Oregon State University describes integrity – one of its core values – as a commitment to responsible, accountable and ethical behavior. To support this core value as well as the OSU's broader mission, the Code of Student Conduct prohibits behavior that may compromise the integrity of the educational process. Such behaviors include any action that misrepresents a student or group’s work, knowledge, or achievement, provides a potential or actual inequitable advantage, or compromises the integrity of the educational process.
Unauthorized assistance, or access to or use of unauthorized materials, information, tools, or study aids. Examples include, but are not limited to, unauthorized collaboration or copying on a test or assignment, using prohibited materials and texts, unapproved use of cell phones, internet, or other electronic devices, etc.
Representing the words or ideas of another person or presenting someone else's words, data, expressed ideas, or artistry as one's own. Examples include, but are not limited to, presenting someone else's opinions and theories as one's own, using another person's work or words (including unpublished material) without appropriate source documentation or citation, working jointly on a project and then submitting it as one's own, etc.
Fabrication or invention of any information. Examples include, but are not limited to, falsifying research, inventing or falsely altering data, citing fictitious references, falsely recording or reporting attendance, hours, or engagement in activities such as internships, externship, field experiences, clinical activities, etc.
Any action that helps another engage in academic misconduct. Examples include, but are not limited to, providing materials or assistance without approval, altering someone's work, grades or academic records, taking a test/doing an assignment for someone else, compelling acquisition, selling, bribing, paying or accepting payment for academic work or assistance that contributes to academic misconduct, etc.
Interfering with an instructor’s evaluation of work by altering materials or documents, tampering with evaluation tools, or other means of interfering.
Using or submitting work completed for another or previous class or requirement, without appropriate disclosure, citation, and instructor approval.
Recording and/or dissemination of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), or an approved accommodation coordinated via Disability Access Services.
Academic misconduct is addressed according to the procedures laid out in the Code of Student Conduct. If a faculty member suspects academic misconduct, they can fill out an Academic Misconduct Report. The report will then be sent to a designated College Hearing Officer for review and further action. Per Academic Regulation 15 (AR 15), instructors will consult with their unit head prior to submitting an academic misconduct report. Faculty are also welcome to contact the involved student(s) and their College Hearing Officer to gather additional information prior to submitting their report. If the matter can be resolved without an academic sanction, no report is necessary.
While faculty can recommend an academic sanction in their report (e.g., penalty on the assignment, penalty in the course), the final determination of responsibility and applicable sanctions is made by the College Hearing Officer.
Faculty, students, and staff can each play a role in minimizing the prevalence of academic misconduct at OSU. Below are some strategies faculty can implement to minimize academic misconduct in their classrooms.
Set Clear Expectations
While OSU’s minimum syllabus requirements require faculty to link to the Student Conduct and Community Standards website, taking the time in your syllabus to outline the values and standards for academic integrity in your course can help students avoid misconduct.
Provide Tailored Examples
Specific examples of encouraged or prohibited behavior can further clarify your expectations. For example, group work and collaboration may be welcome in some classes but not others. Clarifying what can be shared, discussed, and submitted can be helpful to reduce students’ reliance on assumptions about acceptable behavior.
Consider Students' Cultural Contexts
Oregon State University is an international campus, and some students may be coming from cultural contexts with different expectations related to attribution, collaboration, and excellence. Clarifying expectations at the beginning of the term can help to ensure all students are aware of what is appropriate in the context of your classroom.
Assess learning through more frequent, lower-stakes assignments
Pressure from higher-stakes assignments can cause students to prioritize “right answers” over learning. Rather than one or two large exams per term, faculty members can introduce regular quizzes to evaluate student learning, provide feedback, and maintain students’ accountability for engagement with materials. Large papers or research assignments can require drafts or annotated bibliographies submitted in advance to ensure students are managing their time or addressing citation issues that could otherwise cause concern.
If a large assignment is most appropriate for your course, consider formats that would permit and open-book format or multiple attempts. For example, Canvas allows for students to attempt quizzes more than once, and you can even require a minimum score to advance through the course. Alternate quiz questions can be introduced on subsequent attempts.
Inform students when software will be used to detect plagiarism
Preventing academic misconduct involves informing students not just of our values related to academic integrity, but also of how misconduct is identified and evaluated. Informing students of the tools or methods used to detect academic misconduct (e.g., MOSS, TurnItIn) can prompt them to recognize that attempted misconduct may not be worth it.
Vary assignments and connect to students' interests
Rather than assign the same assignment to all students (or term after term) modifying your assignment prompts can reduce the odds that previously submitted works will be retrievable or relevant in the future. Allowing students to choose from different assignment topics (or to identify their own topics) can also increase interest and connection with course content, adding motivation for them to invest the energy needed to carry out their own work.
The student conduct process at OSU exists to protect the interests of the community and to challenge behavior that is not in accordance with our policies. Students found responsible in a student conduct process for violations of the Code are subject to sanctions. Sanctions are proportionate to the severity of the violation and to the cumulative conduct history of the student. Assigned sanctions provide an opportunity for students to reflect critically on their choices and behavior, to demonstrate learning, and, when appropriate, to make reparation for any harm that was caused. If a student is unable to tailor their behavior to community expectations or has exhibited sufficiently severe misconduct, the student conduct process may determine that the student should no longer share in the privilege of participating in this community.
Generally, for first-time, non-egregious violations, sanctions will include an educational sanction and an academic penalty. The academic penalty can range from a reduction of assignment or exam points up to an F on the assignment or exam. For more severe or repeated violations, the full range of sanctioning can include a grade penalty up to an “F” for the course, a restriction and reversal of grade replacement or withdrawal options regarding the academic transcript and registrar’s records, removal of the student’s enrollment in a college or program, or suspension from the University.
The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards provides in person presentations or workshops for OSU community members on topics related the Code of Student Conduct, Academic Misconduct Process, Hazing Prevention, and Managing Disruptive Students in the Classroom, Decision Making Workshop, Socializing Workshop. SCCS provides information, guidance and support and works collaboratively with the OSU community to maintain behavior expectations for students through programming and educationally focused interventions. We are happy to accommodate a request for a customized presentation. Please use our Presentation Request Form to let us know what you are looking for!