Don't cheat - there are better options
A campaign of the Examination Board of the Faculty of Technology and Bionics
What is this campaign about?
The examination board of the faculty of technology and bionics would like to raise awareness of cheating and of scientific misconduct in general. This includes cases of ghost writing, plagiarism, the use of books during an exam when it was not allowed, the forgery of data and further situations. Scientific misconduct, also called academic misconduct, refers to all violations against scientific rules and standards. All members of the academic community – including research staff inside and outside universities, teaching staff and students – are commited to good scientific practice. This excludes scientific misconduct.
The aim of this page is twofold:
On the one hand, it offers an overview about what is considered as scientific misconduct, on the other hand, this page gives an overview about the better options; that is, pointing out where to find help with certain problems and how to avoid even the suspicion of cheating.
What is scientific misconduct?
In general, scientific misconduct or academic misconduct is the violation against scientific rules and standards. To be more concrete, cheating in one of the university's exams can be:
- texting on your phone (both receiving and sending solutions or hints is cheating)
- taking pictures of the exam for others
- looking up things on your phone or in a book when it's not allowed
- having notes with you
- having someone else taking your exam
- having someone sitting under your desk during the proctored exam and helping you
Cheating in homeworks, quizzes, attestations and the like can furthermore be:
- taking over ideas, quotes and the like from other sources and not indicating it
- having a ghostwriter (for parts or whole)
- making something up without proof
- faking experiments, findings and data
- not indicating group work
Consequences of scientific misconduct
For the students of our faculty, punishments can range from simply failing an exam up to exmatriculation.
Section 13 (3) & (4) of our General Examination Regulations (RPO) state: If a student attempts to alter the results of an examination through deception or use of prohibited materials, then the examination shall be assessed as “Failed” (5.0). (...) In the event of repeated or unusually serious examination offences, the bachelor’s or master’s examination may be declared definitively and irreversibly failed. (...) the affected student shall be automatically exmatriculated from the degree programme.
Further, Section 13 (5) RPO: Intentionally violating any of the aforementioned provisions regarding examination offences is considered a misdemeanour. Pursuant to the PO’s, this misdemeanour may be punishable by a fine of up to EUR 50,000.
Make no mistake, the examination board has to punish scientific misconduct and has already done so in the past.
What are the better options?
Exams can be hard and stressful, even more so in pandemic times. It is not so hard to imagine that one comes into a situation where cheating seems the best or even last option. But there are always better options! The table below gives an overview about possible situations and solution our university offers. Even if you don’t find your specific situation depicted there please do not hesitate to contact one of the institutions and people mentioned below. If they do not know the solution to your situation, they know at least whom you can contact instead.
Please be aware always that even if you know someone who has cheated and was not caught, they still have violated the rules of science and academia. Please be also aware that there is no prescription of scientific misconduct, cheating attempts can be discovered and punished later.
|not learned enough or at all||contact our study guide, postpone your exam (find more information on the moodle page of the examination board)|
|did not understand the lecture, the topic etc.||contact our study guide, meet with fellow students, contact the students board of the faculty FSR|
|external problems (Corona, mental or physical health issues)||contact the psychological councelling service|
|pressure from the family, peers etc.||contact the psychological councelling service|
|pressure because of third attempt||contact the student advisory service, contact our study guide|
How to avoid the suspicion of cheating?
- Always indicate ideas, data, claims and the like which are not your own. Cite sources correctly.
- Follow the instructions given by the lecturers and proctors.
- If possible and offered, participate in the trial run for online exams, knowing the situation makes it less stressfull.
- If you have technical issues in an online exam let the proctors know immediately.
- Avoid anything which might be suspicious, like using a smart watch during the exam, for example.
If you have been accused of cheating please follow the advices given on the moodle page of the examination board (you have to scroll down a bit).