Collaboration is a beneficial practice, both for students’ ability to learn within a course and as a practical skill for their later careers. However, to avoid instances of unauthorized collaboration, it is important for instructors to be explicit about whether collaboration is allowed for each assignment, and if so, the extent to which it is allowed.

For example, if an assignment is to be completed independently, explain both verbally and in the assignment guidelines that no collaboration is permitted. If collaboration is permitted only at certain stages of an assignment (e.g. during the research but not during the writing of), be explicit about when and when it is not allowed.

Instructors can review guidelines for authorized and unauthorized collaboration and resources in the Assessment of Unauthorized Collaboration Involving Undergraduate Students (PDF).