The information contained on this site is intended to serve as a resource to faculty on matters related to academic integrity. If you believe that a student has committed academic misconduct, please review the Academic Conduct Code, and, if appropriate, complete the Academic Misconduct Reporting Form.
Recent Cases at Questrom
Scroll through some recent examples of academic misconduct at Questrom. Outcomes are those recommended by the Academic Conduct Committee, and may differ from what was actually implemented.
March 2016 - Plagiarism
Offense: Plagiarism on a direct study paper; copying from sources with no quotations or citations.
Sanction: F grade on the paper; probation for three semesters or until student graduates.
October 2015 - Cheating during Exam
Offense: Communicating with other students during an exam.
Sanction: One semester of disciplinary action; F grade in the course.
May 2015 - Non-Questrom Student Cheating on an Exam
Offense: Collaborating with another student on an exam.
Sanction: One semester suspension; recommendation to assign an F grade in the course.
April 2015 - Cheating on an Exam
Offense: Student collaborated with five other students on an individual take-home exam and answered a particularly obvious question along with the other students.
Sanction: Student was suspended for one module.
January 2015 - Non-Questrom Student Hiring an Exam Impersonator
Offense: Student A hired Student B from CraigsList to take an exam because Student A was suffering from an illness.
Sanction: Committee recommended that the student be expelled.
November 2014 - Non-Questrom Student Copying Others’ Work
Offense: Collaborated with students on an individual paper and copied other students’ work.
Sanction: Recommendation to give an F on the assignment.
May 2014 - Cheating on an Exam
There were three similar instances of cheating during the same exam. All three students were found guilty and received the same punishment.
Offense: Student brought multiple note sheets to an exam when only allowed to bring one. Student claimed sheets were identical, so professor confiscated one. After looking over both sheets, professor noticed that the front of both sheets were the same but the backs were different.
Sanction: Two semesters probation; recommendation to give the student an F grade in the course.
March 2013 - Cheating on a Paper
Offense: Student made changes to their paper after it was submitted, but before the professor corrected it. Student had help making the changes to the paper, which was not allowed by the professor.
Sanction: One semester suspension
Questrom Faculty Resources
Below, you’ll find a variety of faculty resources relating to Academic Integrity.
Academic Conduct Code
Admission of Academic Misconduct Form
Exam Protocol Best Practices
Exam Protocol Best Practices for Faculty – This document provides tips for faculty for both before and during the exam.
Exam Protocols for Students – These are general exam-taking guidelines for students. Feel free to share these with your students.
Example Instructor Sheet for exam day – This document provides exam-day tips for faculty. Feel free to adapt to fit your own needs.
Sample Exam Cover Page – Providing a cover page with the Academic Conduct Code is a great way to remind students of the code. Here’s an example of what that might look like.
NCAA Academic Fraud Guidelines
Interested in what the NCAA defines as Academic Fraud? Click here to access the part of the NCAA Guidelines focused on Academic Eligibility.
Using Questrom Tools
Technology can help to reduce cheating, too! Here are a couple of options available in Questrom Tools to help reduce academic misconduct.
This is a plagiarism detector that can be sued in conjunction with Questrom Tools’ Assignments feature. With Turnitin, when students upload assignments, those assignments are run through Turnitin’s database of papers, books, articles, online sources, etc., to check for originality. The instructor will receive an ‘Originality Report’ for each student paper. The report highlights areas of the assignment that may be copied from other sources, and identifies those sources. This is a nice way to quickly check a student’s paper for plagiarism. Keep in mind, though, that every paper run through the Turnitin database will become part of the database (you can opt out of adding your students’ papers to the database, but the default is that each paper will be added). Click here for more on how to use Turnitin.
Tests & Quizzes
Use the Tests & QUizzes feature in Questrom Tools to create multiple version of your online test. Tests & Quizzes allows you to randomly pick questions for your test from a question bank, randomize the order of the questions in your test, and to randomize the answer options for multiple choice tests. No two tests are the same! For best results, we recommend slightly staggering the start times for students – this prevents everyone from trying to access the wireless network at the same time, which can result in delays and slow connections. Click here for more on using Tests & Quizzes.
And one way ITS CANNOT help – turning off the wireless
We often get asked if there’s a way for ITS to turn off the wireless for a room so that students can take a test on their computer without accessing the internet. The answer is no. There is no way to shut off the wireless. Shutting off the wireless causes a public safety issue as BU Alerts uses the wireless network to send emergency alerts. If the wireless were shut off anywhere on campus. people would not receive alerts in the case of an emergency, resulting in a public safety issue. This is exacerbated by the fact that we have multiple, overlapping networks here at Questrom. If one network is turned off (in a classroom, for example), you would still be able to access the internet through an overlapping network (from the classroom next door). Thus, to completely turn off the wireless for even a single room would necessitate turning off the wireless for the whole building – putting our entire community at a safety risk. BU IS&T controls the wireless, and they will not turn off wireless access to any part of campus for this reason.
Using a Proctor
Did you know you can request proctors for your exam? Having extra proctors can be especially helpful in large classes, but is a good idea for any exam where space is too tight to have students sit in every other seat. Click here to request a proctor, and be sure to watch the video below about best practices for proctoring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Check out our FAQ here. Have a question of your own? Let us know!
Q: I’m not sure how to communicate with my students about cheating. I have a statement on my syllabus that cheating is a violation of the Conduct Code, but are there other ways to talk with them without seeming like I don’t trust them?
A: Having a statement on your syllabus is a great place to start, but students may not always read the syllabus as closely as we’d like! Repeating the statement on the cover sheet of an exam is a great place for a reminder, but again, students may blow past it in their haste to start the exam. Here’s an example cover sheet to give you an idea of what that might look like.
Research has shown that reminding students of their honor and integrity goes a long way toward deterring cheating. Moreover, discussing the impact of academic dishonesty not only on their career at Questrom, but also on the integrity of the school, can remind students of the larger picture: your cheating hurts you, and your classmate’s cheating hurts you, too. This doesn’t have to be a long, depressed conversation. Perhaps, before you hand out your next exam, you could remind students that you have both worked hard to make the course successful (or work through complicated concepts, or think through tough problems, etc.). You should be proud of yourselves! Don’t forget that hard work and pride when you take the exam. Taking an exam is a great opportunity to live your values and the values at Questrom.
Similarly, when you assign an out-of-class assignment, think about the temptation points. If you ask the students to conduct 150 surveys, and they only get 95 back, they may be tempted to fake the remaining data. When you discuss that assignment in class, talk about this temptation. Discuss why inaccurate data undermines the quality of their analysis. Discuss options if they can’t get enough surveys completed. Remind the students with another conversation about temptation points a few days before the deadline, when they are most likely to cheat.
Finally, listen to your students talking to each other. You can get your best information about their concerns, worries, frustrations, and temptations in the moments before class starts and after it finishes. If you mingle with students and overhear these conversations, ask them about their concerns. Usually, students are afraid to ask for help, or think that they are the only students with this concern. Sharing the concerns with the class (without attributing them to a specific person, of course) will help open the lines of communication.
Q: What is the benefit of using multi-colored exams?
A: Making two different versions and spacing between students are both great and easy ways to deter cheating during exams. These techniques can be used in both large and small classes. Even better is to make more than two different versions, say three or four, and have the Copy Center copy them on different colors of paper. When you distribute the exams, alternate colors and rows. For example, students in the first row get alternating pink and blue exams, while those in the second row get alternating green and yellow exams. Try to avoid using white paper for your exams, so you’ll be able to see if students are looking at unpermitted notes during the test.
The visual impact of multiple, different colored exams serves a few different purposes: 1) it is an obvious reminder to students that the exams are different so they shouldn’t even try to look at another student’s test, 2) the instructor can easily see whether students sitting next to each other or immediately in front of each other have the same version of the exam and can make adjustments accordingly, 3) it provides assurances to the students that the exam is tightly controlled.
Q: I try to deter cheating as much as possible when I administer exams. I make two different versions of the exam and try to seat students with an empty seat between them. Are there other things I should be doing?
A: You can find more ideas on the Exam Protocol Best Practices guide here. A few ideas are to require all faculty to be present and to request additional proctors for the exam. You can also ask students to place their belongings across the side walls of the room instead of allowing them to take their things to their seats. Faculty should be diligent walking around the room during the test, and should require students to turn in any reference sheets (if allowed) with the exam. Do you have suggestions? Let us know!
Q: Can ITS turn off the wireless during the exam?
A: No. This is a common question, and the answer is no, there is no way to shut off the wireless. Shutting off the wireless causes a public safety issue as BU Alerts uses the wireless network to send emergency alerts. If the wireless were shut off anywhere on campus. people would not receive alerts in the case of an emergency, resulting in a public safety issue. This is exacerbated by the fact that we have multiple, overlapping networks here at Questrom. If one network is turned off (in a classroom, for example), you would still be able to access the internet through an overlapping network (from the classroom next door). Thus, to completely turn off the wireless for even a single room would necessitate turning off the wireless for the whole building – putting our entire community at a safety risk. BU IS&T controls the wireless, and they will not turn off wireless access to any part of campus for this reason.