See Fraud

Fraud case collection

This document contains a collection of concrete (anonymised) fraud cases. This collection is meant to increase transparancy: the target readers are 

  • Students, to get a better understanding of what is considered to be fraud and what the consequences may be
  • Examination boards, to share insight in the practice across study programmes and enable a more uniform treatment of fraud cases

Disclaimer: It is important to use this overview only for the intended purpose. In particular, no prediction may be derived regarding individual (new) fraud cases: every case is different and will be judged on its own characteristics. The final decision always rests with the Examination Board of the study programme in question.


  • Hand writing correspondence

    Case description

    In a written test, students A and B submitted solutions contained parts apparently not written by themselves, judging by the hand writing. Some answers on A’s sheet were written in B’s hand, and vice versa for other questions of the same exam. Moreover, the answers, though not identical, showed strong correspondences, including atypical errors made in both cases. Apparently the students had prepared this fraud together, each of them made part of the exercises twice during the test (once for him/herself, once for his/her partner), then swapped answer sheets when handing in their results.

    Proceedings

    When confronted, the students denied their actions. The written tests were then submitted to an external handwriting expert, who concurred with the finding of correspondence between the two sets of handwriting. When presented with this independent opinion, the students admitted their fault, confirming the procedure they had followed (described above).

    Outcome

    This was regarded as a severe fraud case, because the students had planned it carefully and agreed to act fraudulently (rather than acting on the spur of the moment); and also because they at first denied their actions when confronted with the evidence. 
    Both students were barred from taking any examination in the next quarter, and warned that they would be evicted from the programme in case of a repeat infraction.

  • Open repository plagiarism

    Case description

    Student A, upon failing to meet a deadline for an individual take-home test, copied the solution of student B, who had been careless enough to put it on a publicly accessible repository, without knowledge of B. This was detected; A admitted his fault immediately, upon which the case was referred to the Examination Board.
    Before the Examination Board had come to a verdict, the same student A, now working together with another student C on another project for the same study unit, repeated his plagiarism by again copying solutions from an open repository of student D. This was done without knowledge of either C or D. When confronted with the evidence, A once more immediately admitted his actions, claiming full responsibility.

    Proceedings

    Because A admitted his fraud immediately, the facts of the matter are clear. The course unit reader contains a description of what constitutes fraud that includes exactly the case of copying from an open repository. 
    Students are warned not to put solutions to tests and projects on an open repository, with the explicit statement that doing so may make them accessories to this type of plagiarism. Awareness of this is, however, still low.

    Outcome

    Although A admitted his fault the first time around, he clearly still did not understand or appreciate the severity of his actions. For the first instance of fraud, the sanction was to declare the test results invalid, meaning that he could not pass the study unit any more. For the second instance of fraud, the sanction was to bar the student from taking any examination during the next quarter.