AJC Ruling on Academic Misconduct of Students in Computer Organization and Architecture Course

On November 7 2006, the Ashesi Judicial Committee (AJC) ruled against three (3) students for failing to present independent work on a Computer Organization and Architecture assignment in direct violation of their instructor’s directions. One student retrieved information for the assignment from a colleague’s computer without his knowledge or permission and shared it with two other colleagues. As stated in the Student’s handbook: “Academic dishonesty includes plagiarism, unauthorized exchange of information or use of material during an examination, unauthorized transfer of information or completed work among students, use of the same paper in more than one course, unauthorized collaboration on assignments, and other unethical behavior.”


  1. The first student received a failure in the course and other two will have their final grade reduced by 1.5 points.
  2. All students involved are required to write a letter of apology to their lecturers.
  3. In order to compel the students involved to reflect on their behavior, the AJC also ruled that they must present an oral apology to their colleagues in the Class of 2007, and share lessons learned from this experience.

 The AJC hopes that others learn from this case and avoid making the same mistakes. The AJC would especially like to advise students of the following:

  1. Refrain from retrieving information from colleagues’ computers without their permission or knowledge.
  2. Log off from one’s computer when leaving the computer laboratory.
  3. Seek clarification on projects from course instructors and teaching assistants.
  4. Work independently on projects if specific instructions have been given to do so. “Teaching” or otherwise collaborating with colleagues on projects constitutes a violation of university rules when the instructor has asked for independent work.