Academic Integrity in the iSchool
Students in courses at the University of Arizona iSchool are expected to maintain rigor in their academic performance with intent to learn, practice, and overcome challenges toward personal growth and enrichment. As future professionals in digital environments, iSchool students are also expected to exercise transparency and integrity in collaborations and in the use of tools and resources that may aid completion in assignments for our courses.
This policy is designed to support students and instructors in identifying goals and boundaries around involvement in our courses, in addition to the Dean of Students' Code of Academic Integrity that all University of Arizona students are required to follow. Students are required to adhere to this policy in all academic work including composition of text, computing code, and media content.
Examples of Violations to Avoid in Most Cases
In addition to practices listed as prohibited conduct by the Dean of Students, the following are examples of some of the behaviors and practices considered violations of iSchool course policies in many courses.
Consider the following PROHIBITED practices in every course, unless a given course instructor has specifically written instructions or permission to do otherwise:
- Posting a question on an online site such as Chegg.com, and copying and pasting some or all of the response into an assessment
- Posting an assessment from the course on online sharing sites such as Course Hero. Aiding other students in violation of academic integrity is also a violation, and is potential copyright infringement.
- Generating and submitting, in whole or in part, text or code through Artificial Intelligence such as ChatGPT, QuillBot, and text summarizers
- Using, in whole or in part, computer code not written by the student (for example, from another student, a book, or the internet) in an assignment or project. This includes using such code in modified or unmodified form.
- Searching for solutions to projects or assignments on the internet or through other tools, when your instructor intended for you to learn the solution through exercises (e.g. Googling for the solution to a question on an assignment).
- Simultaneously submitting the same assignment as another student enrolled into the course without prior permission from the instructor
Exceptions: Clear Instructions will be Provided
iSchool instructors can and will occasionally require or permit students to use practices in the list above. In these cases, clear written instructions will specify the tools allowed or required, so students can be certain they are working as instructed. For example, students can use ChatGPT for an assignment if they have unambiguous written documentation from the course or instructor that the assignment requires or allows use of ChatGPT.
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Students have the right to privacy around their education records in accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Students have the right to a conference with an Instructor during the process by which an instructor reports them to the Dean of Students for a violation of academic integrity, provided the student responds within 15 days of notification of the violation to be reported. Students also have the right to communication services including confidentiality and advocacy by UArizona iSchool Advisors and Directors of Graduate or Undergraduate Studies. Students may sign a FERPA release form and choose to have an advisor, parent, or other supporter present during an academic integrity conference with an instructor.
Student Responsibility: Learn the Requirements Per Course!
As a School of Information with roots in disciplines including Library and Information Science and Computer Science, we recognize the diversity of contexts in which our students may engage in collaboration and reuse in our courses. We also recognize that many information projects in our courses require fully individual creation and novel development. For this reason, it is up to each student to learn the requirements around composition, collaboration, and reuse for each iSchool course they are enrolled in.
Students should learn—from their course syllabus or from written communication with their instructors—answers to the following five questions, ideally before they begin work for any iSchool course.
LEARN the following about every course!
- What resources and tools can be reused in this course, and how and when should they be cited?
- Under what circumstances is collaboration permitted in this course, with whom, and how and when should such collaboration be cited?
- What are specific examples of violations of these policies that have occurred or should be avoided in this course?
- What are the penalties for violation of academic integrity in this course?
- How can I get help, including from sources other than course instructors, if I am having trouble completing work without violating course policies?
Student Responsibility: Understand Expectations of Learning and Work
The UArizona iSchool prepares students to work with digital tools and to lead decision making in digital contexts. To do this work successfully, students must distinguish between situations when technology makes a task easier, and situations that call for technology as a solution. Rapid developments make it increasingly possible to use technological tools to simulate learning and generate assessments, but this simulation replaces the valuable acts of practice and learning for the student. Use of technological tools in place of required student learning or work also risks compromising the quality of work employers expect from our program graduates, which hurts other students in our programs. To be successful in our programs, students must therefore recognize the grave importance of working with integrity, not only to achieve the standards of learning expected for future professional fields, but to have confidence in their own abilities and ethical conduct.
Instructor Rights and Responsibilities
UArizona iSchool Instructors are expected to help students avoid violations of academic integrity in their courses, by providing information on requirements and rules in syllabi, and documenting in course assignment instructions when reuse, collaboration, and assistive tool use is permitted or required, including unambiguous written instructions when tools prohibited in some courses are allowed in others. To prepare students as future professionals, both academic and professional standards should be considered as assignments are developed. iSchool instructors should also remain cognizant of technological advances, modifying or and replacing assignments periodically to ensure they effectively serve students and future professionals in rapidly evolving digital ecosystems.
Instructors should inform students on how to find help with assignments, including and in addition to direct help from instructors who grade the students. Instructors are also expected to provide students guidelines around permitted reuse, tool use, and collaboration, including citation formats such as APA, MLA, Chicago, and MIT guidelines for code reuse in applicable courses.
Guidelines around Suspected and Known Violations
Instructors have the right to investigate suspected violations of academic integrity, including partnering with platforms where suspected violations occur, to learn non-public information about the identities of users on these sites. Instructors have the right to deploy tools to assist in investigating plagiarism violations, such as TurnItIn, GPTZero, Stanford MOSS, and other tools useful for this purpose. Instructors may conduct these investigations during the semester of the suspected violation, or after the semester has ended.
Instructors are expected to meet with students to discuss known violations of academic integrity, and to report violations of academic integrity to the Dean of Students. However, instructors may withhold or deny credit for a submitted assignment that does not meet assignment requirements—including the requirement of being written in the assigned style—without providing proof or further justification, and without necessarily meeting with the student regarding the situation, provided it is not treated as an academic integrity violation.
Instructors must give the student 15 days from notification of a violation to respond and arrange a conference. When a conference is required, instructors should provide reasonable accommodations requested by the student around the timing and modality of the conference, and refrain from imposing sanctions or determining consequences until the student has expressed their perspective on the situation. Instructors are required to keep information about the case confidential with the exception of internal personnel with legitimate educational interests in the information, such as program directors and advisors. Instructors may avoid disparate impact on students by requesting workshop fees where applicable.
Faculty are expected to report ALL known violations of academic integrity.
Consequences of Academic Integrity Violations
Consequences of violations of academic integrity are determined according to the situation and circumstances, by the course instructor, and in some situations by the program director or dean. Consequences of first offenses can include failed assignments, failed courses, notations on student records, compulsory workshops, and more serious consequences.
Sanctions or consequences for repeated violations of academic integrity can include dismissal from a student's iSchool academic program and revoking a student's degree pre- or post-graduation. See additional consequences for multiple violations in the Dean of Students' Code of Academic Integrity.
Violations of academic integrity including plagiarism and cheating at the University of Arizona iSchool are not criminal offenses, but they hurt fellow students and trust in our programs. We take all such violations very seriously, and will not hesitate to discipline those who cheat. We encourage students who commit violations or are thinking of doing so to seek help instead, and make better decisions in the future.
Policy approved by faculty vote, April 2023.
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