Posting your work online

Code of Behaviour on Academic Matters

1. It shall be an offence for a student knowingly:

(b) to use or possess an unauthorized aid or aids or obtain unauthorized assistance in any academic examination or term test or in connection with any other form of academic work;

Wherever in the Code an offence is described as depending on “knowing”, the offence shall likewise be deemed to have been committed if the person ought reasonably to have known.

Scenario – Posting your work online

You are just finishing your third year. You have achieved good grades in your last three years and are always studious about taking notes in class and writing up excellent problem sets and lab reports. You feel that other students could benefit from seeing your work because it would help them learn the material.  You create a personal website that includes all of your class notes as well as graded work such as problem sets and lab reports. You get a number of nice comments back from newer students telling you that they appreciate the work you have provided.

A month later you get called in for a meeting with the Associate Chair of your department. It seems that six students, so far, have copied parts of lab reports and problem sets off of your website and submitted this material as part of their assignment submissions in a number of their courses. All six are being charged with academic offences. In addition, the Associate Chair tells you that you too can be charged with multiple academic offences.

The Issue

There are a number of academic offences being committed here – not only have you provided unauthorized aids to assist with academic work, you have facilitated other students in plagiarism and the submission of previously credited work.  Rather than helping other students, you’ve actually ended up getting them into trouble under the Code.

Smart Strategies

Range of Consequences

For a discussion of consequences see Key Consequences.