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Given 0s on Assignments with suspected and dismissed cheating?

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Brian Burl


( 5 months ago )

Basically, I coded several assignments and a friend turned in code which looks almost identical. I didn't give him my code, and, as far as I know, he didn't even have any way to access it - but it happened somehow. Anyway, the professor said that he can't prove that I let him have the code, so he won't/can't fail me for the class. However, he'll still give me 0s on the assignments he suspects cheating on.

Is there anything I can do? I already went over the code with the professor one on one, and proved with little doubt that I coded it myself. If the suspected cheating can't be proved, does he have the authority to give 0s on those assignments? Would an ombudsman be able to change the situation? I don't want to push this too hard and end up digging myself into a hole where an authority may decide to fail me (if that's possible), but I also proved that I coded those assignments and deserve a grade.

The professor said that if he figures out how he got my code (supposedly if he sees that I didn't willingly hand it over to him), then he'd give me the points back. But since the case is already going to be dismissed, is that a decision that he can make or something I can fight back?

I'm sure this all varies based on different universities and their policies, but any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

EDIT: I was mistaken to say that the case is going to be dismissed - Its most likely going to be though.

EDIT2: Between advice here and what I've found out on my end, I think I know what my options are and what I can do.

Rahul Chaudhary


( 5 months ago )

I have heard about professors threatening all kinds of stuff because of alleged cheating. In our university, such cases may not be judged by the professors or teachers of the course (and doing so, especially making threats can get them into trouble). Instead, they are required to present it to a commission consisting of a few higher-ups in the department.

I suggest you look up how this works at your school or university. I imagine you can ask your mentor or adviser (or just another professor / teacher you trust) what the procedure is there.

It shouldn't be a problem to ask what the procedure is, and if you like what you hear you can always try to make your case. Though I'd informally explain the situation to someone you trust, e.g. mentor, adviser, etc. first. If you are willing to make a case, you can probably tell the teacher beforehand, if they don't think they have a case they might drop it all together because they don't want involve others (especially if they have little proof).

Once you do involve other people (teachers / some commission), make sure to make your case as tight as possible. If you can prove that you wrote it (e.g. a cloud service that shows when you saved, Github commits or chat logs showing your worked on it together) then that can help you convince those who are judging the case.

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