Sections on this page:
- What happens if I suspect a student of an academic offence?
- When should I send a case to the Academic Integrity Office?
- What supporting documentation or evidence is required?
- Exam Offences
- What happens if a case is not resolved by the Academic Integrity Office?
- Are there cases that do not go through the academic departments?
- How can I deter academic offences in my course?
Step 1: Submit a grade of GWR (grade withheld pending the review of an alleged academic offence) with the class grades and/or as an amendment through eMarks and request the department Chair to approve as soon as possible. The GWR will prevent the student from dropping the course. If the suspected offence has occurred at the end of the term and final course grades are due before you have a chance to meet with the student, submit a grade of GWR for the student and send out an invitation to the student to meet with you.
Step 2: Compile all the information that is relevant to the matter, including but not limited to:
- the student’s piece of work in question
- any sources of plagiarism or copying (Ouriginal report, online sources, other students’ work, etc.)
- original assignment, exam or test with instructions and/or cover sheets
- answer keys and/or grading rubrics
- course syllabus and other information containing directions
- course grades for the student to that point
- a record of all Quercus or email communication with student related to the academic integrity matter
For further details on evidence, refer to the Guide on the Faculty-Student Checklist page.
Step 3: Invite student to a meeting to discuss the situation, as per C.I.(A)2-5 under the Code. Refer to the Faculty-Student Checklist for helpful tips. The meeting can be via phone, video chat or email conversation. At the meeting, discuss concerns about the piece of work and how to avoid this in future. Show student their work where possible. If this meeting clarifies the matter, you do not need to forward the case to the department Chair or to the Academic Integrity Office.
If it is determined that an offence was committed, inform the student that the case is being reported to the Chair and the Academic Integrity Office (if applicable). Ensure they know that they may not drop the course until the academic integrity matter is resolved and the GWR is removed. If they do drop the course, they will be reinstated by the Registrar's Office. They also may not CR/ NCR the course. While their case is pending, the student should continue working on all their course work. The Chair of the department or the Academic Integrity Office will contact the student via email with next steps.
Note: Instructors are not empowered to sanction students under the Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters. Only the Chair or the Divisional Level (Academic Integrity Office) or above (The Vice-Provost's Office) may.
Step 4: Complete and submit the Coursework Offences Allegation Form with as much detail as possible along with supporting evidence and documentation to the Chair. Please also include the following information:
- all course grades for the student to that point
- a record of all Quercus or email communication with the student to discuss the matter
- a copy of the course syllabus
Once the case is sent to the Chair, continue to mark the student’s other coursework, including the piece of work in question. If the course is ongoing, continue to mark all of the student’s course work and provide the marks when requested by the Academic Integrity Office. Once the Chair reviews and signs off on the case, the department administrator will submit the case and all relevant evidence and supporting documentation via the Office of Academic Integrity SharePoint.
Step 6: Once the matter is resolved by the Academic Integrity Office, the instructor and department Chair will be informed via email and asked to update the marks to reflect the Office's decision.
If the assignment in question is worth 10% or less and it is the student's first offence, then the matter can be resolved by the academic department (ie. department Chair).
If the assignment in question is worth less than 10% and the student has a prior offence, or does not respond to requests to meet with the professor, the case should be sent to the Academic Integrity Office. To check for prior offences, ask your department administrator to contact the Academic Integrity Office
If the assignment in question is worth more than 10%, it should be sent to the Academic Integrity Office.
The following documentation is required with every allegation submitted:
- Offence Allegation form with a detailed description of the allegation
- Course syllabus
- Assignment instructions
- Student's submitted assignment in question
- Student's grades in course
- A detailed description of allegation
- Any other supporting evidence (refer to the Faculty Guide on Supporting Documentation for more guidance)
Please note that it is the instructor and/or department’s responsibility to provide all supporting documentation to the Academic Integrity Office.
Once you have sent the allegation form along with supporting documents to the Chair for review, submit a grade of GWR for the student on eMarks. GWR stands for Grade Withheld Pending the Review of an Alleged Academic Offence.
If the suspected offence occurred at the end of the term and final course grades are due before you have a chance to meet with the student, submit a grade of GWR for the student and send out an invitation to the student to meet with you.
When the case is resolved and a sanction is imposed, you will receive a letter specifying the sanction or resolution from the Academic Integrity Office. Please amend or restore the student’s grade via eMarks within 30 days of receiving this letter via email. You may also need to coordinate with the Chair or Chair’s assistant to ensure the grade change is approved. If you have any questions about this process, check with your department administrator.
*Please note that all students have the right to finish their exam.
When it is suspected that the student was using an unauthorized aid (cell phone or other electronic device) during the quiz/test/exam, the person invigilating the assessment should confiscate the item and inform the student this will need to be reported, and allow them to finish the exam. Complete the Exam Unauthorized Device Form and the Exam Incident Report Form. Ensure the device that was confiscated is returned to the student after the exam and the student signs the Exam Unauthorized Device Form.
When it is suspected that the student is committing an academic offense (other than using an unauthorized aid) during a quiz/test/exam, the person invigilating the assessment only needs to complete the Exam Incident Report Form. Let the student know that the incident will be reported to the Instructor and the Academic Integrity Office.
If a cheat sheet or writing on body parts is involved:
- Confiscate paper cheat sheets.
- Make a note of what is written on body parts, calculators, cheat sheets, etc. If you have a cell phone with a camera, take a picture of the writing or aid that was found during the exam.
- Complete the Exam Incident Report.
Submit completed Exam Incident Report Form and/or the Exam Unauthorized Device Form to the course Instructor along with any supporting evidence gathered. The instructor will complete the Coursework Offences Allegation Form and submit all forms, supporting documentation, and additional materials (copy of exam, exam instructions, course syllabus etc.) to the Chair for approval and then to the Academic Integrity Office via the AI Sharepoint website.
Cases may be sent to the Vice Provost’s office for resolution, typically in instances when:
- The alleged offence in question is of a more serious nature (i.e. forgery)
- The student has been unresponsive to Academic Integrity’s meeting invitations and all other communication
In some situations, you may be notified via email by the Office of Governing Council that the case has been scheduled for a tribunal hearing. You may be contacted separately by the Vice Provost’s lawyers (Paliare Roland) to confirm information reported on the case, or additional questions about course material.
Some cases at the Vice Provost’s level may be resolved via Minutes of Settlement. When this occurs, the Academic Integrity Office will contact you via email to amend the student’s final grade based on an outlined sanction.
Finally, in some instances, the Vice Provost may choose not to lay charges on the student and the case may be dismissed. The Academic Integrity Office will notify you via email to restore a student’s mark if this is the outcome.
Yes! These cases would involve:
- Forgery offences (Registrar’s or Petitions Office)
- Offences in exam irregularities in deferred exams
- Offences in exams supervised by AccessAbility Services.
Students are responsible for the decisions they make. However, clarifying grey areas is always helpful for students. Clear, specific statements in syllabi, assignment and exam instructions, and class slides about what is and is not allowed in coursework are important. The Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (U of T Scarborough) have many supports and resources for instructors that can help deter future offences.