Working as a TA/GA
Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Graduate Assistants (GAs) play an important role in promoting Academic Integrity at Toronto Metropolitan University. Whether TA/GAs are leading seminars, marking assignments, evaluating group-work or invigilating exams; they contribute to upholding the standards of excellence expected in our community and by PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity . Therefore, assistants are expected to know how plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct are defined, recognize when these occur, and follow the appropriate procedures when academic misconduct is suspected.
As a TA/GA, student or faculty you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with PDF fileSenate Policy 60: Academic Integrity. This policy was revised, effective September 1, 2015, and there are new guidelines for graduate students.
For additional resources on Academic Integrity, please see the AIO Google Drive Resource Folder for Graduate Students, external link.
Preventing Academic Misconduct
Academic misconduct prevention is the one of the central values of the Academic Integrity policy. Here are some hints and places to go for prevention ideas.
The best approach is to be up-front and clear about Academic Integrity expectations right from the start. Talk to your supervisor and decide how you are going to handle issues before they arise.
Academic Integrity Office has developed an Academic Integrity website for faculty/instructors/GAs/TAs and students, which contains valuable information along with tutorials and quizzes to assist in understanding the various types of misconduct, how to avoid misconduct and provides many useful resources.
There are excellent support services on campus for GAs/TAs, for example:
- Student Learning Support (SLLS), opens in new window - comprehensive services, workshops, and online resources specifically geared to academic skill-building (e.g. Writing Support, Math Support, etc.).
- University Library, opens in new window - the librarians and the RULA website are great resources for research, citation and ‘how to’ videos.
- The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, opens in new window - workshops and resources to assist in developing your teaching practice.
- Centre for Student Development and Counselling (CSDC), opens in new window - promotes emotional and social well-being, academic success and career development for students.
Our university has established an Academic Integrity Office (AIO). The AIO exists to ensure that PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity and the accompanying procedures are carried out in a fair and transparent way, and to provide educational resources to the Toronto Metropolitan community regarding academic integrity and misconduct. The AIO provides guidance and support to students and decision makers, and ensures that all parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The AIO is neutral with respect to all cases and is neither an advocate for students or faculty nor a decision-maker in the process. For more information, contact the Academic Integrity Office.
For Graduate Students
Note: This is not a complete list of important information for Graduate students, for more information, please see PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity Procedures and PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity Guidelines.
In graduate education it is essential that an environment exist where faculty and students have the utmost regard for academic integrity. Graduate students often engage in research with a large degree of independence. Therefore, they are expected to and must pursue their academic and research activities in a manner that is consistent with the highest standards of ethical and scholarly practice (PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, Section 4.6).
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, Appendix A, Section 9 provides:
For the purposes of this policy, “supervised research” is treated as a separate category to accord with the Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research, and includes academic milestones such as Comprehensive Examinations, Major Research Papers, Research or Thesis Proposals, Theses and Dissertations, as well as the research and associated writing carried out towards any of these at either the undergraduate or graduate level. (See Procedures 1.5 regarding the process to be followed in addressing suspicions of misconduct in these areas.) Suspicions of research misconduct that may have occurred under the auspices of Ryerson University, but are in no way directed towards academic advantage or benefit, are to be addressed under Policy 118: Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity (SRC) Integrity rather than PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity.
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity Procedures, Section 1.5.9 provides:
In all cases of suspected research misconduct, the Vice President Research and Innovation (VPRI) must be notified by the AIO. In the case of graduate student misconduct, the Dean of Yeates School of Graduate Studies (YSGS) must also be notified of the suspicion.
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity Procedures, Section 1.5.10 provides:
In the case of a student in receipt of tri-agency funding, the VPRI will assign an additional investigator, external (i.e. arms-length) to the university, who will also attend and participate in the FD as an investigator and decision maker and will sign a confidentiality agreement registered with the OVPRI.
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, Section 7.1.2 provides:
"The minimum penalty for misconduct with respect to work submitted in a course by a graduate student is a grade of “zero” (0) on the work."
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, Section 7.1.3 provides:
"The minimum penalty for misconduct with respect to non-course program requirements by a graduate student is a grade of ‘D-UNS’ [Disciplinary Unsatisfactory].”
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, Section 184.108.40.206 provides:
“Graduate students cannot be assigned a DS”.
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, Section 3.6 & Section 7.2.2 provide:
"If a graduate student receives a Disciplinary Action (DA), it will remain on the student’s academic record and transcript and cannot be removed."
PDF filePolicy 60: Academic Integrity, Section 3.7 & Section 220.127.116.11 provide:
"If a graduate student receives a Disciplinary Action, with Suspension (DA-S), they will be removed from their program for up to two (2) years, “after which the student may request to re-enroll in the program.” The DA-S will remain on the student’s academic record and transcript and cannot be removed."