Cheating Policy


Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) faculty will assume the honesty of students as indicated by their assent to the Taylor University Life Together Covenant and will not, unless circumstances indicate otherwise, aggressively search for instances of cheating. However, the CSE faculty will not condone cheating. When cheating is suspected, we will take reasonable action to establish what actually occurred. It is impossible to provide a definition of cheating that is unambiguous and applies to all possible situations. Each case of suspected cheating must be carefully analyzed on its own merit.



1. Program plagiarism will be suspected if an assignment requiring independent development results in multiple solutions so similar they could easily be produced by mechanical translation. However, it is recognized that some assignments will have narrow enough parameters that similar solutions are prescribed by the nature of the assignment.
2. Cheating will be suspected if a student who was to complete an assignment independently cannot explain the details of the solution or the techniques used to generate the solution.


Examples of Cheating

▷ Submitting another’s work as your own (with or without their knowledge)
▷ Allowing someone else to submit your work as their own
▷ More than one student working on an assignment and submitting multiple copies represented (implicitly or explicitly) as individual work
▷ Using a solution developed by a student in another term
▷ Discussion of the general approach to a problem solution that involves viewing another student’s code
▷ Use of a solution obtained from the internet or another external source

While it is not possible to exhaustively list or categorize all possible situations, these above examples may be useful. Individual instructors may state requirements for certain assignments that will supersede these examples.


Examples of Flagrant Cheating

▷ Stealing an examination or solution from an instructor or student assistant
▷ Obtaining a solution from another student without their knowledge in a manner that involves deceit, making false statements after the act, or a breach of system security
▷ Submitting another’s work that is completely duplicated
Extremely serious incidents of cheating will be labeled flagrant and will require more severe penalties.


Examples of Not Cheating

▷ Submitting work done alone or with assistance from course staff
▷ Submitting one assignment for a group of students if group work is permitted or required
▷ Obtaining or giving assistance in the use of computer systems or tools needed for completion of an assignment
▷ High-level discussion of course material to better understand the problem and potential solutions
▷ Discussion of assignments to ascertain the requirements (Note: It is best to consult the instructor or student assistants assigned to the course rather than other students in that it is easy for such questions to degenerate into implementation details.)


Assessment and Procedures

The following general procedures will be followed when an instructor suspects that cheating may have occurred:


▷ A standard form will be filled out for each student suspected of cheating. This form will include the name of the student being investigated and the names of other students potentially involved. Because levels of involvement will be different for each student, a separate form will be used for each student.
▷ If it is determined that no cheating has occurred or if it is not possible to make a definitive judgment, the student(s) names will be removed from the form, but it will be kept on file.
▷ If it is determined that cheating has occurred, the form will be kept on file in order that repeated offenses may be detected. The student’s name will be removed from the file after the student graduates.
▷ At least one additional CSE faculty member will be consulted. Reasons for this requirement include fairness to the student so that a single faculty member will not make an error in judgment and protection for the faculty so that a student may not charge an individual faculty member with bias.
▷ The assessment of the situation may involve multiple faculty members and/or discussion at a department meeting. The assessment will often involve assistance from CSE technical staff and may involve assistance from Information Technology staff.
▷ At least one meeting between the instructor and the student will be held. The consulted faculty member may be included in this meeting. The instructor will maintain notes of the meeting(s).
▷ The instructor in the course will maintain a file of material gathered in the investigation. If it is determined that no cheating occurred, this file will be destroyed at the discretion of the instructor. If it is determined that cheating has occurred, the file will be maintained at least as long as the student’s name is retained on the form filed on the incident.



▷ If it is determined that a first, non-flagrant cheating offense has occurred, the penalty will be at least as severe as that for not submitting the work in question. The exact penalty will be determined by the instructor in consultation with the faculty consultant involved in the determination of guilt. The CSE department chair or the entire department faculty may be consulted.
▷ The penalty may be more severe including failure in the course. An example of conditions warranting a more severe penalty is the failure of the student to acknowledge guilt in the face of hard evidence.
▷ Repeated or flagrant offenses will result in failure in the course.
▷ All investigations resulting in a determination of cheating will be reported to all CSE faculty and technical staff.
▷ All investigations resulting in a determination of cheating will be reported to Academic Affairs. If the student disagrees with the assessment, the student’s viewpoint will be represented.
▷ All cases of repeated or flagrant offenses (or any case resulting in failure in the course) will also be reported to Student Development.
▷ If a cheating offense involves violation of computer use policy (sharing of a password, etc.), that policy may also include additional penalties. Such penalties may include restricting use of lab facilities that could have an additional effect on grades in the course or in any courses requiring the use of computer facilities.