Here's how it often goes:
1) Teacher discovers signs of some kind of cheating, plagiarism, etc.
2) Teacher approaches student.
3) Student says they didn't understand that what they did was wrong.
I used to take more responsibility for that, attempting to solve the problem by teaching in greater depth the overall principles of academic honesty as well as more and more specific things that students should not do (which is practically a manual for cheating).
But... some students have little motivation to get that lesson when NOT understanding makes their lives easier.
Finally, I realized that it's not necessary for me to get this information through walls of sometimes-willful ignorance in order to prevent or effectively deal with academic dishonesty. In fact, ignorance isn't the problem at all.
The problem isn't that a student didn't know.
The problem is that they didn't ask.
This poster draws a bright line about WHEN a student should initiate that conversation with their teacher and puts the responsibility squarely on them to do it as soon as possible when there's any potential concern.
Ideally, this will prevent academic dishonesty based on ignorance.
After the fact, it makes ignorance part of the problem, not a defense.
Here's the central question:
else's words, ideas,
and/or help made your assignment better...
Did you make it 100% clear to your
teacher which parts are
yours and which
If there is any answer besides a clear YES, students are instructed to discuss the situation with their teacher as soon as possible.
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