GSI Guide: Staff Services and Procedures
Student Wellness and EECS Advising
Indicators of Stress
While GSIs are by definition students, in the GSI role you must exercise authority over your own students through classroom management, setting assignments, grading, and other instructional activities. This means that if and when you recognize any indicators of academic, physical, psychological, or safety risks amongst your students (and possibly your course staff), the GSI is not an informal confidant or active bystander, but a Responsible Employee.
Indicators of stress is identified into four categories:
- Sudden decline in quality of work and grades
- Repeated absences
- Disorganized performance
- Multiple requests for extensions
- Overly demanding of faculty’s or staff’s time and attention
- Bizarre content in writings or presentations
- You find yourself providing more personal than academic support
- Marked changes in physical appearance (e.g., grooming or hygiene deterioration, weight loss/gain)
- Excessive fatigue or sleep disturbance
- Intoxication, hangovers, or smelling of alcohol
- Disoriented or “out of it”
- Garbled, tangential, disconnected, or slurred speech
- Behavior is out of context or bizarre
- Delusions and paranoia
- Self-disclosure of personal distress (e.g., family or financial problems, grief, suicidal thoughts)
- Unusual/disproportionate emotional response to events
- Excessive tearfulness or panic reactions
- Irritability or unusual apathy
- Verbal abuse (e.g., taunting, badgering, intimidation)
- Concern from peers
- Unprovoked anger or hostility
- Physical violence (e.g., shoving, grabbing, assault, use of weapons)
- Implying or making direct threat to harm self or others
- Academic assignments dominated by themes of extreme hopelessness, rage, worthlessness, isolation, despair, acting out, suicidal ideations/violent behaviors
- Stalking or harassing
- Communicating threats
There are safeguards that go along with instructional authority to protect both GSIs and students, and it’s important to understand their obligations under those policies and laws, and know how to respond either to incidents or to student reports of distress. An immediate response may prevent the situation from escalating and may help lead to a prompt resolution.
In the event of an incident, campus officials strongly suggest responding as soon as possible to conduct that is clearly reckless, disorderly, dangerous, or threatening and suggestive of immediate harm to self or others in the community (see list below).
If someone informs you in the course of your GSI work that they have been the target of distress and/or unwanted attention, you are expected to immediately report it to the appropriate authority:
- Call 911 for immediate response or UCPD dispatch at (510) 642-3333 for emergency assistance if there is an immediate threat of further harm.
- Report the concern to CSI and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (510) 642-9494 during business hours, and call the After Hours Assistance Line at (855) 817-5667 after hours and holidays.
- The Title IX Officer at the Office for the Prevention of Harrassment and Discrimination (510-643-2985 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are not sure whether a situation warrants reporting, such that indicators of distress are observed but severity is unclear, or if a student complains about your behavior and the situation is unclear to you, seek clarification with one of the offices on campus that provide confidential consultation (see list below).
If there is no immediate concern for the student’s immediate safety, BUT they are having significant academic and/or personal issues and could use some support, refer to appropriate campus resource using the detailed list below:
- For confidential support services, contact Confidential Care Advocates at the PATH to Care Center through their 24/7 Care Line at 510-643-2005.
- To speak with someone for consultation, call CAPS (see above for contact information).
- To speak in confidence regarding any campus-related conflict or concern, contact Ombuds Office for Students and Postdoctoral Appointees.
- For coordinated campus response, please submit a report to the Center for Support and Intervention.
- To refer students exhibiting behaviors that are of concern to the Student of Concern Committee, send a Student of Concern Report.
Please refer to the campus wide Gold Folder and download the Gold Folder PDF to utilize it as an immediate resource to help you recognize potential symptoms of distress and identify appropriate campus resources to refer students to. You will also find the Mental Heath Handbook, a comprehensive resource and guide for faculty, staff and GSIs.
Wellness & Advising from EECS
As a TA, you’re a student too! As a head TA, you’re still a student! You have a responsibility to yourself, and your friends and family just like you do to your students. Do not forget that it is perfectly OK to say “No” when you are unable to complete a task or to ask for help if you feel like you are “in over your head”. It’s better to be honest, than to end up being stressed or avoiding your own school work.
If you feel like you need coaching or you start to feel that you can’t cope with the situation, whether it’s related to your assigned teaching course, your own coursework, relationships, or the general situation we’re all facing now, the EECS department is here here to help:
- For support in course-related logistics and administration, student cases regarding accommodations or student conduct, or if you’re looking for coaching, training and review in pedagogy, please contact email@example.com.
- For academic advising and resources related to your career goals, please contact an advising team member at the EECS Center for Student Affairs.
- For mental health related counciling, support in basic needs, undocumented student support, or other concerns, please visit our In Times of Stress page for more information.
Printing and Copying
All copy requests must be sent to the Course Support Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least one full business day before the delivery deadline. Because our team does not work over the weekend, requests needed on Monday should be sent by the end of Thursday prior to the deadline.
Please check out a copy card at the Cory Front Office (253 Cory Hall) before 4:30 pm or the Soda Front Office (387 Soda Hall) before 1:00 pm if you are unable to send your copy job at least 24 hours before your delivery deadline. These hours are subject to change depending on shelter-in-place restrictions, please check back for updates. 532 Cory and 384 Soda copy rooms are accessible after business hours. To check your card key access to these copy rooms, email email@example.com.
Please visit the EECS Course Materials policies to make copy requests (secure and publicly available) and to review the copy request lead time schedule.
If a print job is needed on short notice, you’ll most likely need to handle it yourself. Visit the Soda or Cory front desk during open hours and ask to borrow the copy card.
Then, go to the copier room in 384 Soda and feed it into the small black box to the side of the machine. Follow the instructions to copy, making sure to choose “Copy Sample” to check that your copy settings are right and everything looks good. Common options include two-sided to two-sided copies, stapling + collation, and copy set numbering.
EECS operates 5 scanners which can be used by course staff, four of which require a copy card to operate. There are two (2) scanners in 384 Soda, and one scanner in each of 730 Soda (no copy card needed), 280 Cory, and 532 Cory. If your copier use only includes scanning, you can checkout a scan card rather than a copy card.
For scanning exams, the copy machine vendor recommends the following procedure for scanning large batches of exams.
- First, remove all staples by cutting off the corner of each page. Bring your own heavy-duty scissors if possible as the paper cutters are sometimes hit-or-miss.
- Load exams into the scanner tray at the top of the machine, rotating pages so that the straight edge without the missing corner goes in first. This can reduce the occurrence of jams, though it will require extra processing at the end to rotate pages. Count 10 or 20 or N exams before putting them into the scanner. It is safe to scan in batches up to the max fill line, which is about 500 pages (if scanning double-sided).
- Load the preset “Gradescope” setting, which has been pre-configured based on best guidelines from course support. If the setting is not available, for most exams, we’ll want to scan 2-sided original (book type). Reduce the resolution to 200×200 for more reliable scanning. Note that these settings are not default! If an option is properly selected, the button will be highlighted in yellow.
- The physical Start button begins the scanning job.
After all scans are complete, verify that you’ve received all the exams before leaving. It sometimes the case that the scanner will get stuck on long queues as well, so use the Status Monitor to check the progress of current scanning jobs. A USB flash drive can be faster and more reliable than scanning and sending over email, but remember to use the Eject button to ensure that the scanner has flushed all the files to your disk. However, sometimes a team email works well because you can parallelize the process.
If, during scanning, an error or warning message comes up, follow the instructions carefully! The scanner knows exactly when there is a problem and will report it to you when it needs your intervention.
In general, the earlier a room reservation request is made, the better. Both campus rooms and Soda and Cory rooms are highly impacted.
Soda and Cory Halls
Rooms in Soda and Cory Hall can be reserved through bCal, subject to the room reservation policies.
If you’re creating appointment slots, do not invite the room directly. Instead, book a longer block on the calendar and type the location into the meeting invite for the appointment slots separately so that the room schedulers do not receive emails for every appointment that is created.
To reserve Soda lab rooms (271, 273, 275, 277, 330), please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some rooms and office hours or meeting spaces in Cory Hall are reserved through a separate Cory Hall system and not through bCal.
General Assignment classrooms
To reserve general assignment classrooms (including large classrooms in Cory Hall, and all other rooms on campus), email email@example.com for assistance. The request will need to be approved by the central campus room schedulers through the 25Live scheduling system.
Include as many dates and times as possible, as well as expected attendance and the academic purpose. As of Spring 2018, there are a few campus-wide room reservation policies to be aware of.
- Most rooms and halls on campus close at 10 pm.
- Review session requests prior to 8 pm will not be processed until Week 5.
- Midterm exam requests prior to 7 pm will not be processed until Week 5. Note, however, that room availability starting 7 pm is limited (especially for large lecture halls), so large courses are advised to book starting 8 pm.
- Academic events like review sessions on the weekend has to fit in VLSB. Campus is closed on the weekends and Dwinelle, Wheeler and Barrow are used for student groups events/paid-for events.
To help with the room reservation process (new since Fall 2018), Cindy Connors will be reserving 10 am to noon weekdays for 30 minute meetings with TAs to schedule their academic events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to setup a meeting. This way, you can view the real-time campus room availabilities and plan out your academic events all at once.
For exam rooms, Cindy Connors (email@example.com), the CS scheduler and enrollments manager, can help you make requests. Consult the Midterm Dates spreadsheet first for the most up-to-date information.
Depending on your class size, you can either book a room in Soda/Cory through the bCal room reservations system, or a general assignment classroom. Booking those rooms are subject to the procedures and policies above.
First-time GSI Teaching Requirement
All first-time TAs need to take a first-time teaching course for GSIs. This can be fulfilled either by taking CS 370, CS 375, or EE 375, or a teaching course for GSIs in another department by exception.
CS 370 credit will be backdated to Fall 2016, so if a staff member previously took CS 370 Fall 2016 or later, they will not need to enroll in CS 375 or EE 375. Enrollment into these courses usually occurs near the beginning of the semester during the adjustment period. CSS Team 2/ERSO will contact new TAs as needed.
CS 399 Teaching Preparation
In order to receive teaching units for being a GSI, TA, or Reader, undergraduate students need student-specific permission to enroll into the associated CS 399 section assigned to the Instructor of Record.
Please email a list of all GSIs and TAs to firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible in the semester. Include name and SID number for each person!
Graduate level students do not need student-specific permissions but they will need to be told the five digit class number (CCN) so they can enroll.
Students can select the appropriate number of units from a drop-down menu as part of the enrollment process.
CS 97/197 Field Study
If you have Academic Interns (formerly called ‘lab assistants’) associated with your class, they will need to enroll into the associated CS 197 section in order to receive units. Please email email@example.com for the CCN.
Staff Card-key Access
For card-key access, email firstname.lastname@example.org (CS building staff) and email@example.com (instructional computing staff) with a spreadsheet containing each staff member’s Student ID, email address and the 6-digit gold proxy number on the back of their Cal1Card, which uniquely identifies the card.
The lab staff will approve access to the appropriate rooms for the class, and the building staff will forward it to UCPD for processing. That may take a few business days.
Some semester-long notes can be found in Piazza, but the best place for students to see enrollment information is on the CLASS NOTES section for each class in classes.berkeley.edu. Students will find the following types of info in CLASS NOTES:
- Are time conflicts allowed?
- Does this class use 999 sections?
- Will the lecture be webcast?
Concurrent Enrollment students do not enroll for classes; instead, they apply outside of CalCentral and the faculty member and enrollment manager must BOTH approve their application in order for these students to be enrolled. Best Practice: Ask before giving out permission codes to determine if someone is a CE student. If they are, remind the student they must wait for their application to be processed so the permission code will not help them.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need permission codes for your class. Be sure to indicate how many codes you need. (You can always request more later.)
You will receive a spreadsheet with permission codes. You can use this to track code distribution. Codes are single use. If a student uses one then ends up on the waitlist, have them email email@example.com to receive a new code.
The add-drop deadlines are set by the Registrar. Early drop deadline classes have an earlier drop deadline due to the required group work. However, students also have the opportunity to perform a one-time late change in schedule without prior approval.
If your student is no longer intererested in a course, please make sure the student drops off the wait list as soon as possible. Recommend that your students drop a course before the night of the deadline so that no issues occur. Students who drop on the day of the deadline can cause problems for other students attempting to enroll into the course because the new Student Information System does not automatically process the waitlist after 4 pm the night of the deadline, and campus schedulers won’t be available to help either, so any very last-minute drops will not allow students on the waitlist to enroll into the course, even if there appears to be space. Afterwards, the campus schedulers are locked out of the system, so they can’t provide direct assistance.
In the event that a student misses the drop off deadline, they are required to fill out a late change form: https://lsadvising.berkeley.edu/policies/late-change-class-schedule
Disabled Students Program (DSP) Accommodations
EECS has a strong commitment to maintaining a diverse and thriving academic community, representing a broad spectrum of talents and experiences. Students with disabilities are an essential part of that diversity. We are committed to supporting students with disabilities and to meeting our obligations to all students as mandated by Federal and State law and by University policy
- Documentation: The student initiates the process by applying to the DSP website and providing professional documentation of his or her disability to DSP in a timely manner. When determining appropriate accommodations, DSP considers factors such as:
a. documentation from professionals specializing in the area of the student’s diagnosed disability
b. the student’s functional limitations
c. the student’s input and accommodation history in regard to particular needs and limitations
- Accomodation: Based on this documentation, DSP will conduct an in-take in about 1-2 weeks to determine what academic accommodations and services are needed in the context of the specific classes the student is taking. DSP’s recommendations are embodied in an Accommodation Letter (LOA), which is then emailed directly to the instructor of record and/or proxy. Students with more complex accommodations should engage with faculty as soon as possible.
- Implementation: The teaching staff then collaborates with the student AND their assigned Disability Specialist to implement and/or modify the recommended accommodations to achieve an accommodation that meets the needs of all parties.
- Academic accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. Please note that academic modifications should in no way compromise the essential nature of a course. If an accommodation appears to impose an undue hardship or fundamentally alter a program or activity of the University, faculty must engage first with Disability Specialists if there are any concerns regarding the implementation of a specific accommodation.
- Another key point is that faculty and/or course staff should not seek to independently assess or arrange accommodations for students who might have disabilities. If a student approaches you for a disability-related accommodation that has not already been included in an accommodation letter from DSP, please refer him or her immediately to the DSP office.
Provide Notice Regarding Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
- Notify students that accommodations are available by:
- Announcing during the initial class session that accommodations are available for eligible students with disabilities through DSP;
- Including a statement in the course syllabus:
Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP). Professional staff will evaluate the request with required documentation, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare an Accommodation Letter for faculty dated in the current semester in which the request is being made. Students should contact the DSP as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations. DSP is located at 260 César E. Chávez Student Center, #4250 (phone: 510-642-0518, URL: http://dsp.berkeley.edu).
Students who have disability-related needs in the event of an emergency or evacuation should inform the faculty member or their GSI of any special arrangements that need to be made. Please contact us in office hours or by email.
Only Use DSP-Approved Accommodations
Provide accommodations only to students who are registered with DSP and who have submitted an Accommodation Letter. DO NOT seek to arrange accommodations with the student by yourself, other than to figure out how to implement accommodations already listed in their LOA. If a student has questions about accommodations, please refer them to the DSP office as soon as possible.
Collaborate with the Student and DSP Staff in Arranging & Providing Accommodations
Unlike K-12, faculty in postsecondary educational institutions have the right to object to any potential accommodations if those accommodations fundamentally alter the essential nature of their course. In brief, DSP authorizes accommodations based on documentation receipt/interpretation, and the interactive process with the students, but faculty have the right to protect the academic integrity of their curriculum. Hence, the process of determining appropriate accommodations for courses may vary depending on the essential nature of the curriculum and may require collaboration between faculty, DSP and the student in determining an accommodation that is best suited for all parties.
To prevent misunderstandings, it cannot be emphasized enough that it is the responsibility of the student to meet with faculty and/or their proxy to review any complex conditions of LOA and faculty curriculum requirements.
Faculty are not responsible for providing retroactive accommodations from previous semesters. Faculty responsibility for complying with accommodation provisions begins upon receipt of the most current LOA within the semester it is given. In some cases, such as exam accommodations, at least two weeks prior notice may be required before appropriate accommodations can be arranged (explicitly stated in syllabi AND communicated to DSP).
When faculty or proxy informs the Disability Specialist that an accommodation proposed by DSP is not appropriate for a specific course, both parties confer and agree regarding an alternate accommodation (or agree that no accommodation is appropriate), and that agreement is reflected in a new accommodation letter for that course issued by DSP to the student (or by affirming to the student that the current letter will be observed by the instructor).
Protect Student Privacy & Confidentiality
- Maintain student confidentiality and treat all disability-related information as strictly confidential.
- Although faculty do not have the right to ask about the nature of a disability, if students choose to disclose their disability, this information should be treated confidentially.
- Refrain from identifying the student with a disability in class or openly discussing accommodations or disability issues in front of others.
- Faculty and/or proxy must meet privately with a student when approached to review and discuss their LOA.
Provide an Accessible Syllabus & Specific Reading Requirements
Develop accessible syllabi that build in a measure of flexibility and universal design, so that course staff are prepared for when a DSP student presents an LOA, which can occur at any time within the semester. This includes how the curriculum is provided and a timeline of when it will be assessed during the course.
Examples warranting syllabi flexibility:
- Classroom media which may require captioning/alternative media (sight and hearing)
- Changes in physical locations, or expectations (in a lab for example) for physical access
- Attendance policy flexibility for disability-related absences
- Exam accommodations which may require extended time, reduced distraction and/or other requirements
- Note taking assistance, which may involve the use of an audio note-taking system and/or DSP real time captioner, as well as advanced copies of powerpoints, lecture notes, outlines and key points available via written format (on bCourse or other LMS)
As required by law, students with disabilities must be given access to course materials (syllabi, textbooks, course readers, etc.) in a timely fashion – that is, at the same time as do their peers without disabilities. Converting print materials to alternative media for students who use this accommodation is labor-intensive, so plan accordingly. Many learning platforms, such as bCourse/Canvas, offer built-in accessibility tools and are highly encouraged for your students. For texts, you must provide: Title, Author(s), ISBN, Edition.
The DSP office offers the following services that are available upon request: volunteer notetakers, accessibility software, real-time captioning and captioning media, as well as a shared model for proctoring. Visit DSP Accommodations and Services for more information.
For support in determining an accessible platform outside of bCourse and other alternatives, contact Education Tech Services (ETS) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 643-8637, and Digital Learning Services (DLS) at email@example.com.
Concerns or Questions About an Accomodation
Determining whether a requested accommodation would fundamentally alter an essential requirement of a course will generally need to be determined on a case-by-case basis, in light of the specifics of the course and the requested accommodation. The following general discussion may be helpful to illustrate some of the relevant considerations:
Determining what accommodations are appropriate is most effectively accomplished through collaboration:
- Faculty bring knowledge of the course content, methods, and essential requirements;
- Disability Specialists understand what accommodations are possible;
- Students understand their own limitations and how their disability impacts learning in a classroom.
Essential requirements are the outcomes (including skills, knowledge, and attitudes) all students must demonstrate with or without using accommodations. Some students might use accommodations and some might not, but all students must achieve the same outcomes. Process is important, of course, but not necessarily essential. Focusing on course outcomes will help instructors to define the course’s essential requirements. To learn more about ‘Determining Essential Requirements for Courses and Programs’, please read DSP Accommodations for EECS Course Staff.
If your faculty and course staff believe an accommodation listed in the Accommodation Letter fundamentally alters an essential element of the course, their recourse lies within the collaboration between the assigned course staff member and DSP staff member. Academic adjustments listed in the student’s Accommodation Letter are open for negotiation. You can and should bring your concerns about specific accommodations to the assigned Disability Specialist working with your student. It may be that a different accommodation would be better suited to your particular course and the Disability Specialist can help develop the alternative.
In that case that DSP and faculty disagree regarding the appropriateness of an accommodation for a particular course, the matter is referred by DSP to the Vice Provost for Faculty Welfare, who decides what accommodation is appropriate, and directs DSP to either issue a new accommodation letter or inform the student that the existing accommodation letter will be observed by the instructor. DSP, not the student, is responsible for managing disagreements between DSP and faculty.
A formal complaint must be made in writing, must state unambiguously that it is a “formal complaint,” and must be sent to the attention of the Director of DSP at firstname.lastname@example.org or may be filed here: https://forms.gle/T6dPktqtSxnHopFZ6
Academic Misconduct Policy
The College of Engineering at UC Berkeley is consistently ranking among the top three Engineering colleges in the United States, with the high academic standard reflected in each degree that is awarded. As a result, every EECS student is expected to maintain the highest standard by ensuring that all academic work reflects unique ideas or properly attributes the ideas to the original sources. Copying all or part of another person’s work without citation or using reference materials not specifically allowed are forms of academic misconduct that will not be tolerated at UC Berkeley and in EECS.
If a course detects an anomaly on a student’s work that indicates possible academic misconduct, it is important to resolve these matters according to established campus policies, and that students are to be treated fairly. Learn more about the Department Policy on Academic Misconduct and the conduct process at the Center for Student Conduct.
Rationale of Academic Misconduct
In Dan Ariely’s book “The Honest Truth About Dishonesty”, he states that these factors increase the likelihood of academic misconduct:
- Being depleted (fatigued, stressed).
- A conflict of interest.
- The ability to rationalize it.
- The precedent of one act of misconduct of one’s own.
- Watching others’ misconduct behavior.
- Culture that provides examples of misconduct.
- That others benefit from our acts of misconduct.
- A high personal level of creativity and imagination.
It’s important to understand why people justify their actions towards academic misconduct so that we can design a system that does not make it rational. And in understanding the conditions your students are working under, the easier you can create contingencies that prevent these opportunities from presenting itself. We’ll discuss below some preventative practices to support your students and your course staff, as well as the process in the event that you must handle a case of academic misconduct.
Statements on Course Policies
Different courses often have their own approaches to grading and detection technologies, so it is the responsibility of faculty and course staff to share their expectations and requirements regarding collaboration, homework and exams in the course syllabus, course website, course rubric and any other means of communication to all of their students at the beginning of the semester.
Here are some examples to include into a course syllabus to speak to the issue of academic integrity:
- Collaboration and Independence – While we encourage students to review materials and study together, projects and assignments turned in as homework should be the result of one’s own independent work.
- Academic Misconduct – Anyone who copies all or part of another person’s work on a quiz or exam will receive a failing grade and will also be reported to the University Office of Student Conduct.
- Plagiarism/Self-plagiarism – Copying text or ideas from another source (including your own previously, or concurrently, submitted coursework) without appropriate reference is plagiarism and will result in a failing grade for your assignment and usually further disciplinary action. For additional information on plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and how to avoid it, visit the UC Berkeley Library on how to cite sources as well as the GSI Teaching & Resource Center on student conduct.
- MOSS: As a tool to promote academic integrity in this course, work submitted may be checked for originality using MOSS. MOSS is an open-source software used for plagiarism-detection, which performs a Measure of Software Similarity for all projects and assignments that are turned in for credit. Source code submitted by the student that is interpreted as plagiarism by the course staff, will result in a failing grade for your assignment and further disciplinary action will be taken.
Please visit the Center for Teaching & Learning for more detailed examples on course policy statements regarding academic integrity.
Statements on Exams
Here is an example taken from Professor Babak Ayazifar:
Pledge of Academic Integrity
By my honor, I affirm that
- this document—which I have produced for the evaluation of my performance—reflects my original, bona fide work, and that I have neither provided to, nor received from, anyone excessive or unreasonable assistance that produces unfair advantage for me or for any of my peers;
- as a member of the UC Berkeley community, I have acted with honesty, integrity, respect for others, and professional responsibility—and in a manner consistent with the letter and intent of the campus Code of Student Conduct;
- I have not violated—nor aided or abetted anyone else to violate—the instructions for this exam given by the course staff, including, but not limited to, those on the cover page of this document; and
- More generally, I have not committed any act that violates—nor aided or abetted anyone else to violate—UC Berkeley, state, or Federal regulations, during this exam.
(10 Points) In the space below, hand-copy the text of the pledge above—verbatim—and then write your name in legible letters, sign, include your full SID, and date before uploading your work to Gradescope.
Other approaches to this include video reminders before taking an exam. John DeNero, another esteemed professor at EECS, posted this “noncolloration” video prior to testing:
While these approaches may not be as effective as proctoring practices during exams and clear supervision, providing a pledge or signing to confirm academic integrity and other reminders before testing gives your students an opportunity to understand the consequences of academic misconduct.
Instructors use different methods for proctoring and detecting academic misconduct (plagiarism-detection, cheat-traps, etc.), which is also class dependent because it needs to integrate into homework, projects, and exam design. Make sure that you know and understand the methods applied in your course and the conduct process for each scenario.
When a TA finds that a student was involved in academic misconduct, the TA must let the Instructor of Record know immediately. Student interaction should be handled by the Instructor of Record, not the TA. The instructor must then take the following actions:
- Requiring repetition of the course work from the student in question
- Assigning an F grade or a “zero” grade to the subject work, and, for serious offenses (such as academic misconduct during an exam), assigning an F grade to the course.
- Informing the Center for Student Conduct of the incident using a Faculty Disposition Form (this is department policy and must be initiated in order the infraction to be recorded on transcript).
Here is a quick overview on reporting academic misconduct:
For additional information on different forms of Academic Misconduct, please reference the Center of Student Conduct Academic Integrity.
Step 1: Meeting with Student
While the instructor has the option whether or not to meet with the student regarding the detection of academic misconduct in their course work, it is highly recommended to meet with the student to discuss the matter. Again, this is the responsibility of the Instructor of Record, not the TAs, due to the sensitivity of the issue. The goal here is not to catch as many students in academic misconduct as possible or to dehumanize their behavior, but to get to the truth as to why student misconduct occurs in your course and how to minimize academic misconduct behavior systemically.
During the meeting, the student has the option whether or not to take responsibility for the detected incident and sign the Faculty Disposition Form, which will then be sent to the Center for Student Conduct. The student should be made aware of the right to appeal to the Department Grievance Committee the actions taken by the Instructor of Record to have the matter resolved by the Center for Student Conduct.
Step 2: Report to the Center of Student Conduct
Upon receipt of the reported violation, the Center for Student Conduct offers the student both the opportunity to resolve the incident informally or by a formal hearing process in determining whether there has been a violation of the Code of Student Conduct and any sanctions that may follow. Consent to the student’s signature on the Faculty Disposition Form, indicating having taken responsibility for the detected incident of academic misconduct, can greatly minimize the severity of consequences.
Step 3: Outcome
First offenses will usually result in a failing grade on an assignment, a failing grade in the class (if that assignment is the final project or the final exam), mandatory community service, among other forms of punishments. However, the Department will recommend that students involved in a second incident of academic misconduct be suspended or dismissed from the University.
While it might be understandable the motivation towards academic misconduct, given the circumstances, their situation does not define the act as acceptable behavior. Academic misconduct does not excuse the violations of the department’s academic integrity policy and thus the student must still take responsibility for their actions and choices.
For more information on the departmental policy on academic misconduct, refer to the Department Policy on Academic Misconduct.
Handling student conduct cases can be an emotionally taxing endeavour. If you need additional support or coaching on how to communicate with your students about these issues, or how to facilitate student conduct cases, please contact email@example.com.