Online Learning Questions
6. I’m concerned that having classes and exams online will cause more of my classmates to cheat, and that I’ll be disadvantaged for working honestly and independently. How worried should I be about this?
7. My instructor doesn't record lectures and doesn't upload slides to Blackboard. Could I be reported for violating the honesty policy if I record parts of their lectures, or if I take screenshots of their slides, without asking permission first?
8. My instructor uploads their recorded lectures and/or lecture slides to Blackboard. Could I be reported for violating the honesty policy if I quote or borrow from their material without fully attributing or citing it?
2. No. The academic honesty policy prohibits any recording of lectures or other class or laboratory activities without the permission of the instructor. The policy also restricts which course materials you may share and the circumstances under which sharing is permitted. You may only share course materials (meaning materials created or provided to students by an instructor or TA) on an individual basis for educational purposes (e.g. with another student in the course when working on a group assignment or with a tutor), and only when the instructor hasn't explicitly prohibited that sharing.
You may never share any material for the purpose of giving or gaining unfair advantage. For instance, sharing an answer key provided to you in one semester with students who are taking the same course in a later semester violates the academic honesty policy. Finally, distributing or publishing course material (e.g. posting any material to a website or on social media) for any purpose without the permission of the instructor is prohibited.
3. No. If your instructor has chosen to verify student identities prior to starting a test, refusing to show an official photo ID (such as your university ID, driver’s license, or passport) means you could be reported for dishonesty after the test. You could also be reported for non-compliance with reasonable requests from a University official (see number 13 in AS&E Standards of Student Conduct). This ID requirement applies to any proctored quiz, test, or exam held in person or remotely (e.g., through Zoom).
4. Possibly. If someone ever sends you answers to an assignment or exam, you should you should not consult or use them and you should alert your instructor to what happened and contact the honesty liaison to discuss the incident. Giving and receiving unauthorized assistance both count as violations of the honesty policy. Since this student’s actions will make it difficult for your instructor to determine with certainty that you neither gave nor received assistance, your classmate’s actions could lead to you being suspected of dishonesty.
You should also consider establishing your own written expectations for working or studying in groups. That way if you decide to prepare for an exam with classmates (often generally encouraged), everyone you study with will know and can follow these rules.
5. No. Depending on how a suspected violation of the policy is reported and resolved, you may still be permitted to drop or declare S/F in a course. But you won't be permitted to do so in a way that causes you to avoid penalty if you are found responsible for violating the policy. Specifically, if an incident in a course is resolved through a Warning Letter, or the incident is reported for board resolution and the board finds you not responsible for any violation of the policy, you will still be permitted to drop, withdraw from or declare an S/F in the course.
On the other hand, if you are found responsible for a violation of the policy in a course via a Board Resolution or an Instructor Resolution with Penalty, you will not be permitted to drop, withdraw or declare S/F in that course. All of this applies whether the course connected with the incident was offered online or in-person.
6. Less worried than you think. While this concern is understandable, we have not seen any solid evidence from this University or others supporting the idea that students are inherently likelier to be dishonest taking classes and exams online. In AS&E, instructors continue to take active measures to detect and report dishonesty and the Board of Academic Honesty continues to take all reports of possible policy violation very seriously.
Although not formally required to do so, you are encouraged to report any suspected dishonesty you learn about to an advisor you trust, to the honesty liaison (firstname.lastname@example.org), or to the chair of the board (email@example.com). You could also file an academic honesty concern report.
NOTE: Please be aware of the implications for privacy and confidentiality associated with each of these reporting channels. For instance, while the liaison does not mention anything you share with the board, the board chair may need to reveal certain details (including your name, possibly) in order to investigate or follow up on what you have reported.
7. Yes. If you do not obtain permission first (ideally in writing), recording or taking screenshots of lecture slides could be considered unauthorized recording or distribution of class materials. If your instructors find out, it’s possible you could be reported for violating the honesty policy.
As students, it is your responsibility to verify each instructor’s expectations regarding whether they allow you to record lectures or take screenshots of any materials (like lecture slides). Please, do not assume it is safe to do so unless you have asked first!
8. Yes. It is always safest to fully cite everything that isn’t your own idea, including course materials such as documents, discussion notes, or lecture recordings. Unless your instructors state in writing that these materials count as common knowledge and do not require citation, signaling that you have used these materials (and following APA, MLA, or some other style guide to cite if that is what your instructors except) will be the best place to start.
9. Yes. Unless your exam is open note and your instructor has specified that in writing, the safest thing to do is assume that having any notes open or available during the time of the exam is a violation of your instructor’s expectations as well as the academic honesty policy.
Instead of keeping notes accessible, you should give yourself plenty of time to study them before the exam. One method is to use your notes to write potential exam questions and study by attempting to answer them without notes, checking afterward to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
You can also contact the Learning Centerfor more ideas and support about preparing effectively for classes and exams.
10. No. Especially if you are taking classes in a STEM field or a discipline that uses any kind of quantitative or formal reasoning, your instructors have almost certainly listed Chegg as an unauthorized source. While Chegg, Slader, and similar websites advertise themselves as ‘homework help,’ they are often tools used to find and copy work done by others.
Copying does nothing to represent your individual contributions to learning, and it goes against the spirit and the letter of academic honesty.
In general, open note exams allow you to use your own notes and the work you’ve done--they are not an invitation to use any and all sources, especially sources that are notorious for encouraging copying. You should check with TAs or with instructors well in advance to find out what they consider authorized versus unauthorized sources.
11. Be careful—it depends. As of spring 2023, there is no AS&E-wide policy about the use of ChatGPT or similar AI tools, but this does not mean use of these tools is without risk. Each instructor will have different expectations according to the learning outcomes of their class, and it will be important for you to verify ahead of time (before turning something in that uses GPT, DALL-E, or similar) what these expectations are.
Even when an instructor permits you to use ChatGPT or similar AI tools, it's always safest to treat their output as content developed by a third party—in which case, you need to cite. Again, your instructors should tell you if they have different expectations (and in case they do not tell you, you need to ask!).
Finally, please keep in mind there are significant privacy and security concerns to using ChatGPT or any other AI tool that has not been vetted through proper University information technology channels.
12. Almost certainly. Studying together is not the same as taking an exam together. Unless your instructor has specified (in writing) that collaboration is expected or permitted on the exam, assume that all work for an exam must be done independently and that calling a friend to work through exam questions is a violation of the honesty policy.
13. Yes. You can always approach your instructors directly to request more information about how they are following academic honesty guidelines before, during, and after exams. They might be doing more than you are aware.
If you are uncomfortable approaching instructors or would like more support, you can also reach out to the academic honesty liaison or to the chair of the Board on Academic Honesty for guidance on how to proceed. You can also file an academic honesty concern report, which the chair of the board will review.