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Cheating & Academic Integrity Violations with Online Classes at WSU, UW, EWU

Here in the Spring of 2020, pretty much all college students are attending online due to the health crisis. What this means is not only are lectures online, but also quizzes and exams. A professor doing a lecture online is pretty simple, right?academic integrity All you need is a video camera and an internet connection. However, having quizzes and examinations online is a little bit different. How does the professor know that it is you that is taking the test? How does the professor know that you are not looking at your notes and that you are not collaborating with someone else? In the last month, our lawyers have received increased calls from university students accused of cheating on online exams. A common concern professors have noted is that a person is seen looking away from the screen too much during an online exam. Other professors have noted that different students will do the exam on the same IP address and at the same time. Under most codes of conduct, the school has the burden of proving an academic integrity violation. This is true at the schools we work at most, i.e. UW, EWU, and WSU. Most of the time, professors will do an initial investigation and talk to the student, and will refer the matter over to the office of student conduct. At that point, the student will have a right to a hearing in front of the conduct board. A conduct board is usually comprised of a panel of professors from different departments. Witnesses will each have a turn to speak. At some colleges, the conduct board will have student representatives. Occasionally, a professor will attempt to level an accusation of cheating or collaboration based on statistical similarity of two or more students' answers. It is very common for professors to use this method, but it is a concept that is disfavored by most courts. The process for academic integrity cases usually includes the right to an appeal, and at the University of Washington, you also have the right to appeal the appeal. Learn more about the work we do on academic integrity.