Context: I am an assistant professor of mathematics at a small liberal-arts college in the US.

I am currently teaching an applied mathematics course for about thirty students with business-related majors, and I want to give them the opportunity to use a sheet of notes (a.k.a cheat sheet) on their first exam. I am concerned about the implementation of this policy; specifically, I want to ensure the following:

  1. This policy is as beneficial to student learning as possible.
  2. I close any loopholes that could lead to unfairness or some other unforeseen problem on test day.

Some things I have already anticipated:

  1. I will give the students some starter material that they should include on their note sheet—important formulas, critical concepts, examples they should definitely be prepared to see, etc.

  2. Rules regarding the size of the notes are precise: Students may have a single sheet of 8.5″ × 11″ paper (or smaller), and they may write on either side of it.

  3. The notes must be handwritten as this requires the students to process the material. (See this question for more discussion on why I believe that ultimately helps my students.)
  4. I will not give a student their exam until they have removed everything from their desk except their note sheet and calculator. (I do not want them searching in their bag/book/folders once they have begun the exam.)

That leaves me with the following questions:

  1. Should I require students to turn in their notes to me before the exam? After the exam? Is their anything to be gained by me reviewing their notes?
  2. Would it be better for me to simply give them a formula sheet that I’ve prepared? I know that this will help the students who are too lazy to bring a notes sheet, but I feel like that’s on them.
  3. Are there other problems I should be prepared to confront? I want to do everything possible to avoid difficulties on the day of the exam.
  4. Is there research that supports/discourages the allowance cheat sheets? Am I actually doing something that’s ultimately beneficial to my students?

I have a friend who’s an undergraduate at university. I believe myself to be fairly proficient in TeX/LaTeX; I’ve seen some of the assignments that he’s received back, and we both agree they could look more professional.

Is it ethical for me to typeset his work to look more like a paper before it’s submitted for grading? I would not be adding any new information to the assignment and I would not correct any mistakes that I think I see, but it still seems to me that perhaps it could be against the rules.

I have a friend who’s an undergraduate at university. I believe myself to be fairly proficient in TeX/LaTeX; I’ve seen some of the assignments that he’s received back, and we both agree they could look more professional. Is it ethical for me to typeset his work to look more like a paper? I would not be adding any new information to the assignment and I would not correct any mistakes that I think I see, but it still seems to me that perhaps it could be against the rules.

I cheated at a language exam when I was eight years old. I finished early and noticed that I had accidentally left a dictionary in my drawer. I double-checked my answers and promptly got caught.
The incident is probably unverifiable at this point: The physical evidence is long gone; the teacher probably retired; the school probably didn’t keep records or has already destroyed it. I might be the only person on the planet who still remembers it.

  • Should I mention this incident when being asked about academic integrity in job interviews or similar?

  • Should I tell graduate admissions?

I suspect the answer is no since it was so long ago and I was eight years old, but I’m afraid I might be rationalizing.

Phrasing this as “graduate admissions” but it really could be anyone who asks about academic integrity e.g. in job interviews.

More details – I finished the (language) exam early and then noticed I’d accidentally left a dictionary in my drawer. In a moment of weakness I decided to double-check my answers and promptly got caught. I didn’t need to cheat – the teacher gave me 0 on the questions I cheated on, and I still scored 92/100.

I’ve never cheated since.

The incident is probably unverifiable at this point – the physical evidence is long gone, the teacher probably retired, the school probably didn’t keep records or has already destroyed it. I might be the only person on the planet who still remembers it. Should I tell graduate admissions? I suspect “no” since it was so long ago + I was eight years old, but I’m afraid I might be rationalizing.

In an advanced university course on computer science and problem solving, one of my fellow student asked for a solution to a home exam on one of the Stack Exchange sites. The question he asked is taken directly from the exam without modification also stating that this is practice question for upcoming exam. He got the solution. There was more than one question.

Now for the moral dilemma. I feel very uneasy about reporting although knowing that it will hurt future students and in the long term the status of the school. Will it affect me? Most likely not.

I would like input on how others would reason about this.

In an advanced university course on computer science and problem solving, one of my fellow student asked for a solution to a home exam on one of the Stack Exchange sites. The question he asked is taken directly from the exam without modification also stating that this is practice question for upcoming exam. He got the solution. There was more than one question.

Now for the moral dilemma. I feel very uneasy about reporting although knowing that it will hurt future students and in the long term the status of the school. Will it affect me? Most likely not.

I would like input on how others would reason about this.

I am currently working as a teaching assistant.

My tasks this semester include writing/putting together a formula sheet containing a lot of formulas and some graphs that the students should not have to memorize.
This sheet will be used in the final exam.

A student recently send an e-mail asking whether he should print it out himself or will be given a copy upon taking the exam. Since I am not responsible for the exam or anything grading-related, this mail might should have been addressed to the professor, since I can only guess
(although I am fairly certain it would not be useful to let students bring the sheets themselves and thus giving them a chance to alter them).

Now how I see it, i have the following options:

  • Forward the e-mail to my professor
  • answer the student vaguely, recommending to mail the professor
  • contact the professor, ask him what to do

I’m unsure whether forwarding this mail would be appropriate. I’d also feel stupid for asking the professor about something that should be obvious.

Which of the outlined possibilites would be the most efficient, yet still appropriate way to go?

In a previous test one of my TAs discovered a fraudulent pattern in six of the exams. The answers were uncomfortably similar, actually identical in many places. I called the students to my office and brought two colleagues to help me “interview” them individually (ask them questions about the test, gauge their level of knowledge about the subject, …)

One of the students reacted very explosive at my one and only question: “Could you please tell me how you solved ‘problem 2’? He told me he felt threatened by the question and that I had no right to ask him questions after the exam. To what I reply: “do you or do you not know?”

At that point things spiraled very fast out of control, he reacted violently, stepping out of the office while muttering some insults. I tried to calm him down but he got only angrier and the color of his words became reader. After seeing this, the other students refused to continue the interviews with my colleagues and left.

I definitely don’t know if I should have approached the situation in a different way. Should I make them repeat the exam? Start a disciplinary process?

EDIT (Jan/09/18):

In case of suspected misconduct I should bring the case, along with evidence, to the Dean. He then reviews it and decides whether to bring it to the Academic Council or stop it there. They ultimately have the power to decide what to do. However, almost a year ago a colleague also faced a situation that involved fraud during a test, and the Dean decided to not do anything because the potential punishment for the student would be too harsh (he might be expelled)

In a previous test one of my TAs discovered a fraudulent pattern in six of the exams. The answers were uncomfortably similar, actually identical in many places. I called the students to my office and brought two colleagues to help me “interview” them individually (ask them questions about the test, gauge their level of knowledge about the subject, …)

One of the students reacted very explosive at my one and only question: “Could you please tell me how you solved ‘problem 2’? He told me he felt threatened by the question and that I had no right to ask him questions after the exam. To what I reply: “do you or do you not know?”

At that point things spiraled very fast out of control, he reacted violently, stepping out of the office while muttering some insults. I tried to calm him down but he got only angrier and the color of his words became reader. After seeing this, the other students refused to continue the interviews with my colleagues and left.

I definitely don’t know if I should have approached the situation in a different way. Should I make them repeat the exam? Start a disciplinary process?