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BJA Guidance for the Remote Teaching and Learning Environment

BJA Guidance Regarding the Honor Code During the Remote Teaching and Learning Environment

The following are clarifications from the Board on Judicial Affairs (BJA) on the operation of classes under the Honor Code in the remote teaching and learning environment. The BJA recognizes that this is an evolving situation and will be providing ongoing guidance as the University adapts to these new norms. The BJA believes it is, at all times, important for instructors and students to clearly discuss how assignments and exams will operate, including what is and is not permissible. The BJA remains open to your feedback.

1. Does open book also mean open internet? What is the difference between open resource and collaboration?

Yes, open-book exams place no limitations on the materials or resources that a student may access during the exam.  This includes the internet.

Instructors should clearly set expectations for academic work (e.g., citation), and identify actions that are not permissible (e.g., collaboration with other students).

Consulting another person does not fall under the definition of an open-book resource unless specifically permitted by the instructor.  Rather, consulting another person is considered collaboration and is generally unpermitted.  See also, information resources available in an open-book exam on the Teach Anywhere website.

Seeking unpermitted aid from external people or services (e.g., Chegg, online Q&A websites, tutors, or other online forums) remains an Honor Code violation. Answers to exam questions must be written in the student’s own words, or else be cited, otherwise it is plagiarism. Use of all sources, including internet resources, must be cited.

2. Is it permissible to have a time period for the test less than the release date to the due date if it’s electronically tracked?

Yes, this is permissible if the exam has electronic timestamping and students are aware that their exam start and end time will be tracked electronically. If you have questions related to test period times for students with Office of Accessible Education (OAE) accommodations, please refer to OAE’s guidelines.  See also, information on timed take-home exams on the Teach Anywhere website.

3. Is there a distinction between remote exams and take-home exams?

All exams administered in the remote teaching and learning environment are considered take-home exams and must be open book, which includes the open use of the internet. When applicable, we encourage instructors to communicate when a test's format or time constraints make it inadvisable to search for answers on the internet and/or when use of the internet may be detrimental to the quality of the student's answers.

4. If a faculty member is not upholding the Honor Code, what should students do?

The first step would be to raise this concern with the course instructional staff and let them know something about the course is not in line with the Honor Code.

If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved at the course level or the student does not feel comfortable bringing this to the course instructional staff, they should raise the concern with their department chair/program director or the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) or director of graduate studies (DGS). If the student is not familiar with who holds these positions in their department, the information is available on the department’s website or on the Stanford Bulletin for their department.

If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved at the department/program level or the student does not feel comfortable bringing it there, the student should raise the concern with the school dean’s office.

The Office of Community Standards (OCS) is also available for consultation.