Suspected Violations

When instructors suspect students of academic misconduct, it is their duty to follow-up on their suspicions. Instructors, suspected students and the University administration all have specific tasks to complete and steps to take.

Procedure for faculty

Prepare materials to support your suspicions

If you suspect a violation of the Academic Integrity policy, begin a file to record the incident. The file can be a collection of print documents or a digital record and should include:

  • a summary of the circumstances that led to the suspected misconduct

  • evidence supporting your suspicions

  • the steps you've taken toward resolving the situation

  • a copy of the suspected assignment

  • any other relevant information (for example, if you believe a student has submitted an assignment that was copied directly from a website, include a copy of the website source document and a copy of the suspicious student assignment in the folder).

Do not return the original assignment to the student. It may be needed as evidence.

Use email template to notify student of your concerns

When you suspect misconduct, you must communicate your concerns to the student and provide an opportunity to respond.

After you gather supporting documentation, invite the student to meet with you to discuss your suspicions. Provide enough detail that the student will be able to prepare to respond to your concerns. You don't want the student to be surprised by your allegations. Also, let the student know that the Academic Integrity Office can answer any questions about the academic integrity process and that the student ombudsperson and SAMU's Student Advocacy Office are avaliabe for information and support.

When you invite the student to meet, use email to respect confidentiality and to create a record of the correspondence. Copy the Academic Integrity Office on the invitation at aio@macewwan.ca. If several students are involved in the same alleged violation, arrange to meet with them individually. If you intend to have a colleague or chair present during the meeting, make sure to inform the student beforehand and let the student(s) know that they are allowed to have a support person present (for example, the student ombudsperson).

Provide a reasonable amount of time for the student(s) to respond to your invitation, taking schedules into account. Indicate that if the student does not attend the meeting, you will make a decision within a few days of the scheduled meeting date.

The Academic Integrity Office has developed a Meeting Request template that includes appropriate/recommended language for requesting a meeting. To ensure you include all of the necessary pieces of information in your communication, use this template to guide in-person, phone or email meeting requests.

Use Meeting Request template

Consider applying principles of restorative practice 

Become familiar with the principles of restorative practice and consider applying these principles during your meeting with the student. If you choose to use some of the principles of restorative practice, the Academic Misconduct procedure still applies.

Principles of restorative practice

You may also want to consider contacting the Academic Integrity Office to learn more about or request a restorative resolution involving a trained facilitator.

Provide an opportunity to respond before you make your decision

When you meet with the student, be professional, respectful and direct. Treat the meeting as an important learning opportunity for the student, who is likely experiencing a significant amount of stress related to your suspicions and may be very emotional. Do not try to coerce a confession from the student or threaten with a penalty you are not authorized to give.

When you meet, explain why you believe misconduct has occurred. If you have physical evidence of the violation, show it to the student  and give the opportunity to respond to your allegations. The student may be able to provide a plausible explanation or take responsibility for the action.

Discuss the importance of academic integrity, inform the student of his/her rights and share resources provided by the Academic Integrity Office, particularly the Office's website.

You do not need to make a decision right away. Let the student know you will email a decision within a few days.

Make a decision and determine further action

Once you have taken some time to think about the student's response to your allegations, you can make one of two decisions:

 

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Academic misconduct has not occurred

 

If you decide that academic misconduct has not occurred, send the student an email explaining your decision. Put a copy of the email in the incident folder and keep the folder available for one year. You do not need to take any further action.

The Academic Integrity Office has developed an email template with appropriate/recommended language for letting the student know that you have decided academic misconduct has not occurred.

Notification: No violation template

 

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Academic misconduct has occurred

 

If you decide that academic misconduct has occurred, you need to: 

  1. Decide on an appropriate consequence

    Consequences

  2. Complete the academic integrity incident report

    Incident Report Form  

  3. Notify the student, your chair and the Academic Integrity Office of your decision by email, with the Incident Report Form attached.

    • Use the email template developed by the Academic Integrity Office to ensure you include all of the required information.

      Notification: Violation and penalty template

    • Send the decision email before returning the academic work in question to the student.

    • Print a copy of the email and put it in the incident file you've created.

Most cases will end here. However, if the student has had other violations, if the student appeals your decision or if a first offense is deemed to be particularly severe, a case may proceed to a hearing.

 

Procedure for students

Prepare to meet with your instructor

If your instructor suspects that you have violated the Academic Integrity policy, you will be contacted by email. Your instructor will let you know of his suspicions and ask you to meet to discuss the situation.

This meeting request may cause you quite a bit of stress. Do your best to prepare yourself for the meeting. For example, you can review the assignment that raised suspicions and speak with the Academic Integrity Coordinator to learn more about your rights and responsibilities. You can also seek support from SAMU's Student Advocacy Office or the Student Ombudsperson.

MacEwan University supports the application of restorative practices as a way to demonstrate fairness and to foster empathy, compassion and accountability. Restorative practices model and build inclusive and effective conflict resolution skills. To learn about restorative principles and the possibility of requesting a restorative resolution, contact the Academic Integrity Office.

Principles of restorative practice

Explain your point of view

Even though you may be anxious about meeting with your instructor, it is important for you to do so. By attending the meeting, you are taking responsibility for your learning and for ensuring you understand the Academic Integrity policy.

Your instructor will explain his suspicions and give you the opportunity to explain your point of view. Come prepared to talk about the assignment that your instructor is concerned about. Your instructor will also let you know about next steps, your rights and when you will learn whether or not s/he believes academic misconduct has occurred.

Review your instructor's decision

No violation has occurred

If your instructor decides you have not violated the Academic Integrity Policy, you will be notified and no further action will be taken.

 

Violation has occurred

If your instructor decides that a violation has occurred, you will be notified of the violation and the consequence. Your instructor will also inform the Academic Integrity Office and your department Chair of the decision.

If this is not your first violation, or if it is a first violation that is considered severe, you will be asked to attend a hearing.

Request a review hearing (if applicable)

If you disagree with your instructor's decision that academic misconduct has occurred, whether intentional or unintentional, you can request a review hearing. Guidance for students initiating Review Hearings and Appeals is available from Student Affairs, SAMU’s Student Advocacy Office, the Student Ombudsperson and the Academic Integrity Office. To request a review hearing, contact the Academic Integrity Coordinator by email. Please use the Review Hearing Request template, which uses appropriate/recommended language for requesting an appeal.

Review Hearing Request template