Cheaters Beware: Academic Integrity Violations Notification

Cheaters Beware: Academic Integrity Violations Notification

By: WJO

A recent RMC internal e-mail caught my attention. The title was interesting – Academic Integrity Violations Notification. We will discuss this later in the article.

RMC like any other post-secondary institutions in the world has to have a policy / guideline in place, if, in fact , a student is accused of cheating.

To no real surprise RMC appears to have all the bases covered when dealing with such a situation.

There are a number of studies which have estimated how many university students cheat that it is impossible to know the exact number. The findings in most studies indicate the average is between 50% and 75%.

The intent of this article is NOT to imply that perhaps, at least 50% of the students at RMC (or CMRSJ) cheat. After all, the Cadets live TDV – don’t they?  Then again, a good many cadets (and Ex Cadets) subscribe to the ‘Don’t get caught’ mindset.

Whatever the number is of cheaters, we would be naive indeed if we really believed ALL RMC students are completely clean.

Students are well aware of the college policy:

Academic Integrity

Integrity –When you do the right thing even though no one is watching. Integrity is essential to the academic enterprise and its foundations in the open, independent, and free exchange of ideas. The core values of integrity, both academic and otherwise include: honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility, and trust. Academic Integrity demands that all members of RMC act in accordance with these values in the conduct of their academic work, and that they shall follow the rules and regulations concerning the legitimate and accepted conduct, practices and procedures of academic research and writing. Academic Integrity violations are defined as Cheating, Plagiarism or other violations of academic ethics. (It is important to note that, while the list below is comprehensive, it should not be considered exhaustive.)

There is a long – very long list, of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism. We will not include these details, at this time.  Pretty safe to say that most people who cheat know that they are cheating.

The policy goes on to state:

All cases of suspected Academic Integrity violations must be reported to the Department Head responsible for the course in which the alleged Academic Integrity violation took place. The Department Head must in turn inform the appropriate Dean of the suspected Academic Integrity violation. All allegations of an Academic Integrity violation will be investigated. Investigations of alleged incidents of Academic Integrity violations shall be under the control of the Faculty Dean with jurisdiction over the course in which the infraction occurred. The Dean will decide who will be delegated to carry out the investigation. The results of all such investigations are reviewed at a regular meeting of the Academic Integrity Council.

Academic Sanctions imposed upon students found guilty of an Academic Integrity violation will consist of one or more of:

Recorded Caution;

Reduction in mark for the work involved;

Reduction in mark of the course for which the work involved was submitted;

Suspension for a fixed period of time;

Annotation of Official Transcript and;

Expulsion.

When determining the appropriate Academic Sanction mitigating or aggravating circumstances may be considered.

***

Most of us would agree that students who take every opportunity to cheat must be punished severely.  At the same time, very significant sanctions must be in place to penalize first-time major offenders. Failure to do so would call into question the integrity of RMC.

One other important point should be mentioned. If other students are seeing that cheating is happening and nothing is being done, that is sending a really bad message to the clean students. Also, the penalties can act as a deterrent but not if the sanctions are too soft.

Returning to that e-mail which grabbed my attention on the subject, in the first place:

On behalf of the Interim Registrar / De la part du Secrétaire général intérimaire,

The Registrar informs you of the following findings of Academic Integrity Violations Notification and the sanctions applied.

Le Secrétaire général vous informe des infractions à l’intégrité universitaire suivants et des sanctions appliquées.

  1. Fifteen (15) students were found guilty of an Academic Integrity violation; each had collaborated with one or more students on a quiz that required each student to work independently.
  2. Fourteen (14) students received a zero (0) on the quiz. This was each student’s first academic integrity violation. The Academic Integrity violation for each student is now recorded as part of their permanent academic record
  3. One (1) student’s course mark was reduced to 50%. This was this student’s second academic integrity violation. The Academic Integrity violation for this student is now recorded as part of their permanent academic record.
  4. The Lessons Learned in this case were: 1) Repeated infractions of Academic Integrity violations will result in progressively harsher sanctions. 2) Students should read and follow all quiz/test/exam instructions, and if in doubt, seek clarification from your professor.

______version française______

  1. Quinze (15) étudiants ont étés reconnu coupable d’une infraction à l’intégrité universitaire.  Chacun ont collaborés avec un ou plusieurs étudiants dans le cadre d’un jeu-questionnaire nécessitant un travail indépendant.
  1. Quatorze (14) étudiants ont reçu une note de zéro (0) pour le jeu-questionnaire.  Ceci constituait leur première infraction à l’intégrité universitaire.   Le rapport de cette infraction à l’intégrité universitaire  fait maintenant partie de leur dossier scolaire en permanence.
  1. La note d’un (1) étudiant a été réduite à 50%.  Ceci était la deuxième infraction à l’intégrité universitaire de l’étudiant.  Le rapport de cette infraction à l’intégrité universitaire  fait maintenant partie de leur dossier scolaire en permanence.
  1. Les leçons apprises dans un tel cas sont les suivantes :  1) Les infractions répétées entraineront  des sanctions progressivement plus sévères. 2) Tous les étudiants devraient respecter toutes les instructions des jeu-questionnaires/tests/examens et, en cas de doute, demander des éclaircissements à votre professeur.

***

  1. Four (4) students were found guilty of an Academic Integrity violation; two (2) students had shared lab report information with two other students, who in turn plagiarized portions of their lab report.
  2. The two (2) students who shared their information each received a zero (0) on their lab report. The Academic Integrity violation for each student is now recorded as part of their permanent academic record.
  3. The two (2) students who plagiarized portions of their lab report each received a zero (0) on their lab report, and they must redo the lab report to the satisfaction of the professor or receive a zero (0) in the course. The Academic Integrity violation for each student is now recorded as part of their permanent academic record.
  4. The Lesson Learned in this case was that students should never ask for, nor receive solutions to assignment, test or exam problems.  Instead, students should ask how, in a generic sense, to solve the portions of a problem that they do not understand.

______version française______

  1. Quatre (4) étudiants ont étés reconnu coupable d’une infraction à l’intégrité universitaire. Deux (2) d’entre eux ont partagés le rapport d’un laboratoire avec les deux autres étudiants qui ont plagié des portions du rapport en question.
  1. Les deux (2) étudiants qui ont partagé leurs informations ont reçu une note de zéro (0) pour leur rapport du laboratoire.  Le rapport de cette infraction à l’intégrité universitaire  fait maintenant partie de leur dossier scolaire en permanence.
  1. Les deux (2) étudiants qui ont plagié des portions de leur rapport du laboratoire ont reçu une note de zéro (0) et doivent soumettre à nouveau leur rapport du laboratoire à la satisfaction du professeur ou recevoir une note de zéro (0) pour le cours.  Le rapport de cette infraction à l’intégrité universitaire  fait maintenant partie de leur dossier scolaire en permanence.
  1. La leçon apprise dans un tel cas en est que les étudiants ne devraient en aucun temps demander ou recevoir des solutions à un travail, test or questions d’examen.  Au lieu, les étudiants devraient demander, dans un sens générique, comment résoudre une portion de la solution demandée dont ils ignorent le tout et ils ne savent comment l’aborder.

***

  1. One (1) student was found guilty of an Academic Integrity violation; the student had attempted to use unauthorized information written on their hands during a mid-term exam.
  2. The student received a zero (0) on the mid-term exam quiz. The Academic Integrity violation for this student is now recorded as part of their permanent academic record.
  3.            The Lesson Learned in this case was that students should aspire to the principles of Academic Integrity, which always prohibits cheating.

______version française______

  1. Un (1) étudiant a été reconnu coupable d’une infraction à l’intégrité universitaire. Une tentative d’utilisation d’information non-autorisée sur la main de l’étudiant a été détectée lors de l’examen de mi- session.
  1. L’étudiant a reçu une note de zéro (0) pour l’examen en question.  Le rapport de cette infraction à l’intégrité universitaire fait maintenant partie de son dossier scolaire en permanence.
  1. La leçon apprise dans un tel cas en est que les étudiants devraient aspirer aux principes de l’intégrité universitaire qui interdit toujours la tricherie.

***

  1. One (1) student was found guilty of an Academic Integrity violation; the student had plagiarized course notes from a previous course for portions of their current assignment.
  2. The student received a zero (0) on the assignment, and must redo the assignment to the satisfaction of the instructor or receive a zero (0) in the course. The Academic Integrity violation for this student is now recorded as part of their permanent academic record.
  3.            The Lesson Learned in this case was that students should always cite all sources.

______version française______

  1. Un (1) étudiant a été reconnu coupable d’une infraction à l’intégrité universitaire. L’étudiant a plagié les notes de cours d’un cours suivi antérieurement pour des portions d’un travail actuel.
  1. L’étudiant a reçu une note de zéro (0) pour le travail en question et doit soumettre le travail à nouveau à la satisfaction du professeur ou recevoir une notre de zéro (0) pour le cours.  Le rapport de cette infraction à l’intégrité universitaire fait maintenant partie de son dossier scolaire en permanence.
  1. La leçon apprise dans un tel cas en est que les étudiants devraient toujours citez leurs sources tel que prescrit.

By the time, most read this article the final exams for the 2017/18 school year are under way.

We want to wish ALL students much success.

It is our hope that we do NOT receive an e-mail a few weeks from now with the title: Academic Integrity Violations Notification.

 

Readers who are interested in knowing more about the RMC policy they can find most of the answers – here

2 Comments

  • 10700 Graham Keene

    April 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I was quite shocked to not only read in this article of the alarming stats on cheating in civilian universities and to some assumed lesser degree at RMC (TDV and all), but more so of the RMC policy as it applies to Academic Integrity Violations (AKA cheating) having various levels of sanctions depending, I assume, on how serious the cheating is deemed. I struggle with the fact that in the highly exalted and high standard environment of culturing Canada’s future leaders, that any level of cheating would be tolerated with anything less than dismissal. It is my opinion that cheating is cheating and there is no half pregnant. Once you have consciously stepped over that narrow line of which everyone knows into the world of darkness you are there full on. I find it shocking that a policy exists that graduates dishonesty. I for one would not want to serve next to anyone that does not possess at least the most basic of virtues.
    As I final note, I would not be so concerned of what kind of message would be sent to the clean cadets…I would worry more about the message being sent to the ones that weren’t.
    TDV

  • 2944 John D. Reid

    April 23, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I completely agree with 10700 Graham Keene’s opinion. There is no such thing as “partly dishonest”, or likewise, “partly honest”. One is either an honest trustworthy person or not honest and trustworthy. And honesty also always translates directly to trustworthy action. An honest person can always be relied upon to “deliver”, or to say “no, I cannot”. A dishonest person will too often provide the answer they assume is desired, whether or not they in fact believe it or intend it. So it follows that only honest persons can lead reliably. And that in turn supports the expulsion of dishonest cadets. The degree of their dishonesty is not relevant.

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