Students are usually expected to be honest in every aspect of their academic work and all the work that they present must be original and the student’s own or made with his/her efforts. Academic institutions use plagiarism/cheating policy that defines that cheating and plagiarism is regarded as a serious offense. The policy lays down certain guidelines for proceeding a charge of plagiarism or cheating in academics.
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How to Write a Plagiarism/Cheating Policy?
Step 1: Purpose
Determining the purpose of your policy is the first thing that you must do. Mention that it is being made to ensure academic integrity and the validity of its courses. This is usually created to ensure that assessments are being conducted following the rules and principles.
Step 2: Scope
Mention the scope of your plagiarism and cheating policy stating that it applies to both domestic and international students. Your scope can also state that any means of cheating or act of plagiarism can result in penalties that may have an impact on the students’ academic future.
Step 3: Definition
Provide a vivid and detailed definition of plagiarism as well as cheating. Note that there is a difference between plagiarism and cheating.
Step 4: Guidelines for the Proceedings
Layout the guidelines or the responsibilities of the ones who are authorized to take care of the charges of plagiarism or cheating. Make sure that you number these guidelines and explain the whole procedure of carrying out how the instructors are supposed to handle in case they face students committing such misconducts.
Step 5: Proofread
You can end your policy by providing some references and make sure that you proofread your document before finalizing it.
Reasons Why Students Plagiarize or Cheat
There can be countless reasons why students choose to cheat or plagiarize. It may be anything ranging from the genuine lack of knowledge to outright dishonorable intentions. Some of the common or most frequently stated reasons are:
Unproductive Study Habits
This is considered to be one of the most common reasons for academic misconduct. For instance, students tend to prefer superficial reading practices and last-minute cramming. Some students still lack knowledge about some effective and legitimate studying strategies as a result of which, they end up trying dishonest ones. Instructors can help the students by addressing the issue directly and by discussing reading and other useful study strategies with them in class. They can provide suggestions for helping students with their study habits.
Lack of Time-Management Skills
Students often lack the skills to organize and prioritize their academics and often left to the last minute preparation or cheat. Some students are engulfed in other co-curricular activities or part-time jobs or any other commitments in addition to their studies. These circumstances lead the student to intentionally or unintentionally resort to dishonest practices in an attempt to raise their grade.
Students may sometimes avoid studying because they may be experiencing unrealistic expectations of themselves. For instance, they may have family pressure or may have to appear more knowledgeable than they. Psychological problems may turn out to be serious as well so it is better to take precautions and directly talk with the student and get help.
Unaware of the Boundaries
It is considered to be an increasingly common cause of academic misconduct. Students generally tend to cheat due to ignorance or lack of clarity about what it is or why some practices are unacceptable.
Procedure for Carrying Out an Act of Plagiarism and Cheating
- Reporting: All the staff and students should report to the instructors or the head in case they face any suspected instances of plagiarism or cheating by a student. This report must be made in writing and provided to the relevant trainer or instructor within 7 days along with the supporting evidence.
- Investigation: After receiving the report of suspected plagiarism or cheating, the instructor or training manager must start investigating the matter promptly and determine whether the allegations are correct. This investigation must involve an interview with the participant and a trainer along with the review of the alleged copied material and participant’s class-work. The student can bring a support person during the interview and make certain submissions.
- Result of the Investigation: The outcome of their investigation will be advised by the instructor in writing within 21 days after receiving the report of the alleged cheating or plagiarism.
- Effect of Plagiarism: The instructor will inspect whether a student or group of students has committed plagiarism or cheated and whether this is the first instance of plagiarism or cheating committed by the student.
- Appeal: The right to appeal is given to the students and they can appeal any decision made by a staff member under the complaints and appeals policy.
- Records: Keeping the records of these cases is important. The admin staff is generally responsible for maintaining full and proper written records in the students’ files.