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Covid-19 Academic Misconduct Changes 2020-21

UCL has agreed a number of changes and clarifications for the 2020-21 academic session. Find out the full details here.


Contents

Penalty Table – Flexibility
Adjudication of online exam offences
Expedited Academic Misconduct Process
Additional Annex: Guidance on group panels and evidence sharing in cases of student collusion
2019-20 Changes Archive


Penalty Table - Flexibility

 

Currently section 9.3 ‘Adjudication and Penalty Guidance’ offers a structured table of penalties to ensure a greater level of consistency across UCL. Feedback provided during 2019-20 highlighted that on some occasions the suggested penalty may be inappropriate. The following has been agreed for 2020-21:

In cases where it is felt that the penalty indicated in the guidance table is unsuitable in light of the particular circumstances of a case, an exceptional circumstances application can be made to the Faculty Tutor who, in consultation with the Chair of Academic Misconduct Panel where necessary, can offer approval to deviate from the guidance.

Such cases may include, but not limited to:

  • Small amounts of Plagiarism on a highly weighted component, which may then result in a disproportionate penalty of 0%
  • Where the student has already failed the component or module, and an alternative penalty may be more appropriate
  • Cases where there may be an unintended effect on a student's progression or award

Adjudication of online exam offences

 Currently 'Examination Room Misconduct' is handled via the central Academic Misconduct Panel adjudication process. It has been agreed that online exams are not being completed under exam room conditions, and therefore all Academic Misconduct offences relating to online exams are handled in-line with the procedures for non-exam offences. Cases of Academic Misconduct should be considered by the relevant adjudication process depending on severity as outlined in 9.3 Adjudication and Penalty Guidance

Expedited Academic Misconduct Process

 To help manage the workload across UCL in relation to Academic Misconduct casework it has been agreed that cases may be considered without the need for a panel hearing, using the following expedited Academic Misconduct Process:
1.When Academic Misconduct is detected, the appropriate adjudicator in 9.4 Procedures can provide the student with the evidence, and recommended penalty as outlined in 9.3 Adjudication and Penalty Guidance
2.

Under these circumstances, the following criteria must be met:

  • That the student does not dispute the case of Academic Misconduct.
  • That there is no additional evidence to be provided by the student.
  • That the student is informed of the recommended penalty that would be applied in-line with standard procedures.
  • That the student indicates that they do not wish their case to be heard at a formal panel.
3.If all of the criteria are met, the agreed penalty can be applied subject to Faculty approval.
4.If the student does not respond within 15 working days they will be deemed to have accepted the allegation, and the agreed penalty can be applied subject to Faculty approval.
5.If all of the criteria are not met, the case must be considered via the standard procedures set out in 9.4 Procedures.

Additional Annex: Guidance on group panels and evidence sharing in cases of student collusion

 

A new annex has been approved, and uploaded to Chapter 6 Annexes - Annex 6.3 - Guidance on group panels in cases of student collusion. This new annex covers the following issues:

  • Whether group panels can be held in cases of student collusion (i.e. 2 or more students involved in collusion sitting at the same panel)
  • Whether evidence can be shared between students involved in collusion cases.

2019-20 Changes Archive

 The following clarifications to the procedures will now only apply to those students completing the 2019-20 academic year, and will no longer apply for 2020-21:
 Weighting status for Alternative Assessments
1.The alternative assessment for some unseen examinations may take the form of more than one assessment task (e.g. the alternative assessment for an unseen exam may take the form of two essays). It has been agreed that where an assessment component has been replaced by two or more alternative assessments,  these are treated as one component for the purposes of the Academic Misconduct procedure.
 Weighting status for Excluded Components
2.For some modules, an assessment component may have been excluded, affecting the weighting of the remaining components. It has been agreed that the original weighting should apply for the purposes of the Academic Misconduct procedure.