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FAQs about Filing Academic Incidents using the Employee Portal

Please note that every circumstance is situational, and below are some general guidelines and suggestions. Please contact the Academic Integrity Coordinator, Program Manager, or Program Chair should you like further guidance or advice.

  • We encourage all faculty to file on each incident. This limits inconsistencies with how our students are treated and draws their attention to the educational materials.
  • Open up lines of communication. Once you notice a potential academic integrity violation, you have three business days to email the student and let them know that you’re looking into the potential issue. The student then has three business days to reply. Once you hear back from the student, or the three business days expire, you have three business days to file an incident on the Employee Portal
  • You must open lines of communication within three business days of noticing the incident.
  • Warnings and Offences are outcomes of an academic integrity violation. The key difference is student do not receive an academic penalty with a warning. Only offences receive an academic penalty.
  • If you see the student in class within those three days, encourage them to check their email and respond. If the three days expire, then you may file the incident within three business days.
  • An official College email must be used (eConestoga, and the Conestoga College Outlook email.) If a student uses or responds from a personal account, indicate they must reply using an official email account.
  • No. If you witness the incident, and communicate to the student either during or after the assessment that their behaviour was unacceptable, then you may proceed with filing the incident. You must file the incident within three business days.
  • Not necessarily. While the college follows a developmental and incremental approach to penalties, not all situations warrant an increased penalty. Please look at the date of the previous incident and use you discretion as to whether the student would have had reasonable time to complete the educational resources. If your incident is being filed within a week, then you may consider keeping the same penalty.
  • Additionally, if the student has not received a Warning, and their previous incident received a “severe” penalty, and you consider the incident you’re filing minor, then you may apply a penalty you feel is appropriate.
  • Technically, no. Plagiarism cannot be selected from the drop-down menu if you select Warning. However, a Warning may be issued under the category “Citing and Referencing Omissions” or “Copying from Others/Self Copying,” which may serve as an alternative to filing a Plagiarism incident.
  • Yes. Aiding and Abetting, Contract Cheating, Misrepresentation and Fraud, and Plagiarism are academic incidents that cannot receive a Warning and must receive an Offence.
  • It’s always best to err on the side of caution and give a Warning. Our objective is to foster student success, and a Warning draws their attention to the importance of academic honesty and the College’s expectations while directing them to our available resources. If you are struggling to decide, please contact the Academic Integrity Office or your Program Manager for guidance and advice.
  • Try and predetermine what penalty you want to apply by looking at the penalties on the website or the dropdown menu in the portal. Aim as reasonably low as possible, given the incident.
  • If after you select the student prior incidents populate above, examine them to determine how to apply a penalty that is incrementally and appropriately greater than the previous penalty. If the next step up appears inappropriately severe, then apply the same penalty that was previously applied.
  • If at any time during the filing process you have questions, or would like advice on which penalty to apply, please consult the Academic Integrity Office.
  • Once you file an incident, students receive an email explaining they received a Warning or Offence (depending on which you selected). It directs them to their Student Portal, where they can view a detailed explanation of the incident. It is also explained to them that they are required to complete Academic Integrity Modules 1, 2, and possibly 3 and 4 (depending on whether a faculty selects it). The Modules are interactive educational resources designed to help students understand academic integrity.
  • Yes. A student has the right to appeal any academic incident.
  • Not necessarily. Keep in mind that Turnitin compares student work to all other work in its database, including projects in the same course or section, and websites. If, for instance, your class is working on a project that should appear similar, Turnitin will flag those responses. Similarly, a student could theoretically have a Similarity Report “in the red” but have everything properly cited and referenced. While this may be poor writing practice, they have not plagiarized since they’ve given proper credit to the source. To learn more, visit the Turnitin website: (, or contact the Academic Integrity Office.
  • Your Chair will automatically be informed if you select a penalty from Category 3 or 4. If you select a penalty from Category 1 or 2, which will result in the student failing the course, please inform your Chair.
  • No, not unilaterally. Selecting a Category 4 penalty acts as a line of communication to your Chair. In other words, selecting a Category 4 is a recommendation you’re making to your Chair who can then engage in a discussion with those concerned.
  • Yes. Email the Academic Integrity Office with the student’s name and ID number and indicate whether it was a Warning or Offence. Please provide a brief explanation why it needs removing/changing.