For information on ways to encourage honesty and prevent misconduct in online courses, please see the University of Missouri System’s new resource page on academic integrity advice, including descriptions of available technologies.
You are visiting this page most likely because you suspect a student or students have engaged in academic dishonesty. We will provide some guidance on your next steps. Please also see below for helpful information regarding syllabi, ways to encourage honesty and prevent dishonesty, and other resources.
- Mandatory reporting
- Reporting suspected academic dishonesty to the Office of Academic Integrity within the Provost’s Office (using either an Option A or Option B Report Form) is obligatory according to our campus’ Faculty Handbook. It is important for the Office of Academic Integrity to keep a record of acts of dishonesty so that it knows whether a student is engaging in repeated misconduct in multiple courses.
- Division of responsibilities
- Our Faculty Handbook also states, “Instructors are solely responsible for assessing academic performance, and the provost is solely responsible for the application of disciplinary measures.” Academic dishonesty is, of course, relevant to the assessment of academic performance, and, as such, instructors may impose course-related penalties.
- Timeline policies
- Once an instructor suspects that a student has violated academic integrity standards, the instructor must notify the student within 10 calendar days that the suspected misconduct will be reported to the Office of Academic Integrity. The instructor then must submit either the Option A or B Report to the Office of Academic Integrity “as soon as possible after notifying the student, but in no case longer than 14 calendar days after notifying the student.” Article VI, Faculty Handbook.
- Choosing between Option A and Option B Violation Reports
- Option A provides an opportunity for the student to accept responsibility, and for the instructor and student to reach an agreement on a course-related sanction. If the instructor and student mutually agree on the accuracy of the violation report and the specific course-level sanction (e.g., reduction or zero grade on the project/paper, reduction in course grade, failing course grade, or assignment of additional work), then the Office of Academic Integrity will generally take no additional disciplinary action if this is the student’s first offense. If a student’s current violation represents the student’s second or greater instance(s) of academic dishonesty, the Office of the Provost may choose disciplinary sanctions in accordance with Collected Rules, Sections 200.010 and 200.020. Finally, an agreement is not necessary for an instructor to choose Option A. There is an opportunity on the form to indicate that the instructor and student do not agree on either the nature of the conduct or the in-course penalty.
Option B should be used for more egregious cases of dishonesty. The form states that instructors should use Option B “when in his/her assessment of the incident(s): the student’s act exceeds the lowest standards of academic honesty; is deemed an egregious act of poor judgment; may call into question the student’s commitment to honing his/her intellectual life; and whose behavior negatively reflects on the very core values of the University.” An instructor may impose course-related sanctions, as described above, even when submitting an Option B report.
Regardless of report chosen, the instructor must notify the student of the violation, in addition to “complet[ing] the academic integrity violation report, attach[ing] relevant materials, and forward[ing] this information to the Provost’s office.” Article VI, Faculty Handbook.
- Violation Report Forms
- Option A
- Submitting the Violation Report and Evidence
- You may submit all forms and evidence electronically to Cathie Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you prefer to submit hard copies instead, please bring them to Jesse Hall, Room 110.
- What happens next?
- As stated, if the instructor submits an Option A form on which the student acknowledges responsibility and accepts the course-related consequence, our office generally takes no additional disciplinary action. The Office of Academic Integrity keeps the record for purposes of tracking repeat offenders. If the instructor submits (1) an Option A form unsigned by the student, (2) an Option A form indicating no agreement between instructor and student, or (3) an Option B form, then the Office of Academic Integrity will conduct an independent investigation which includes interviewing the student. As per UM System Collected Rules, if the Office of Academic Integrity finds the student responsible for misconduct, it will generally propose a disciplinary sanction authorized by section 200.020 of those rules. The proposal will be binding if the student accepts. If the student does not agree with either the finding of responsibility or the proposed consequence, the student is entitled to a hearing before the Committee on Student Accountability and Support.
The Provost Office provides syllabus statements addressing academic dishonesty and intellectual pluralism.
There are practical ways to stress the importance of academic honesty and prevent dishonesty in the classroom. Show that you care about academic honesty and provide resources for your students to understand topics such as plagiarism and copyright law.
Here are some strategies to prevent cheating and plagiarizing in your course.
Do you suspect academic dishonesty in your classroom? There are methods to addressing possible dishonesty without being accusatory.
The tutor’s role is never to do students’ assignments for them, but to help students learn the concepts and methods needed to do their assignments themselves. With this principle in mind, we have developed some guidelines for tutors in different disciplines.
Several resources are available to help faculty understand Academic Integrity.