Inappropriate Collaboration Definitions

What does the Academic Integrity Policy have to say about inappropriate collaboration?

Appendix 3, Section 9 – 12:

Inappropriate Collaboration

  • Collaborative learning is a valuable method of instruction that is utilized by many instructors at McMaster University. Students will often be encouraged to discuss ideas and concepts with one another to facilitate the learning process. A distinction must be drawn, however, between collaborative learning and collaboration on assignments. Assignments, projects, reports, etc. are required to be completed by an individual unless the instructor indicates some kind of collaboration is permissible.
  • Inappropriate collaboration occurs when students work together on an assignment that was intended as an individual assignment or when students work together in groups beyond the degree of permissible collaboration.
  • Instructors are expected to outline the appropriate level of collaboration on course outlines and/or on each assignment. When group work is acceptable, but not required, the instructor is responsible for specifying the way in which the work is to be done and for determining the degree of permissible collaboration among the students.
  • Students are directed to assume all assignments are intended to be done individually unless otherwise directed by the instructor. Students are expected to ask questions and clarify the collaboration expectations for each assignment if they are unsure of the instructor’s expectations. Students are also expected to use standard citation rules to identify any part or section of their assignment that is not original.