Any Univ Tutors around?

(22 Posts)
Helprequired2016 Wed 14-Dec-16 19:51:14

I'm after a bit of advice please - I have posted in chat as well for extra traffic.

DD is in year 2 of univ and is in bits about an error submitting an assignment - I'm after some general advice about what might happen.

In summary - the assignment deadline was 23.11.16.
She submitted hers, via the her online account within the university's online system. This was done a few days before the deadline.

Her boyfriend did the same with his work (via his online account a day or so later).

However her BF then tweaked his assignment and resubmitted it BUT, in error, he used DD's account to resubmit his work. This came about due to sharing laptops and getting google to save P/Ws etc

DD is now distraught and worried that she'll be accused of plagarism and/or cheating. Also her original work (which was the first piece submitted) will have been wiped out by her BF resubmitting his afterwards (she obviously has a full back up of her work but the deadline has passed).

She can't get hold of any tutors so is emailing everyone she can think of so see what her options are.

I'm looking for general advice as to what scenario she can reasonably expect.

Any advice??

OP’s posts: |
FatherJemimaRacktool Wed 14-Dec-16 20:50:45

Her BF accidentally used her institutional login details to upload an assignment in your DD's name that heavily overlapped but wasn't identical to a version he'd already submitted under his own name? I have to say as someone who spends a lot of time dealing with assessment issues, including plagiarism, this would look very dodgy to me. No student (well, no sober student not experiencing severe mental health problems) would be likely to do this. I suspect that either you or your DD are not getting the full story here.

What it will look almost certainly look like to the university is a case of plagiarism or collusion: they are likely to think that your DD's BF submitted an assignment, then your DD copied sections of it into her own essay either with his consent (which would be collusion) or without his knowledge (plagiarism). If the first version of the essay is the one recorded under the BF's name, then she is the one in the frame, I'm afraid. Obviously, you know your own DD and how likely she is to be telling the truth about all this, but this is such an implausible situation that you and she need to be braced for the fact that the department/university is very likely to think that she is not giving an honest account.

The fact that it has taken your DD three weeks since the deadline to notice this (assuming that she has only just found out and hasn't been sitting on the problem since November) also sets off alarm bells, I'm afraid - I would assume that she's actually just been informed that the department suspects collusion/plagiarism, and this is why you are hearing a sanitised version of what happened. I've no idea how likely this is, obviously, since I don't know your DD, but it's what I would expect based on what you've said and given the fact that plagiarists almost always lie about having cheated.

Your DD needs to email her department's exam board chair (or whatever the academic who deals with assessments is called in her department) asap, explaining exactly what has happened, with dates. It might be worth attaching the original assignment to her email, though obviously that won't be evidence that she wrote it before the deadline. Asssuming that everything happened as it was reported to you, the deptartment/faculty/university IT team will be able to verify her claim that she originally submitted an essay on the date that she reports and they may even be able to recover the original essay (I think they can at my university). If they can do that, then she should be okay, so she should ask the exam board chair if they can look at this (they probably will anyway, but it's worth mentioning). If she hasn't already, then she should also contact her student union advice centre which will have people able to give her advice and support.

Sorry this probably isn't what you want to hear OP. I hope it all turns out alright for your DD.

Helprequired2016 Wed 14-Dec-16 21:29:33

Thank you for replying.

The 2 assignments on DDs account are 100% different.
Her assignment is totally her own work - BFs assignment is completely his own as well.

The worry of plagarism comes from the fact that BF originally submitted his assignment onto his account. A few days later he tried to check that it was uploaded but could see no mention of it (this was down to a glitch in the system and his work was actually there). Because he couldn't see it he uploaded it again BUT this was where the error happened as he sent it to DDs account.

So, in summary there are 3 assignments in the system submitted in the following order:-
No 1 is on DDs account and is her own work.
No 2 is on BFs account and is his own work.
No 3 is a duplicate of BFs work but is sitting on DDs account in error and is not DDs work.
So the worry of plagarism comes from the fact that version 2 and 3 are the same but both belong to the same person and have no resemblance to version 1 which my DD wants marking. Luckily she has screenshots of the dates that each assignment was uploaded.

What she wants to ensure is that version 1 is marked and version 3 is deleted.

God this is complicated but I hope you can get what I'm rather clumsily trying to explain!!

OP’s posts: |
christmasmum Wed 14-Dec-16 21:38:00

I mark university assignments and to be honest I'd not be that concerned about this, as long as she gets in touch with her tutors, explains what happened immediately and submits a very different essay to her boyfriend I'd let it go with some advice to be more careful in future. One thing to recommend though is that she doesn't make any further edits to her work as they may be able to tell when it was edited via date stamps in the actual work and changes after the deadline may result in late penalties.

I'd advise her not to panic but speak to the tutors first thing in the morning and get the latest submission (the BF's) deleted so she can resubmit her own assignment.

ScottishProf Wed 14-Dec-16 21:38:39

If it happened as you say it'll be fine, if a bit of a hassle - they'll have backups of all versions so will be able to check. In future, though, she should not let anyone else have access to a computer that she allows to store her university credentials. That will in itself be a breach of the computing rules she's agreed to. Without that, this situation couldn't have arisen. She's unlikely to get into much trouble, provided she is convincing about having learned her lesson and not doing it in future!

christmasmum Wed 14-Dec-16 21:39:24

Oops, sorry just noticed that it's been three weeks since this happened. That may take more explaining - but again, speak to the tutor asap.

Helprequired2016 Wed 14-Dec-16 21:40:53

DD will be in univ first thing tomorrow to speak to her tutors and show the evidence of when her original work was submitted.

I'll mention your advice of speaking to the SU and also taking in a copy of her work just in case the original piece can't be found (although, hopefully they'll be able to retrieve it using her evidence of posting it).
A big worry is the fact that the deadline has passed - we'll have to see if they'll still mark her original piece.

Many thanks again for posting,

OP’s posts: |


milkjetmum Wed 14-Dec-16 21:43:21

Presumably each if their student numbers are in the front page of the assignment? So will be fairly obvious it is not your daughters work as student numbers won't match? I would say she might get a 'late' penalty (eg marks capped at pass rate) but if IT can back up that it was an error and have recorded submission dates etc I would not expect a penalty to apply other than stern talking to about submission requirements

CocoaX Wed 14-Dec-16 21:44:24

Is it only submitted online? Ours also come in hard copy, so we would mark the hard copy and check against the electronic submission plagiarism report.

If it is fully electronic submission, I am surprised this has not been flagged up sooner by someone. The administrator should be able to delete version three and version one be marked. But your DD needs to get in touch to explain.

CocoaX Wed 14-Dec-16 21:44:44

Or her BF for that matter!

Hardshoulder Wed 14-Dec-16 21:50:51

Any online submission system I've ever used has sent an automatic email receipt to the submitting student to show it's been received and uploaded,, so I'm confused as to why the boyfriend was doubting his assignment had uploaded in the first place....? Does your DD have a receipt to show her original submission?

Hardshoulder Wed 14-Dec-16 21:53:17

Student numbers may not be on the document. All our undergraduate submissions are electronically submitted without, marked anonymously, and only de-anonymised just before marks are returned.

DearSantaDefineGood Wed 14-Dec-16 21:54:17

I would imagine most lecturers would be understanding about one accident.
I know from when I was at Uni that our system Turnitin could be a total nightmare sometimes. I once accidentally uploaded any essay I had written for another class to an assessment with 5 mins left to deadline. I just emailed my lecturer and explained what I had done and attached my correct essay to the email. She was able to open up submissions again to allow me to upload to Turnitin and all was resolved. All I got was an email telling me to actually check my submission when I upload in future. However I realised my mistake the following day when I logged back in to check my similarity report that takes 24hrs to generate....

Helprequired2016 Wed 14-Dec-16 21:57:38

* Does your DD have a receipt to show her original submission?* Her online account clearly shows the date of the original submission which was a few days before the deadline.

I'll update everyone tomorrow evening when she's been back to univ to meet with whoever.

I have an awful feeling it'll be a case of "leave it with us, we'll look into it" and she'll worry herself sick over it.

It's a salutary lesson to be more careful in future.

Thank you to everyone for your input - watch this space!!

OP’s posts: |
KnowOneNose Thu 15-Dec-16 00:47:35

It sounds like it should be ok. Hope it gets resolved quickly.

StripedTulip Thu 15-Dec-16 08:49:10

Has she been in person to speak to her Department's or Faculty's administrative staff? They will be the people who can advise - my administrator knows far more about the Department of which I'm academic Head than I do as she's been there for about a decade!

The problem will be the delay. It will look like collusion, and -- sorry to say -- if I were dealing with your DD I'd be quite stern with her. She & her BF shouldn't be sharing stuff like that - they both need to take responsibility. If I were also teaching the BF I'd be even sterner with him. Has he taken any responsibility for the problem he's caused?

FatherJemimaRacktool Thu 15-Dec-16 11:45:27

If I were also teaching the BF I'd be even sterner with him. Has he taken any responsibility for the problem he's caused?

It's possible that he's unaware of what's happened. If, hypothetically, the OP's DD had plagiarised her BF's essay, she could very well have done it without the BF's knowledge. I recently dealt with a case where student A (model student) and student B (not so much) had met up so student B could get some general advice about the essay they both had to write. When student A left the room for a couple of minutes, student B saved a copy of student A's essay, then made a few cosmetic changes to the copy and submitted it as their own work. The first student A knew about it was when they were up in front of the university misconduct committee for collusion.


FatherJemimaRacktool Thu 15-Dec-16 11:49:54

Pressed post too soon! OP: the department will probably be less interested in a paper copy of her original essay than in an electronic copy, which will show when it was last worked on. In my department, if I was satisfied that this was a genuine error, we would allow her to resubmit the original essay provided that it hadn't been edited in any way since the deadline.

Do be aware that at this time of year it may be hard to track down staff in the department - in my department most of us (including me) are working from home. It would almost certainly be better for her to sort all this out via email, as this provides her with a clear paper trail.

Hope all goes well for her.

Helprequired2016 Thu 15-Dec-16 17:35:44

Thank you to everyone who has posted.

I'm pleased to report that DD has had a dressing down by her tutor BUT the tutor has seen that her original assignment was submitted first and has agreed that that is the one to be marked.
The work from her BF has been deleted from her account and is getting marked on his account.

A happy ending and a life lesson for DD.

Thanks again for all your input.

OP’s posts: |
christmasmum Thu 15-Dec-16 17:36:54

Glad it got a happy ending. Students mess up all the time grin

FatherJemimaRacktool Thu 15-Dec-16 18:03:25


MeTehOne Fri 16-Dec-16 01:48:13

Phew! Glad it's sorted.

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