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Responding to Suspected Cheating

instructor talking to a student

Senate Policy requires that all suspected cheating be reported to the Academic Integrity Office. The guidelines provided here can help instructors, teaching assistants, readers and proctors be prepared for when academic misconduct incidents arise.

To immediately report an allegation of academic misconduct, complete and submit this Instructor Report Form (Word file) electronically to aic@ucsd.edu.

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If a student is suspected of cheating during an examination, do not stop the student from completing the exam.

Discreetly interrupt the misconduct and identify those possibly involved by recording their names; include the names of students sitting near the suspected student.
  • You can move the suspected student to a different location, but the student should be allowed to complete the examination.
  • If proctors or teaching assistants observe the cheating, they should notify the instructor of record immediately.
  • Those who observed the possible misconduct should write our their statements while memory is fresh.
  • Any unauthorized aids used by the student (e.g., cell phone, "cheat sheet") should be immediately confiscated and kept by the instructor for submitting with the violation report.

Gather as much information as possible relating to the incident.

If cheating occurs during an examination, keep the suspected student's exam as well as the examinations of any students sitting near the student.

Save the student's original papers, assignments, or other work when plagiarism or dishonesty is suspected.

You may return copies of the exams, papers, or assignments to the students.

Decide whether you'll meet with the student (or students) before submitting your report.

According to UCSD Policy, the instructor of record can either meet with the student and then submit a report to the AIC, or submit a report directly to the AIC. You do NOT have to meet with a student before reporting him/her to the Academic Integrity Office.
  • If you choose to meet with the student first, review our tips on speaking to a student about suspected misconduct.
  • If you choose NOT to meet with the student, you can simply submit the allegation and documentation to the AI Office.
  • If you are unsure who to report (when there are multiple students suspected), report all of the students in order to allow the process to unfold fairly. Allegations made against students who turn out not to have been involved can be withdrawn.

Submit separate allegation reports for each suspected student, unless the suspicion is that the students colluded in the incident.

NOTE: In a collusion/ collaborative case, one report can be submitted including the information for all of the involved students.

  • Use the Instructor Report Form (Word file) to submit your report for one or more students. You can email the report to aic@ucsd.edu. You can also email your documentation; if only hard copy is available, please indicate in your email and we will arrange for pick-up.
  • Please do NOT send the allegation documentation through campus mail; we prefer to pick-up if need be.

Allow students suspected of academic misconduct to continue in the course.

It's against Academic Senate Policy for students to withdraw.

  • If students withdraw from a class while an academic misconduct charge is pending, they will be administratively re-enrolled by Academic Records.

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