As a student, you must familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to exam support materials and the use of sources and citation. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating or attempted cheating. Cheating on examinations and plagiarism in written work means breaking the academic integrity. Academic integrity is about being clear in relation to what thoughts and reflections are their own and what are obtained from other people's work so that the work can be verified.
At UiT, cheating is regulated in section 20 in Regulations for examinations at UiT
Examples of actions which are counted as cheating or as an attempt to cheat are:
- to use unauthorised supports during the exam
- to present the work of other people as one's own work
- to cite sources or in other ways to use sources in one's written work without referencing those sources properly
- to submit an examination answer which has previously been submitted as an examination answer at the University of Tromsø or any other institution of higher education
- to engage in unauthorized communication with other students during the examination
- to act in conflict with the examination regulations or in any other unlawful way which may give one advantages at the exam.
Cheating and attempts to cheat during coursework requirements which involve some elements of assessment (by university staff) are regulated by the same rules as cheating at the exam.
We encourage all students to attend Kurs i informasjonskompetanse (courses in information competence), arranged at the start of each autumn semester.
For written portfolio assignments / homework examination, coursework and exam
Requirements for academic integrity apply to all written submissions, both home exam, portfolio submission and work requirements. When using other people's texts and ideas in their own assignment, you are required to refer to the source you have used. It concerns figures, codes, information, reasoning and arguments derived from literature, lecture notes, counseling, other student's answers, own previously delivered answers or web pages. The source should be visualized in the literature list and in the text with the name of the author, title and page number.
If quotes or longer text blocks are quoted verbatim from other sources, this should be highlighted to make it clear that it is a quote. Failure to refer to sources or highlight quotes are considered plagiarism, ie cheating.
Note that UiT uses different software (Urkund or Ephorus) to uncover plagiarism of submitted responses. These programs can check the answer to the internet, different text databases and other submitted assignments.
Collaboration on individual submission
We encourage collaboration between students. It is permitted to discuss the assignment orally with others; both students and other people. However, co-operation between individuals on portfolio assignments / homework examinations, assignments, etc., which leads to textual similarity in the submitted report and / or code, or which gives one or several candidates wrongful benefits in the exam situation, is considered cheating.
Use of references
Please use different sources of inspiration, literature, code, figures, assignments and other types of references as long as they are cited and referenced correctly. But the submitted product should be essentially done by the student. The student's own academic contribution is what is to be considered for the exam, so a high proportion of use of other sources weakens the ability of the candidate to show his / her own competence and thus achieve a good grade.
Highlightning of quote and references
The different disciplines / disciplines can have their own ways of highlightning quotes and references (indentation, quotation marks, reference to source - author, title, year, page number, publisher). If you have any doubts about how to do that, ask the teacher for the course you are taking.
At school exam
The examination paper states whether it is permitted to use exam support materials, and which exam support materials are allowed. It is not allowed to use any support materials other than this (such as cheat sheet, mobile phones, books, illegal notes in permitted laws, calculators, etc.). It may also be considered cheating to have access to illegal support materials even if they are not used.
All communication between candidates in the exam room is prohibited. It is also not permitted to contact other candidates or other persons during toilet visits / air tours.
NB! For school exams where it is not permitted to use exam support materials, there is no need for full reference.
Students and sensors, other employees and external persons may report suspicions of cheating to the study advisor at the relevant study programme (department) or to the study section at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology, which will investigate the matter further.
If student (s) are suspected of cheating, either before, during or after the exam, this will be investigated further. If it is decided to raise disciplinary proceedings to the University's Appeals Board, the student (s) will be confronted with the suspicion and will be given an opportunity to comment on the matter. In some cases extra time may be required for censorship if suspected cheating occurs.
Why Do Students Cheat?
Posted by Derek Bruff on Monday, February 28, 2011 in News.
by Derek Bruff, CFT Assistant Director
In preparing for this afternoon’s conversation on teaching, “Beyond the Quotation Marks: Preventing Plagiarism and Teaching about Academic Discourse,” I’ve run across a few resources that explore the question, “Why do student cheat?” Here are some possible answers to this question drawn from these resources…
1. It’s not cheating if technology is involved. Jeff Young’s March 2010 Chronicle of Higher Educationarticle mentions the work of materials engineering professor Trevor Harding at Cal State-San Luis Obispo:
In surveys, he asked students if they viewed bringing a cheat sheet to an exam as cheating. Most did. Then he asked the same students whether they would consider it cheating to bring a graphing calculator with equations secretly stored on it. Many said no, that wasn’t cheating.
Harding argues that when there is some form of technology involved, students become “detached” from the notion that their actions are cheating. Perhaps storing equations in a graphing calculator is more like using one’s resources wisely than like cheating for some students? I’ve heard students argue that out in the “real world,” they’ll have ready access to equations and formulas, so why should they be prevented from accessing them during exams?
2. It’s not cheating if the assignment isn’t meaningful. Jeff Young’s article also quotes a student at New England College who indicates that some students don’t worry about cheating on homework.
“The feeling about homework is that it’s really just busywork. You just call your friend and say, ‘Hey, do you know the answer?'”
If students don’t feel that they are going to learn anything from a “busywork” assignment, perhaps they don’t feel as bad about copying a peer’s answers? If so, does this argue for giving students different kinds of out-of-class assignments? Or at least trying to convince them of the value to their learning of our current assignments?
3. They’re pressed for time. A January 2011 article in the student newspaper of Northwestern University includes quotes from students who indicate that cheating can occur when students are pressed for time. Here’s one student:
“It seemed like it was the end of the world, and there was no way I was going to get the paper done,” she said. “It was already two in the morning. It seemed like the only option.”
“If it’s due in half an hour, I know I don’t have time to do it, so I’ll find somebody who’s better with words,” said a Weinberg sophomore, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “I really don’t feel bad. I don’t feel like I’m hurting anyone.”
Vanderbilt student Katie Des Prez also pointed to this idea in her Vanderbilt Hustler opinion column last December:
Mostly, though, cheating is not a result of students’ diabolical plans to sneak past their professors. Often cheating comes from a student who feels overwhelmed, underprepared and generally pressured to succeed.
At his talk last week, Richard Arum, co-author of Academically Adrift, noted a steep decline in the number of hours students spend studying outside of class in the last few decades. (Listen to our new podcast interview with Arum for more on his findings.) Are students spending less time studying because they’re cutting corners by plagiarizing? Or are students so busy with non-academic matters (friends, family, extra-curricular activities, jobs) that they don’t have time to writer their papers?
4. Today’s students have a different set of values they bring to the classroom. In an August 2010 New York Timesarticle, Trip Gabriel raises the idea that students living in today’s digital culture don’t approach concepts like intellectual property and authorship in the same way that faculty do. Gabriel quotes Rutgers University student Sarah Brookover:
“This generation has always existed in a world where media and intellectual property don’t have the same gravity,” said Ms. Brookover, who at 31 is older than most undergraduates. “When you’re sitting at your computer, it’s the same machine you’ve downloaded music with, possibly illegally, the same machine you streamed videos for free that showed on HBO last night.”
Gabriel also points to a “mash-up culture” in which a creative work is judged on how well it blends together other work (without necessarily citing that other work), creating notions of authorship and originality very different from the traditional Western views on these ideas.
For example, consider the latest “album” from the DJ known as Girl Talk, All Day. It consists entire of samples of other artists’ music–372 samples in all. Benjamin Rahn has created a nice visualization of the album and its samples that gives a sense of the scope of this project, and NPR’s On the Media featured an interview with Girl Talk in March 2010. What can we learn about how students view plagiarism from the popularity of Girl Talk’s work?
While today’s conversation on teaching will focus on ways that instructors can prevent plagiarism and teach about academic writing, I’m sure that some of these ideas about why students cheat will come up in the discussion. Hope you can join us! And for more on this topic, see our updated teaching guide on cheating and plagiarism.
Image: “A Not-So-Subtle Cheating Technique,” Jared Stein, Flickr (CC)