University of California, Santa Barbara

Academic Conduct Policy

College of Engineering Policy on Academic Conduct

The College of Engineering’s Academic Conduct Policy is compatible with that of the University of California, in that it is expected that students understand and subscribe to the ideal of academic integrity, and are willing to bear individual responsibility for their work. Any work (written or otherwise) submitted to fulfill an academic requirement must represent a student’s original work. Any act of academic dishonesty, such as cheating or plagiarism, will subject a person to University disciplinary action.

Cheating is defined by UCSB as the use, or attempted use, of materials, information, study aids, or services not authorized by the instructor of the course. The College of Engineering interprets this to include the unauthorized use of notes, study aids, electronic or other equipment during an examination or quiz; copying or looking at another individual’s examination or quiz; taking or passing information to another individual during an examination or quiz; taking an examination or quiz for another individual; allowing another individual to take one’s examination; stealing examinations or quizzes.  Students working on take-home exams or quizzes should not consult students or sources other than those permitted by the instructor.

Plagiarism is defined by UCSB as the representation of words, ideas, or concepts of another person without appropriate attribution. The College of engineering expands this definition to include the use of or presentation of computer code, formulae, ideas, or research results without appropriate attribution.

Collaboration on homework assignments (i.e., problem sets), especially in light of the recognized pedagogical benefit of group study, is dictated by standards that can and do vary widely from course to course and instructor to instructor.  The use of old solution sets and published solution guides presents a similar situation.  Because homework assignments serve two functions--helping students learn the material and helping instructors evaluate academic performance--it is usually not obvious how much collaboration or assistance from commonly-available solutions, if any, the instructor expects.  It is therefore imperative that students and instructors play an active role in communicating expectations about the nature and extent of collaboration or assistance from materials that is permissible or encouraged.

Expectations of Members of the College of Engineering Academic Community

In their classes, faculty are expected to (i) announce and discuss specific problems of academic dishonesty that pertain particularly to their classes (e.g., acceptable and unacceptable cooperation on projects or homework); (ii) act reasonably to prevent academic dishonesty in preparing and administering academic exercises, including examinations, laboratory activities, homework and other assignments, etc.; (iii) act to prevent cheating from continuing when it has been observed or reported to them by students, chairs, or deans; and, (iv) clearly define for students the maximum level of collaboration permitted for their work to still be considered individual work.

In their academic work, students are expected to (i) maintain personal academic integrity; (ii) treat all exams and quizzes as work to be conducted privately, unless otherwise instructed; (iii) take responsibility for knowing the limits of permissible or expected cooperation on any assignment.

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