- This is “moral valence” – trying to convince themselves they didn’t really cheat, even though it meets the definition.
- Resource: Draw on principles and “preparing for class” activities noted in the Active Learning Strategies for Leveraging Writing to Boost Reading.
- Duplicate the efforts to ensure they know what is, and isn’t, cheating – some students may never come to believe they cheated, believing themselves to be “good people” who don’t do wrong things. Past students are often the best resources here, whether they’re linked to the Office of Community Standards, or writing past students have completed, and agreed to share, about how they worked to practice integrity even in difficult contexts.
- You will be held accountable for university and course expectations. You are free to believe and express your personal opinion that what you did was not cheating, but that belief will not excuse you from the expectations defined by this university and your instructor.
- Honesty goes a long way. It is very likely your course instructor has more than enough evidence to know you cheated. Rather than deflecting, seek to understand what you did was wrong and how to do better.
- Academic sanctions for cheating exist along a spectrum. Honesty is more likely to elicit sympathy than neglecting to take responsibility.