Case Study 2

A high level of similarity had been noted between essays submitted by two students. Upon investigation, the electronic file showed the author of both essay documents to be student A, with amendments made by student B. Student A attended the panel in person while student B did not attend or submit a statement. During the panel student A expressed shock at being informed of the allegation of plagiarism and could not understand how both essay documents came have the same content. Student A had not worked with student B and had finished their essay on the day it was due, having used a computer on campus at their college. There was electronic evidence that student B had accessed the essay file in UHI space without the agreement or knowledge of student A.

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The panel concluded that there was no evidence academic misconduct had been committed by student A. For student B, the decision of the panel was that academic misconduct had taken place. Student B was given a mark of zero/fail grade for the whole module and offered the opportunity to enrol to repeat the module, with teaching. In the letter of outcome to student B, reference was made to the seriousness of allegedly accessing another student’s file without their knowledge or consent.

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