Academic Integrity

At Illinois Virtual School we strive to provide the highest quality online experience for our students. Our courses and teachers equip students with what they need to become competent in the given subject matter. It is the responsibility of teachers, administrators and staff to do everything possible to boost student confidence and give students all the tools needed to be successful in a course.

Unfortunately at times students may choose to engage in dishonest activity which has a detrimental effect on student performance, student character, grading systems and the academic climate of a school. Students involved in any cheating incident or act of dishonesty will be penalized and could lose access to the program.

Why is academic integrity important?

Academic integrity is important in any educational setting to ensure the student is achieving course objectives and meeting (or exceeding) State standards. If students do not learn required material in a course, this can negatively affect a student’s future pathway in the subject area in high school and beyond. Academic integrity also sets the tone for integrity in other aspects of a student’s life to be carried into adulthood. Students should be aware that upholding academic integrity standards ensures that:

  1. Students earn credit only for material they have learned and mastered.
  2. Students do not violate any State or Federal laws.

What is Illinois Virtual School’s policy?

Academic honesty is highly valued in the digital classroom, just as it is in a face-to-face school. A student must always submit work that represents his or her original words or ideas. If any words or ideas are used that do not represent the student's original words or ideas, the student must appropriately cite all relevant sources. Words or ideas that require citations include, but are not limited to, all hardcopy or electronic publications, whether copyrighted or not, and all verbal or visual communication (including images) when the content of such communication clearly originates from an identifiable source.

Academic dishonesty in an online environment includes, but is not limited to:

  • having a tutor, friend, parent or any other individual, complete any portion of a student’s assignment;
  • copying work from another student;
  • copying work from an outside source when individual work is required, even with citation;
  • purchasing a pre-written paper;
  • letting someone else write a paper for you;
  • paying someone else to write a paper for you;
  • using information from online information services without proper citation;
  • using a service that does the critical work for a student, including use of translation services in world language classes; and
  • presenting a paper or other work that is made up entirely, or almost entirely, of another’s work, even if appropriately cited.

What is an appropriate use of a dictionary or translator in a World Language Class?

Dictionaries can be a useful tool when learning a new language. You are certainly welcome and encouraged to use a dictionary for daily assignments to search for individual vocabulary words.

The use of translation programs to complete assignments and submit as your own work is not allowed because it is a form of plagiarism, which is cheating. Suspected translator usage will follow the same protocol as outlined in the ‘Consequences’ section below. Repeated plagiarism offenses may result in removal from the course.

*Note: Using a translation program as a dictionary to look up individual words is acceptable for daily assignments only (not Quizzes or Exams). On assignments, you may search for vocabulary but never entire sentence translations.

If, at any time, you are unclear whether or not the use of a dictionary or translator is allowed, please contact your teacher for clarification and help.

What is plagiarism?

Duke University’s definition of plagiarism, from their student bulletin:

“Plagiarism occurs when a student, with intent to deceive or with reckless disregard for proper scholarly procedures, presents any information, ideas or phrasing of another as if they were his/her own and/or does not give appropriate credit to the original source. Proper scholarly procedures require that all quoted material be identified by quotation marks or indentation on the page, and the source of information and ideas, if from another, must be identified and be attributed to that source. Students are responsible for learning proper scholarly procedures.”

(Duke University, “Citing Sources and Avoiding Plagiarism,” http://library.duke.edu/research/plagiarism/)

Consequences

Illinois Virtual School believes that many first-time plagiarism incidents are opportunities for education on the need to complete one’s own work and how to not unintentionally plagiarize. Note that an ‘offense’ consists of a single gradebook item.

First Offense: After the student’s first suspected offense of plagiarism or cheating, the teacher will inform the student of their suspicions, and the rationale for the suspicions which may include relevant supporting information such as the TurnitIn report or website url(s). The student will be given a 1 as a placeholder grade, and afforded a one-time opportunity to redo the assignment or to the teacher’s satisfaction for credit. The teacher may also provide an alternate assignment in lieu of the original as his/her discretion. The student will be given a fresh copy of the plagiarism statement and told they must acknowledge reading and agreeing to its procedures via email to the teacher. The teacher will notify the local school and parents of the incident and consequences via the Maestro SIS, CCing the IVS Coordinator of Curriculum.

Second Offense: After the student’s second suspected offense, the teacher will inform the student of their suspicions and supply relevant supporting information such as the TurnitIn report or website url(s). The student will be given a 1 on the assignment without the possibility of makeup. The student will be given a fresh copy of the plagiarism statement. The teacher will notify the local school and parents of the incident and consequences via the Maestro SIS, CCing the IVS Coordinator of Curriculum.

Third Offense: After the student’s third suspected offense, the teacher will inform the student of their suspicions and supply relevant supporting information such as the TurnitIn report or website url(s).The student will be given a 1 on the assignment without the possibility of makeup. The student will be given a fresh copy of the plagiarism statement. The teacher will notify the local school and parents of the incident and consequences via the Maestro SIS, CCing the IVS Coordinator of Curriculum. This third offense will serve as a final warning that another offense may result in removal from the course. If a student has any additional incidents, the teacher will notify the IVS Coordinator of Curriculum that an additional infraction has occurred, provide a brief background and any supporting information. The Coordinator of Curriculum will notify the local school of the incident with the recommendation that the student be dropped from the course. Note: This process is meant for offenses which follow the pattern above. IVS recognizes the possibility of unique or severe cases of academic dishonesty. In such cases the IVS teacher will escalate the case to the Coordinator of Curriculum who will work with the teacher, student and local school towards a mutually acceptable plan of action. (see Disclaimer below)

Student Appeal Process

After any accusation of plagiarism, the student may appeal the decision to the teacher if they believe they did not violate the IVS Policy. If a student wishes to appeal, the teacher will offer, at their discretion, either an alternative assessment or an oral assessment to determine whether the student legitimately understands the lessons at the level they are claiming. If the teacher determines that the student did not, indeed, plagiarize, they will inform the local school, parents and IVS Coordinator of Curriculum that the student has been cleared. The teacher may request that the phone call be in presence of a local school administrator or teacher.

General Academic Integrity Guidelines and Disclaimer

All students enrolled in an IVS course are expected to: Abide by Federal, State and and local laws, as well as the rules of IVS and their home school. Respect the person, property and civil rights of others. Conform to reasonable standards of socially acceptable behavior, including acting courteously.

IVS has provided examples of academic dishonesty as well as a roadmap for consequences by offense. These items do not cover every situation which may arise, nor foresee all extenuating circumstances. In addition, local school administrators have the right to impose their own consequences after discussion with IVS staff. Certain situations may require moving beyond a lesser to a more severe consequence, even on a first offense.

This policy provides general guidelines and the importance of academic integrity for all IVS courses.