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Working with TAs to Detect and Address Academic Dishonesty

It is important that TAs know how to handle cases or suspected cases of academic dishonesty. TAs should be given a written procedure for dealing with academic dishonesty within the lab that adheres to the Senate Policy on Academic Honesty. They should also be required to read and be familiar with the entire Senate Policy Document. TAs should be encouraged to discuss concerns with the coordinator/course director at any time, and should be instructed to consult the course director before approaching any student on a suspected case of breach of academic honesty. 

In some courses TAs may deal directly (and less formally) with cases of plagiarism. However, it is advisable to remove this responsibility from the TA. All cases or suspected cases of academic dishonesty should be referred to the laboratory coordinator and/or course director. Having a single person in charge of academic dishonesty helps ensure consistency, and having a more senior member of the teaching team address any issues underlines the seriousness of the offense for the students. It also removes the burden of decision-making and prosecution from the TA. Since the TA works directly with the students in small groups, having the TA removed from direct involvement in cases of academic dishonesty may also help maintain morale and positive working relationships within the laboratory.