According to the Code of Student Behaviour (“the Code”), one subsection of Cheating reads:
(30.3.2(2)c) No student shall represent another's substantial editorial or compositional assistance on an assignment as the Student's own work.
This begs the question: what does “substantial” mean? Applying this section is difficult precisely because it requires discretion.
When students use tutors, editors or other academic services for assistance on an assignment, the ideal outcome is that using that type of service will improve the students’ own abilities so that they can submit better work. Unfortunately, some slip into a situation where the tutor or editor simply “improves” the assignment rather than providing the tools for the student to do it. The extreme consequence of this is that the assignment becomes something the student would not be able to replicate because, in effect, it was completed by the tutor/editor. A tutor or editor becomes the ticket to a higher grade on a particular assignment, rather than someone who can assist the student to learn the material, or the techniques necessary to write about it. In short, the student submits the work of the tutor/editor as their own.
The risk in applying this section of the Code is that it could be seen as punishing a student who has legitimately improved. Since that is exactly what we ask of students, we must proceed with caution when considering this charge under the Code.