GCS students are expected to:

1) Do their own work. Presenting another person’s work as if it were your own is called plagiarism. Even if it is done accidentally, such as by carelessly failing to acknowledge a source, it is a serious violation of academic integrity. In general, any quote of more than five words in a row should be put within quote marks, and the source noted. The penalty for plagiarism, whether accidental or intentional, is a failing grade for the assignment in which it occurs, or on the second offense, failure of the course. If plagiarism occurs a third time, the student will be terminated from the program and not allowed to take any more classes.

For more information about plagiarism, see Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/avoiding_plagiarism/index.html. For tips on avoiding plagiarism, either by paraphrasing or by using quote marks, see https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/avoiding_plagiarism/is_it_plagiarism.html.

Extensive quoting does not fit the definition of “plagiarism” if the sources are given credit, but it may still be unethical. Quotes should not comprise more than 25 percent of any of your papers. We want to see your thoughts, not how much you can copy. Use quotes when they support your thoughts – do not use them as a substitute for your thinking. Most quotes need some sort of introduction or commentary from you, to indicate why you are including them – as an authoritative definition, for example, or a well-said conclusion to your research, or as a view you are trying to refute.

2) Do honest work. Honesty and integrity are foremost in the responsibility of the servant and minister of Jesus Christ. Inventing sources or quotes is a violation of academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty also includes cheating on an exam. You may be copying your own notes, but if notes are not allowed on the exam, then that is dishonest, and cause for failure of the course. You must assume that you cannot use any materials unless you are specifically authorized to do so by your instructor. For example, some instructors permit the use of plain Bibles, those without study notes or chain references. In general, if external materials are permitted, you will need to be familiar with them already— otherwise you will not have enough time to complete the exam.

Helping other students cheat on exams or papers is also forbidden. It is also a violation of academic integrity to assist another student in plagiarism. For example, if you give your paper to another student knowing that they will probably copy it, you are participating in the dishonesty. If you give another student a copy of the exam questions, you are engaging in academic dishonesty.

Submitting the same paper, or substantial portions of a paper, for credit in more than one class is not allowed without advance permission.

3) Conduct themselves in a civil manner in online discussions. Students should refrain from name-calling, imputing motives or other ad hominem attacks on instructors or other students. Students should not use profanity or offensive terms; the discussion is to be conducted in a manner appropriate to academic discussions. Online discussions should be treated confidentially. The class website, and any email addresses obtained through the class, are not to be used for commercial activity, political activities, or for airing grievances. The topics permitted on discussion forums are at the discretion of the instructors.

4) Communicate. If problems arise that make it difficult for the student to participate in the class, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate this to the instructor.

5) Remain connected. GCS classes are conducted online. We have the responsibility to keep our website functioning; it is the student’s responsibility to be able to access our website. If a student’s computer breaks down or if an internet connection is lost, it is the student’s responsibility to find another way to connect to the class, or to withdraw from the class. Students should check their email on a regular basis and ensure that email from gcs.edu is allowed through any spam filters. Check your spam folder the first week of each class.

6) Respect GCS copyrights and other properties. Students are not to attempt to damage or disrupt any part of the GCS website, nor attempt to enter parts of the website for which they are not authorized. Class materials may not be published in any form, or presented orally, without written permission from the President. Students should not make marks in any book from the GCS library, and should return books on time.

Class lectures, forum discussions, quizzes and exams should not be shared with others. Online discussions are confidential, and what a student writes in a forum should not be publicized in other places, unless permission has been granted in advance by the student. Even so, students should realize that confidences are not always kept, and should not write things that would cause them substantial harm if they were accidentally made more public.

Students should abide by all copyright laws – they are not to post copies of copyrighted materials on our website, for example. Students are allowed by the “fair use” provision of copyright law to make copies for research purposes – not to copy an entire book, but to copy a small part of the book.[1]

7) Repeated violations of these policies may lead to failure of a course and, if violations occur again in another course, dismissal from the seminary.

[1] One rule of thumb (but not the only consideration) is that copying should not affect the commercial market for the book. It may be OK to make copies in lieu of using a library, but not to make a copy instead of purchasing the book. Further details on copyright law can be seen at https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_research/strategies_for_fair_use.html

Last modified: Saturday, June 11, 2022, 10:12 AM