Detecting Academic Integrity Violations
Research has shown that preventative measures, in addition to fostering a culture of academic integrity at an institution, are some of the most impactful ways of addressing academic integrity concerns. TCDC and the Academic Integrity Committee has also created an Academic Integrity Toolkit, which focuses largely on preventing academic misconduct through course design. We highly recommend that instructors review that document for possible useful information for their coursework. However, even when instructors have designed their course in order to promote academic integrity, academic misconduct may still take place.
If there has been an incident of suspected academic misconduct on behalf of a student, the College is required to establish that misconduct has occurred in order to move forward with a report of an academic integrity violation.
The standard of proof required in these cases is known as the Balance of Probabilities. This standard of proof states that in order to find that academic misconduct has occurred, one is required to review the information and possibilities presented and then make a decision based on whether it is more likely that a student has engaged in academic misconduct.
To state another way, the balance of probabilities is also known as “50% plus a feather”: we look at the scales of justice. If a scale is evenly balanced, but a feather is added to one side, then that side has won. Greater proof is not required and the side with the greater likelihood has won.
This section will provide advice and resources for instructors to help detect possible instances of academic misconduct: