Section 7
Guide for teachers and departments
in handling cases of academic dishonesty

   
1. Each Department or Programme shall ensure that new students (especially undergraduates) learn and understand the expected standards of academic honesty.
   
2. At the beginning of each course, the teacher shall draw the attention of the class to these guidelines by citing this specific website.
3. It is recommended that a short statement to this effect shall be incorporated into the course outline. A version suitable for downloading is available.
4. Teachers shall insist that every assignment, in particular term papers and projects, be accompanied by a signed declaration of originality, and not to grade assignments without the receipt. For group projects, all members of the group shall be asked to sign on the declaration. For assignments in the form of a computer-generated document that is principally text-based and submitted via VeriGuide, the statement, in the form of a receipt, will be issued by the system upon students' uploading of the soft copy of the assignment. Only the final version of assignments shall be submitted via VeriGuide, unless prior approval is obtained from the course teachers. The template can be found here.
5. Soon after receipt of the submission, VeriGuide will produce comparison reports showing the major similarities found between assignments and with other available sources, in order to provide data for teachers to decide, in the context of the particular subjects, course and assignment, whether the relevant parts identified are original.
6. Upon reading the report, the teacher shall judge if there is a case. If he/she so judged, he/she shall inform the student(s) of his/her decision and give the student(s) concerned access to the relevant portion of the report before the case is taken to any committee concerned. For group projects, all members of the group should be held responsible and liable to disciplinary actions, irrespective of whether he/she has signed the declaration and whether he/she has contributed, directly or indirectly, to the problematic contents. As such, all members of the group should be notified of the decision and granted access to the report. The matter shall not be handled by the teacher alone, since this will lead to inconsistent treatment.
7.

Teachers shall then report all cases to the disciplinary committee concerned (with effect from 2008-09, the disciplinary committees of the faculties/colleges/offices/centres that offer the course concerned will be the authority for handling the case instead of the students' major programmes/faculties; and in the case of MBChB students, if the relevant courses are offered by the Faculty of Medicine, the cases shall be handled by the Fitness To Practice (FTP) Committee formed under the Faculty of Medicine) by providing any supporting information/materials, in addition to the VeriGuide report. The disciplinary committee concerned/the FTP Committee shall handle such cases in accordance with the guidelines established by the Senate Committee on Student Discipline. See University guidelines for details.

8. On the other hand, the teacher shall also send an alert to the relevant coordinators of the Programme/Department/Faculty/College Offices of the case by using the function available in VeriGuide, so that the relevant coordinators can keep track of the development of the cases.
9. At the end of each term, a summary report shall be made available for Programme/Department/Faculty/College Offices so that they can take appropriate actions to ensure that suspected cases are properly dealt with. Also, the Deans/Associate Deans/College Heads/Masters (or their representatives) will also be given access to the statistic and management pages.
 
10. The Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning requires that implementation of the use of VeriGuide be included as one element of future programme reviews, starting from the year 2009, and that all records of the handling of cases of possible academic dishonesty be documented and included in the self-evaluation documents of programmes for regular internal programme reviews.
 

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