Plagiarism Chronicles

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history_grrrl:
Proftowanda: once we kick academic misconduct cases upstairs to the dean's office (along with the painstakingly compiled documentation -- sigh), the deanlet in charge of them sends out a formal notice about an investigatory meeting so the student can try to explain her/himself (I can't remember if the deanlet sets the meeting day/time or tells the student to get in touch by such-and-such day/time in order to set something up). Anyway, if the student doesn't respond or doesn't show up, the deanlet unilaterally gets to set the penalty based on the evidence we've provided. So not agreeing to meet has negative consequences; the student has, in essence, relinquished the opportunity to mount a defense. I wonder if your institution has any allowance like that?

proftowanda:
Quote from: history_grrrl on March 25, 2013,  9:38:43 PM

Proftowanda: once we kick academic misconduct cases upstairs to the dean's office (along with the painstakingly compiled documentation -- sigh), the deanlet in charge of them sends out a formal notice about an investigatory meeting so the student can try to explain her/himself (I can't remember if the deanlet sets the meeting day/time or tells the student to get in touch by such-and-such day/time in order to set something up). Anyway, if the student doesn't respond or doesn't show up, the deanlet unilaterally gets to set the penalty based on the evidence we've provided. So not agreeing to meet has negative consequences; the student has, in essence, relinquished the opportunity to mount a defense. I wonder if your institution has any allowance like that?


Yes, all of these steps and allowances are in place at my institution -- once we kick it upstairs.

However, my comments have been regarding the requisite (and, again, seriously requisite, i.e., statutory, i.e., by state law) steps before we kick it upstairs.

mountainguy:
ProfTW, could you tell the student that you will not release any further grades to him/her until they meet with you? That's what I did with an evasive student last year.

usukprof:
Quote from: proftowanda on March 25, 2013,  1:02:31 PM

Quote from: usukprof on March 25, 2013, 12:47:53 PM

Quote from: dr_alcott on March 25, 2013, 12:33:40 PM

Quote from: proftowanda on March 25, 2013, 12:04:56 PM

Quote from: burnie on March 25, 2013, 11:58:56 AM

Quote from: proftowanda on March 25, 2013, 11:54:23 AM

Quote from: burnie on March 25, 2013, 11:42:08 AM

Quote from: proftowanda on March 25, 2013, 10:28:44 AM

Ugh.  I now have one, also for blatant cut-and-paste but patchworking, a few words changed, here and there.  This is in an online course, and the student is refusing to meet face to face, the requisite first step.  So, adding to the time suck, I have to get an administrative dispensation to move to the next step without the meeting.

This is in an undergrad course, for a second major -- but the student has a master's in education, on online degree, at an affiliated campus.  At least, that ought to mean no "but I didn't know it was plagiarism" excuse.  I wonder whether, when the process is done at my campus, there is a responsibility to inform the affiliated campus to consider reviewing the work done there? 


Are they allowed to just refuse to meet?  I can't imagine blowing off a request like that unless I was taking the course from a long distance.


The student has refused, for weeks now.  The student is in town, living and working not far from campus. 

So, it is "allowed" in the student's mind, but whether it is allowed by administration, I doubt -- and I suspect that I will be told, with evidence of my "good faith" effort, to proceed in a week or so.  I would much prefer to meet first, as the evidence is strong, and an admission of plagiarism would shorten the process and paperwork.

So, I am going to suggest that the associate dean of the student's school at my campus -- with whom I have been in contact, per the process -- message the student to meet with me and the associate dean.   Refuse that!


That's bizarre!  So either they know they're busted or they're convinced you want to meet for some random reason not worth their time.   Are they at least giving you "I'm busy" excuses or is it a straight up, "no?"  Sorry I've NEVER had a student just refuse to meet - I've had them duck meetings or schedule and no-show, but never the nerve to just refuse altogether.


I've never had a student refuse to meet, either, when receiving the "we must meet about your work" message.

This student did reply, to the second email, that s/he was out of town for the week.  However, I know where the student works, and I know that was not so.   (And so, that added to the charges, if I care to complicate the paperwork.  I do not.)


Does your school have a policy that prohibits interference with the grading process?

I had a somewhat similar situation a couple years ago, and I left a message for the student explaining that I had just spoken to the dean, who was prepared to start the disciplinary process for interfering with the professor's ability to grade/teach. I heard back from the student within minutes.


I have a policy that plagairism results in an F for the course.  I'd say come meet me or you have an F.


Yes, that policy-- an F in the course -- is stated in syllabi as one of the options per campus policy.  Others are steeper penalties, dependent upon factors such as whether this is a first offense for the student, which I cannot know until the paperwork is filed, which is to follow the meeting with the student.  (And, of course, without an admission by the student, this is not an "offense" unless and until the process results in a finding of plagiarism.) Other factors also can escalate the penalty, as has occurred in all of my previous cases, owing to my tendency to put together, I am told, evidence of egregious and inexcusable plagiarism.  (But there always is a first time.)

However, there is no policy -- and I doubt that there could be one, at my campus -- that mandates meeting with the professor, even if in a classroom course.  It certainly would not work for online courses, such as this one, as many of our students (but not this one) are, literally, distance learners.  When that arises, it will be interesting to see whether this can be discussed on email.  I am not to do that now, as email at my campus is, by state law, public record.

And to usukprof:  I don't quite understand; could you explain, further, what you mean by interference with the grading process?  Emails and non-meetings with this student are a time suck but have not interfered with my grading of more than a hundred other students, which is right on schedule.  Nor, if this student continues to post work, will this situation interfere with my grading of this student's work.  Very, very close reading and grading. . . .


That wasn't me talking about interference.  I have complete freedom to choose sanctions as I wish, and they are harsh enough in the syllabi that "Come talk to me or you have an F and will be referred to the department for more serious sanctions, including your likely dismissal from the university" would cause almost anyone to decide they ought to talk to me.  My classes are physical (or at most distributed between TownsVille and BigCity 45 min. away so physical meetings are routine.  If distance were an issue, I'd do a skype video-chat.

mystictechgal:
[interthreadularity, I think]

I spoke too soon elsewhere. I just had an assignment returned with a comment above my works cited list that read, "Citations?".

I asked, and was told that I'd quoted (using quotes) a section that was not in my own words, and where were my citations? I pointed to the bracketed citations that equated to my list (a style, not, given the brackets vs. superscript, and no footnotes, Chicago). He'd not been looking for that, he was looking for parenthetical, a style that I was told to drop for this one by another professor (with a more advanced degree) in the science program.

His response was that "I don't care. Do whatever you want. I didn't take any point off (no, I got full points, but my heart momentarily stopped with his comment), and we're in flux (no idea what this means), just do whatever you want". I remember the question being asked at the start of the term: "What form do you want the citations in?" He didn't care as long as we cited appropriately. Really?! Then maybe he'd better consult with the other science faculty and learn what they want so he can recognize it.

I didn't lose points, but my blood ran absolutely cold at the implication of his comment. I can handle both APA and MLA; I've been paid for proofing/editing PhD theses using either. I hate reading things with parentheticals. They break up the flow too much, IMO. I do not, preferentially, write using them for the same reason, but I can do it when required.

Thanks to these fora I have EndNote. I can write however I prefer and change them on the fly, but, damn, if you care then give your preference. Don't say that you don't care and then mentally, if not physically, ding someone for not conforming to your private definition of what is okay. I've got enough problems in my life. I don't need to be privately dinged for plagiarism when I haven't done so.

He may not "care", but from now on I'll set my EndNote preferences for his papers to APA (or MLA--he never did specify which he was looking for). GRRRRR. Just tell me what you expect.

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