Common Types of Academic Misconduct

You will find definitions or descriptions of many types of academic offenses in the university Calendar, under sections 6.12.4 UG and 4.12.4 G. These include:

Academic Misconduct Outcomes

The end result of academic misconduct could be an academic penalty or have a personal impact, or both.

Academic Outcomes

Several academic outcomes are possible to situations wherein academic misconduct occurs. Cases may be dealt with at the course or academic unit, or more formally at the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SCUgS).

Minor offences may be resolved at the course level, between the accuser and student(s). Here a choice of resubmission, reprimand or reduction of grade may be applied.

When not possible or either party is not satisfied with outcome, a unit level attempt is made. In some circumstances, the unit may refer the case to the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Studies (SCUgS). Students will receive a reprimand, have to complete specific modules of INTG 1000 and a written reflective evaluation and be penalized. The penalties may take the form of a resubmission, a reduction of grade, rescinding of scholarships, bursaries or other awards, probation, suspension, expulsion, or rescinding of degree.

A penalty, or penalties, may be noted on the student’s transcript. These notations include: reduction of grade, probation, suspension, expulsion, or rescinding of degree.

Personal Impact

The impact of academic misconduct is farther reaching than the context in which it occurred. It can lead to loss of reputation and employability, unflattering references, monetary losses, and in extreme cases, harm to persons.

Why Do Students Not Abide by Academic Integrity?

There are studies reporting on the methods students employ to cheat (e.g., Ariasian, 2001; Garavalia, Olson, Russell & Christensen, 2007). Jones (2011) summarizes these noting that students will act dishonestly for the following reasons;

  1. want or need to get better grades;
  2. procrastination;
  3. too busy, not enough time to complete assignment or study for test [non-academic pressures];
  4. lack of understanding or unable to comprehend information;
  5. no interest in the subject or assignment;
  6. workload/schedule: too many classes;
  7. everyone does it and gets away with it;
  8. no big deal; does not matter to Professor [attitude, non-engaged]; and
  9. peer pressure.

Eaton (2022) divided the motivations into two types: individual and environmental factors:

Individual Factors include

  • lack of understanding,
  • low skills, and
  • self-esteem.

Environmental Factors include

  • bell curve grading,
  • belief that peers cheat, and
  • need for use of instructional approach to academic integrity.