Handling Cheating Guide

Review CNM’s Academic Dishonesty Policy. Here are some suggestions to help you implement this policy.

  1. Take incidents of cheating seriously and deal with them promptly.
  2. After witnessing a cheating incident, discussing it with the offending student, and considering the student’s response, you may impose an immediate sanction up to an “F” or a “0” for the assignment, or you may impose a sanction at a later time.
  3. Other sanction options that may be considered by the instructor include verbal admonition, immediate collection of paper, re-take of the exam or assignment, extra assignments, grade deduction, and others.
  4. For purposes of consistency and appropriateness of sanctions within your program, you may wish to consult with other departmental faculty members, directors, or deans/associate deans. When consulting with colleagues, maintain confidentiality at all times; that is, do not use the student’s name.
  5. In sanctioning students, it may be important to distinguish among dishonesty born of ignorance (unwitting plagiarism, negligent omissions, etc.), opportunistic cheating (wandering eyes and the like) and premeditated, planned cheating or plagiarism (preparation of cheat sheets, securing test copies beforehand, downloading prepared papers from the Internet, etc).
  6. Retain any evidence of infractions. The standard for initiating a charge of academic dishonesty is not proof beyond doubt but a preponderance of the available evidence.
  7. Fill out and submit to the Dean of Students an Incident Report Form for every incident of academic dishonesty, even if the student has dropped the course after your initial contact or even if you decide not to impose a sanction for the particular incident. 
  8. Incident Report Forms are available from your Department offices, the Dean of Students, the Dean of Students website, and the Faculty Senate website.
  9. Prevention is better than punishment, so it is worthwhile to take time to separate students on tests, explain what is acceptable and unacceptable on tests and assignments, and so on. Nevertheless, certain prohibitions (e.g., against using a textbook or a “cheat sheet” during an exam) are reasonable academic expectations for any such graded activity and need not be specifically stated in order to be sanctioned.
  10. Include a policy statement about academic dishonesty in each course syllabus and explain it to your classes early in the term. An example of such a statement might read:

    “Students in this course and in all college classes are expected to complete their course work in accordance with a high level of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty on the part of a student, such as cheating on a test or aiding other students’ cheating, plagiarism, falsification, fabrication, unauthorized collaboration, or submitting a piece of work from another course for credit, will be subject to academic sanctions. For more detailed information about academic dishonesty and how such incidents will be handled by your instructors and by the Institute, read the Codes & Policies section of the CNM Catalog.”
  11. For more information or questions about this policy, contact the Dean of Students. Also, if you believe a harsher sanction than an “F” or “0” for the assignment is warranted, such as an F in the course, the Dean of Students must be consulted before such a sanction can be imposed.