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Home > Relay Documents Hub > Student Handbook > Academic Policies > Academic Honesty and Collaboration
Academic Honesty and Collaboration
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Assignments at Relay are designed to support students’ growth and development as teachers. Students’ work products, therefore, should be their own. All Relay students are expected to maintain academic integrity throughout their Relay experience. Academic integrity means demonstrating and upholding the highest level of academic integrity in all academic work.  

Relay regards acts of academic dishonesty (e.g., plagiarism [including self-plagiarism], cheating on assessments, obtaining unfair advantage, and falsification of records or official documents) as serious offenses against the values of intellectual integrity. Relay will treat any deliberate use of others’ work (including that of artificial intelligence) without citation as plagiarism. Relay regards acts of academic dishonesty to include, but not be limited to: 

  • plagiarism (directly quoting/paraphrasing from a book, article, interview, video, artificial intelligence output, etc. without citing the author, title, and year of publication, using/submitting another Relay student or Relay alumnus’s work (either by paraphrasing or quoting directly), submitting the same lesson plan or assignment as another student, submitting lesson and/or unit plans designed by someone else without listing the designers and/or collaborators)

  • self-plagiarism (resubmission of previously submitted work (inclusive of video and written assignments) without permission from the course professor)

  • cheating on assessments (e.g., collaborating on a content knowledge assessment that is to be taken individually, securing an answer key, etc.) 

  • obtaining unfair advantage (e.g., gaining advance access to assessment questions)

  • falsification of records, student data, or official documents 

Students who use school- or district-provided materials, or materials from a published curriculum, must cite their sources in the text (i.e., APA citation) to make clear which portions of the work came from sources other than the students themselves. The majority of a submitted assessment should be students’ original written work.

Students should treat the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-generated material the same as material from other external sources AND adhere to the guidelines for responsible usage of AI outlined below. That is, when an assignment allows for inclusion of material from an external source (e.g., material from published or school-based curricula) students can also consider the use of AI tools, so long as they adhere to the best practice guidelines below, including checks and edits of AI output. Students may also use AI to offer revision suggestions on original work or to break down a task. When in doubt about whether AI usage is permitted for an assignment, students should always consult directly with their professor. 

Regardless of the specific assignment or content, the majority of a submitted assessment should be students’ original work. Quoting directly from or paraphrasing from an AI source or using AI in any other way to complete an assignment without citation is plagiarism and violates Relay’s academic integrity policy. If a student uses AI for a Relay assignment, they must cite their use of the tool (i.e., APA citation). 

Relay Student Guidelines for Responsible AI Usage: 

  • First, check your employer’s policy on AI. Different schools, districts, and networks have different policies on the use of AI. Before you use any AI tool, be sure you know and follow any applicable policies from your employer. 

  • Protect student privacy. Never share any personally identifiable information about your students with AI (e.g., student names, email addresses, etc.). 

  • Protect intellectual property. Many AI tools use information that you put in to train the AI itself (e.g., information you add into the AI can be used in its future responses to anyone). As such, excerpts from sources such as Relay coursework should not be provided to any AI tools. 

  • Keep the limitations of the specific AI tool in mind. Before you use any AI tool, research its limitations. Common limitations include the use of outdated information in algorithms, the potential for provision of inaccurate information through the tool’s output, and the potential for biased information through the tool’s output. With that in mind…

  • Check for and remove bias. Information generated from AI tools has a high potential for bias. Check any AI output for biased content such as generalizations, deficit-based assumptions, or stereotypes, and remove such content. 

  • Edit what you get from an AI tool. Because of the limitations above, you should never take and use output from AI without editing it. You should actively check for and edit content for accuracy, to remove bias, to ensure the information is up to date, and to contextualize for your school and students. 

Teaching is a highly collaborative profession. Therefore, verbal collaboration with colleagues is permitted, provided that all collaborators share in the completion of the assessment and that all collaborators demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to complete the work. When in doubt, collaborators should reach out to their professors. All collaboration should be only verbal in nature, and students should submit unique, individual written work for each assessment. Students must list collaborator(s) on the assessment template. Failure to list a collaborator on an assessment may negatively affect students’ assessment scores and may lead to additional academic sanctions (e.g., overall course-score penalty, resubmission of an assessment, program dismissal).

If students feel that there is a compelling reason to turn in portions of the same written work as a colleague, or portions of a previously submitted assignment, the students must email their faculty members a request for permission, including the rationale for the collaboration or reuse, at least one week in advance of the submission. Relay will treat any submission that is proven to be authored by students and reused or repurposed from a previous submission or publication, without the explicit written consent of the course instructor, as self-plagiarism.

Any impression of potential academic dishonesty will be carefully examined in the following manner:

 

  • If a faculty member presumes a student has engaged in an act of academic dishonesty, faculty members will inform their instructional leader immediately, including all relevant documentation.

  • After informing the instructional leader, faculty members will confer with students, ensuring documentation of communication throughout the process.

  • Faculty members—in consultation with the instructional leader—will administer a sanction aligned to the specific act of academic dishonesty. The sanction could range from a grade deduction to recommendation for dismissal from the program.

  • Student appeals of academic integrity policy decisions may be made to the Office of Student Affairs by emailing [email protected] . Cases will then be reviewed by the dean or department chair—in consultation with the Office of Student Affairs—and the dean or department chair will confirm or update the sanction commensurate with the academic integrity action. 

  • After receiving notice from the dean or department chair and/or in the case that the sanction is dismissal from the program, a student has the option to petition to appeal the program dismissal sanction. The student must complete a petition to appeal an academic integrity sanction, which will be reviewed by the Academic Review Board, who will make a final determination. 

  • Repeated acts of the academic integrity policy may result in dismissal from the program.

  • Exceptions to the academic integrity policy will be made on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Review Board

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