Students Quickstart

My instructor has accused me of misconduct, what do I do now?

Make sure you understand the accusation. If you are given the opportunity to respond, be clear about the facts and explain any extenuating circumstances you believe are relevant. Your instructor will have to follow the academic misconduct process. If you are not sure about what that process entails for you or your options, ask your instructor directly. You may also reach out to your campus resources for support. 

What counts as cheating?

If you take an action that was specifically not allowed by your instructor (on an exam, or any kind of assignment for a course), that is cheating. Individual instructors decide what counts as cheating in their courses and/or assignments; ask your instructor when in doubt. There is variation in what might count as cheating because the criteria for assignments and appropriate evaluation of a particular assignment can vary by assessment type, course, and discipline. While collaboration might be allowed in one course because the discipline values that as a skill, another course might forbid collaboration because your ability to do completely independent work might be required to fulfill the goals of the assignment.   

UBC’s calendar regulation on academic misconduct (Vancouver or Okanagan) provides guidance for some common examples of cheating. The regulation includes the following examples of cheating, which is not exhaustive:

  1. falsification of any material subject to academic evaluation, including research data; 
  1. use of or participation in unauthorized collaborative work; 
  1. use or possession in an examination of any materials (including devices) other than those permitted by the examiner; 
  1. use, possession, or facilitation of unauthorized means to complete an examination (e.g., receiving unauthorized assistance from another person, or providing that assistance); and 
  1. dishonest practices that breach rules governing examinations or submissions for academic evaluation (see the Student Conduct during Examinations). 

Why should I care about academic integrity?

At UBC, you have an incredible opportunity to learn and grow with a global community of students. Over the course of your program, you will cement knowledge, competencies, skills, as well as personal values and principles that will guide your decisions for the rest of your life. Learning with integrity will set the stage for being an ethical professional after you graduate. Breaching integrity at UBC or in your professional life can have irreversible consequences such as a course mark of zero, suspension, or expulsion from the university.

What should I do if I notice other people cheating?

Let your instructor know right away. Be sure to share the facts: what you saw and heard. If your peers share with you that they think others are cheating, encourage them to talk to the instructor directly. You may also want to tell your teaching assistant. In that case, it is a good idea to also tell your instructor. 

I feel pressured to cheat. Do I have other options?

Cheating is never the right thing to do. However, it is common to think about cheating when things get stressful and feel unmanageable. Before cheating, reach out for help and explore your options. This can include talking to your instructor to ask for a deadline to be extended, reach out to UBC resources for academic help on your assignments, or, any other resource that can contribute to your health and wellbeing, as relevant.