Can i be accused of cheating in university because of this?

Well yesterday I had an exam on electric circuits for my university course. and everything was going ok until the last 10 mins ..the prof was standing by me and saw my calculator and then he walked away and came back a couple mins later and asked if he could see my calculator. Then he said this is a programmable calculator ,and your not suppose to be using it as by the regulations engineering headlines. Well I told him I didn't know and I was just using it to add complex numbers. And he said i should know about this and told me to just continue.

Also, I checked the course outline and there is nothing stating that programmable calculators are not allowed. the calculator I used was a ti-83 but I don't see how i could possibly use this calculator to my advantage for a circuits exam?

So do anyone have any ideas about what wll happen since he never had it in his course outline ? do I have any valid argument?

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    At my university, the Faculty of Engineering has a set of "faculty-standard" calculators that students must use on official examinations. Professors never put it in their own class outlines because it's a faculty-wide policy, something that all engineering students should already know. Even so, when the proctors read the "exam rules" at the beginning of each exam, they usually make mention that only these faculty standard calculators are allowed (but don't make mention of what these calculators are).

    In my case, all faculty standard calculators are scientific calculators, and are therefore limited as to what they can do. The TI-83 Plus is a programmable graphing calculator, meaning notes or previously saved data can be stored on the calculator, introducing the potential for cheating. On a TI-83 Plus, you could, for instance, write or download a program that "reminds" you whether a power factor should be leading or lagging; or even worse, write a program that solves the question for you. This ability to program is why many engineering schools require students use only a scientific calculator, to ensure that students don't cheat.

    As for whether or not you can be accused of cheating... technically, I would say it's plausible. Will the prof actually do something about it? I don't think so.

  • 8 years ago

    It sounds as if he just told you where the rule was, and that this is a school of engineering rule, not a rule specific to this professor's class. (It would make a lot of sense for this to be a general rule, too.) That would mean it didn't have to be in the course outline: it would be in a document you would have agreed to read and be bound by when you started your engineering studies.

    If that's the case, then no, you won't have any winning arguments. Not being aware of the rule doesn't mean you get a free pass not to comply with it, and if the professor is right and this rule is published for all engineering students, you're responsible for following it.

    On the other hand, if you confirm that there are no materials with this rule in it, you may have a case -- assuming that he did not make an announcement in class.

  • 8 years ago

    If certain calculators are not allowed the instructor should tell you before the test. It's not necessarily in the syllabus because they sometimes allow calculators on some tests and not others. A TI-83 won't even do matrices with complex numbers so there's no real advantage to having it in circuits other than converting from phasor notation to complex and vice versa.

  • 8 years ago

    It wouldn't have to be stated in his course outline if he had it stated elsewhere for all to view. So if he handed out a paper with that declared on it, or had it posted in the classroom someplace, then he would be in the right. If he doesn't have it posted anywhere and there also is no mention of such a thing in the university's handbook or constitution, then you are on solid ground. Also, if he allowed you to continue with the exam without penalty, then he pretty much gave you permission to go ahead and use that calculator.

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