat exists between students during an examination.
Reporting Academic Dishonesty
If you are not familiar with the reporting process, please read the information below.
If you are familiar with the reporting process, access the academic honesty reporting form (formal or informal), which pertains to undergraduate students only. Faculty with academic honesty concerns involving a graduate student should contact the Graduate College.
- Review the material to ensure that there is sufficient support for a charge of academic dishonesty. You may wish to meet with the student to discuss your suspicion. Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR) staff are available to consult with faculty members on aspects of academic honesty violations.
- Email CSCR at email@example.com to determine the student’s disciplinary history and to identify the appropriate option for the case.
- Determine which resolution path you wish to pursue. Paths include informal resolution (as described in the Faculty Handbook) or formal resolution (as described in the Student Guide to University Policies).
- Choose an academic penalty. Refer to the academic honesty criteria chart for guidance. In addition, please consider:
- How extensive is the problem?
- How much is the assignment/exam worth?
- Is it a major or minor assignment?
- What does your syllabus say about how you will file cases of alleged academic honesty policy violations with CSCR?
- What is your department’s policy/stance regarding academic dishonesty?
- Do you need to consult with your supervisor/department chair?
- Note that any student who has a prior history of academic dishonesty will be brought in under Option C.
- For cases involving multiple students, you may choose a different option and/or academic penalty for each student, depending on the extent of their involvement.
- It is recommended you inform the student that a case of academic dishonesty is pending. This may be done in person or via email. Let the student know that CSCR (or the Graduate College) will be in contact with the student with more information. You should not go into specifics about the incident nor allow the student to “argue” their case. You should continue to work with the student on other course-related assignments.
- Complete the academic honesty reporting form (formal or informal). Include a summary of the incident, names of those involved (charged students and witnesses) and the academic penalty chosen, keeping in mind the penalty may be different for each co-charged student.
- Submit all supporting documents for the case. Ideally, submit as part of completing the online reporting form, which allows multiple types of attachments. If your supporting document is larger than 5 GB, please send attachments via UDropbox. You should keep all original documents. All documents submitted will be shared with the charged student(s) but they will not be permitted to retain any. Please be cognizant of this and consider redacting any sensitive or personally identifiable information.
- If using Canvas, do not assign the grade (with penalty) for the assignment. Leave blank or assign a grade of “Incomplete” if possible. If near the end of the term, assign the student a course grade of “Incomplete” until the case is resolved.
|Informal (per Faculty Handbook, p. 45)||Formal (per Code of Conduct, p. 27)|
|Type of incident||
- Low Level Assessment (e.g., homework, quiz)
- First instance of assignment type (e.g., first lab report)
- Early in semester
- Minor amount of dishonesty
- Higher level assignment (e.g., exam, major paper)
- Later in semester
- Large amount of dishonesty
|Prior academic honesty incident?||No||Yes|
|Reportable record created?||No||Yes|
- Redo assignment
- Lowered grade on assignment
- Failing grade on assignment
- Lowered grade on assignment
- Failing grade on assignment
- Lowered final course grade
- Final course grade of F
- Final course grade of X
|Additional Sanctions||No||Yes - educational and status|
Contact Dr. Mary Martin, Associate Vice Provost for Graduate and Professional Education and Associate Dean, via email or telephone at 302-831-8916.
A range of possible sanctions exist for cases of academic dishonesty. In addition to an academic penalty (determined by the faculty member), educational and administrative sanctions may also be applied, as determined by Community Standards & Conflict Resolution (CSCR).
It is important to understand that an administrative hearing officer cannot find a student responsible of academic dishonesty without a reasonable level of factual substantiation of the charge. The burden of responsibility for all violations of the Code of Conduct is preponderance, meaning it is more likely than not a violation occurred. The faculty member reporting the alleged violation is responsible for demonstrating that a student was academically dishonest.
It is contrary to University policy for a faculty member to lower a grade on an academic work or academic exercise when a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy is suspected without working with CSCR or the Graduate College. Such an independent action violates the student’s right to due process and leaves the faculty member vulnerable to a grade grievance.
Similarly, students are prohibited from proposing and/or entering into an agreement with a faculty member to receive any reduced grade on an academic exercise or in the course so as to avoid being charged with a violation of the Academic Honesty Policy.
Listed below is the range of possible sanctions. Students with past violations of the Academic Honesty Policy will be handled under Option C and in concert with other policies.
For all options, if a student participates in an administrative hearing or appeal, the academic penalty assigned as a result cannot be more stringent than penalty originally recommended by the faculty member.
The faculty member may require the student to repeat any work affected by the academic violation. When the faculty member chooses to have the student repeat affected work, the faculty member may impose a grade penalty on that work.
The faculty member may issue the student a lower or failing grade on all or any portion of the work affected by the academic violation, may issue a lower or failing grade in the course or may require that the student be withdrawn from the course.
The student will receive a failing grade in the class in which the incident of dishonesty occurred, and a grade of “X” will be placed on the student’s University transcript, indicating the failure resulted from the student’s academic violation. This penalty is only appropriate as part of the formal resolution path.
Students who wish to remove the “X” from the transcript may complete a non-credit seminar sponsored by CSCR. This seminar addresses such topics as academic, professional and personal integrity; University policies and sanctions; and resources for student success. Once completed, the “X” notation will be replaced with a course grade of “F”.
Honor Pledges & Syllabus Statements
While University of Delaware does not have a traditional honor code or honor system, it has established rules and expectations set forth in the Code of Conduct in the Student Guide to University Policies. Within the Code of Conduct, the University's guidelines for Academic Honesty are explicit.
It is vital for all students to understand and abide by the rules of academic honesty. It is the University's hope that students will act with integrity as they strive for excellence in scholarship and in character. To this end, CSCR promotes a high level of honor in all academic work.
Faculty members may choose to include an honor pledge/contract in their courses as a way for students to express their commitment and demonstrate their adherence to the Academic Honesty Policy and its standards in all areas of academic work.
Suggested Statement for Faculty Use
This could be used as an assignment in Canvas (a one-question quiz, for example) or it could be added to the beginning of each assessment that students complete for the semester.
The Academic Honesty Policy at the University of Delaware states “Students must be honest and forthright in their academic studies. ... Students are expected to do their own work and neither give nor receive unauthorized assistance.” The standards of behavior and expectation of honesty apply in all academic settings, including in-person, online and hybrid. If there are questions regarding course expectations, please contact your professor before beginning the work. Canvas has many methods of tracking your use and access while using the technology. Any potential instances of dishonesty may be forwarded to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution for action.
“I am fully familiar with University Policies on Academic Honesty and understand that my professor in Brain & Behavior will enforce those policies, to the letter, as described in the Student Handbook...” (Professor Carlisle Skeen, PSYC 314)
“My signature indicates that I will exercise complete academic honesty (e.g. not sharing anything from this exam with others who may be taking some version of it or engaging in any form of cheating). I also acknowledge that any confirmed act of dishonesty will result in the disqualification of this exam and appropriate sanctions, including formal conduct charges and possible course failure.” (Professor Norma Gaines-Hanks, HDFS 235)
“On my honor, I pledge that I have neither given nor received help on this assignment” (University of Virginia)
“I pledge that I have neither received nor given unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work.” (University of Richmond)
“I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance during the completion of this work.” (Virginia Tech)
“On my honor, I will maintain the highest standards of honesty, integrity and personal responsibility. This means I will not lie, cheat, or steal and as a member of this academic community, I am committed to creating an environment of respect and mutual trust.” (Christopher Newport University)
“I, (state your name), declare that the submitted work is original and adheres to all University policies and acknowledge the consequences that may result from a violation of those rules.” (Spring 2004)
“We, the people of this seminar, pledge to uphold the ideals of truth, honesty, morality, and individualism in order to promote academic honesty.” (Spring 2006)
“I pledge that the work I am submitting is of my own ideas and the work of others will be properly cited. It adheres to the University of Delaware’s Code of Conduct, and I am willing to accept the sanction for violating the Academic Honesty Policy. I will strive for excellence.” (Fall 2007)
“I pledge that my work is authentic, expressing original ideas. Furthermore, I pledge that I followed the University of Delaware’s Code of Conduct and adhere to the rules and guidelines by working independently.” (Spring 2007)
“I pledge that the submitted work abides by the guidelines set by the Code of Conduct and is my own thoughts and ideas. This includes proper citations, proofreading, studying, originality, integrity and honesty to the University and the individual professor’s standards.” (Spring 2008)
“I pledge that this work was fully and wholly completed within the criteria established for academic integrity and represents my original production, unless otherwise cited.” (Spring 2009)
A course syllabus is a vital part of any class, as it provides a framework for the instructor and the student on what is expected from each party. It is essential that a course syllabus contains information pertinent to the instructor(s), policies, and curriculum. All University faculty are encouraged to have a syllabus for each course they teach. The Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning has a number of resources available for creating a syllabus that is comprehensive, understandable to students, and highlights information important to you.
Including information on academic integrity, classroom rules and grading procedures provides a tangible resource for students throughout the semester. Below are examples of how some UD faculty have addressed academic honesty, disruptive classroom behavior, and absenteeism in their syllabi.
A commonly used statement follows.
All students must be honest and forthright in their academic studies. To falsify the results of one’s research, to steal the words or ideas of another, to cheat on an assignment, or to allow or assist another to commit these acts corrupts the educational process. Students are expected to do their own work and neither give nor receive unauthorized assistance. Any violation of this standard must be reported to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution.
Some faculty include more specific information, such as examples of acceptable/unacceptable actions or suggesting the Writing Center as a resource.
Dr. John F. Jebb, Department of English
Any work that you submit to me at any stage of the writing process – thesis and outline, draft, bibliography, etc., through final version – must be your own; in addition, any words ideas, or data that you borrow from other people and include in your work must be properly documented. Failure to do either of these things is plagiarism. The University of Delaware protects the rights of all students by insisting that individual students act with integrity. Accordingly, the University severely penalizes plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty.
Dr. Clyde Moneyhun, Department of English
Every year, students who don’t think they will be caught are given failing grades for papers, given failing grades for courses, sometimes even suspended from the University. Even students who don’t intend to plagiarize but do it by mistake can suffer the consequences; the Office of Student Conduct doesn’t take ‘intent’ into account, only the fact of plagiarism. All this should convince you that UD takes plagiarism very seriously indeed.
Dr. Joseph A. Brady, Department of Business and Economics
Here are some practices that are acceptable:
Getting procedural advice from B&E lab consultants.
Discussing ideas about assignments with fellow students.
Showing a classmate how to do a computer procedure (or getting help with a procedure in this way).
Getting help from your instructor.
Modeling your code directly after examples I give you, or that are in course materials. Of course, doing all your work by yourself, without any help is acceptable.
Here are some practices that are not acceptable:
Copying (by whatever means) another student’s work or duplicating another student’s problem solving steps. This means it is not acceptable to do an assignment by having another student dictate the assignment’s keystrokes to you, or to let another student do things for you.
Submitting another student’s work, in whole or in part, as your own on an assignment or examination.
Copying (electronically or by hand) someone else’s computer file, modifying it, and handing it in as your own work.
Having someone load his/her assignment into the computer, then modifying it and handing it in as your own work.
Working with other students in unauthorized ways, in order to complete assignments; e.g., working in a team of 3, when teams of 2 are specified.
Working directly from someone else’s code or from their pseudocode.
Allowing another person to copy all or part of your work, to hand in as your own. Thus, you should not provide a paper or electronic copy of your work to classmates for them to use as a “reference” in doing their work. And you should not post your work to a web site or an electronic bulletin board, nor similar medium, for reference by others.
This list of unacceptable practices is not intended to be a complete enumeration of all the possible situations you could get yourself into; the list merely cites some examples of violations.
Dr. Clyde Moneyhun, Department of English
The writing center is an excellent resource. Expert writing tutors (faculty and graduate students) will meet with you one-on-one, for free, for an hour, as often as you like. You can take assignments before you even start writing for help with brainstorming; you can take rough drafts; you can take later drafts. You can set the agenda, telling the tutor exactly what kind of help you want. (The only thing tutors won’t do is ‘proofread’ and edit papers for you.) Sharing your writing as you work on it is the habit of a good writer. To make a free one-hour appointment with a Writing Center instructor, call 831-1168. Hours are M-F 9-12 and 1-5, M-W 6-9.
It is important to communicate behavioral expectations and address disruptive behaviors early on to establish a classroom environment that maximizes learning and growth. Suggestions for appropriate classroom behavior include:
- Questions and comments must be relevant to the topic at hand.
- You should be in your seat and ready to begin class on time.
- Packing up your belongings prior to the end of class is disruptive to others around you and to the instructor.
- Classroom discussion should be civilized and respectful to everyone and relevant to the topic we are discussing.
- Any discussion from class that continues on any listserv or class discussion list should adhere to these same rules and expectations.
- Any continued disruption will be reported to Community Standards & Conflict Resolution.
An example used by Dr. Joseph A. Brady, Department of Business and Economics is below.
Normal day-to-day social relations break down quickly without common courtesy. Common courtesy is an extremely important trait in the business world, a minimum requirement for getting and keeping most jobs. Using common courtesy in college is good practice for the real world,surely.The most basic idea is to not disrupt your classmates, or your instructor,during class. So, please avoid behavior like: habitually coming to class late; continuing fraternity or sorority (or other organizational) meetings during class times; passing around photos that document what you did on the weekend; maintaining steady conversation with neighbors during lecture or other class activities; taking (or making!) calls on your cell phone. My concern for common courtesy during class is a practical one. If you are(for example) talking out loud while I am trying to run a class, I will not be able to hear myself think. I’ll be hearing you talk. That is disruptive for me,and it makes my job harder. I seek to change the behavior of people who make my job harder. I claim the right to impose a seating chart on the class, or on a subset of the class, in order to promote common courtesy.[In addition, I can refer students to the Office of Student Conduct for disruptive classroom behavior.]
The Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning offers details about how to handle disruptive behavior. Faculty referrals of students to the Center for Counseling and Student Development can be beneficial. When such interventions are not effective, faculty may contact CSCR.
At the start of a course, instructors should explain attendance expectations and how absences are to be communicated. Please consult the Faculty Handbook for details about various types of absences.
A policy example from Dr. Clyde Moneyhun, Department of English, follows.
You are expected to attend every class. If you must be absent, you are still responsible for the work due. If you know that you will be absent ahead of time, let me know, and make arrangements to get the work done ahead of time or to have it delivered to me on time. Consult the syllabus to see what is due to following the class, and call classmates to find out what went on during class. Excused absences must be confirmed in writing. For example, if serious illness, family emergencies, or other crises occur during the term, you should contact the Dean of your college (Arts and Sciences, Engineering, etc.) as soon as possible, [who] can assist you in notifying faculty and in validating for your [instructors] what has happened. If you have more than a few unexcused absences, I will meet with you to discus the situation. You should understand that your in-class grade will suffer as a result of unexcused absences, and of course your ability to do the work required in the course will also be impaired and grades on that work will naturally be lower.
Community Standards & Conflict Resolution is part of the Division of Student Life, which advances equity and inclusion, deepens student learning and drives holistic development through education, experiences and communities.