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How to Collaborate Successfully

At Boise State each instructor determines the parameters of acceptable collaboration for each course and each assignment. This means that there may be different expectations from different faculty members as well as for different assignments within the same course. If you plan to work with other students, peers, or tutors it is vital that you are clear about how you can do so while maintaining academic integrity as defined in the Student Code of Conduct.

Below you will find a few examples of collaboration that range from permitted to prohibited.* You will likely encounter a myriad of ways to collaborate during your time at Boise State. When you are not confident that an interaction is permitted, always ask your instructor prior to working with others.

There are some types of collaboration that are almost always permitted.

  • Assistance from a tutor or another student on concepts or problems similar to those found in your homework.
  • Studying with a partner or in a group when you do not have the exam or quiz questions.

There are other types of collaboration that are sometimes permitted or are permissible within certain boundaries.

  • Having someone else read your paper and provide feedback. You may be assigned to do this within your course or you might choose to visit the writing center or have another student or friend read your paper. This can be very helpful, just be sure that no one else writes your paper for you. Be clear about what kind of feedback is acceptable according to your instructor. Can you receive assistance with grammar? Identifying evidence? Reorganizing the structure of the paper?
  • Working together on homework. Some faculty permit or even encourage group work. Be sure to follow the directions regarding whether you can turn in the same assignment or if you can only work together up to a certain point before finding the solution.
  • Working in a group on a final project or exam when explicitly told to do so.

Finally there are types of collaboration that are never permitted.

  • Using an assignment written by anyone other than yourself, including someone completing the assignment for you, a friend’s from a previous semester, or purchasing one from the internet. In addition websites like chegg or course hero, when providing unauthorized assistance, are also not permissible.
  • Sending or receiving information regarding any quiz, test, or assignment verbally, through photos, or previous semester’s assignments.
  • Stepping outside of the boundaries defined by your instructor for any assignment even if it differs from instructions on previous assignments.


*Modified from Brown University and Stanford University Computer Science syllabus statements.

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