This year I have decided to take a Computer Science course on FLVS, an online learning institution.

Throughout the whole year, I worked well, and I had a lot of fun with the course. I was close to finishing the second semester of it, and I randomly lost access to the course. I was surprised to find out that they took a some of my assignments (about 6~7), and they flagged me for academic integrity, claiming that I used the answers from an online answer source. Another problem is that because it’s so many assignments, they have kicked me out of the course, without me even communicating with them the issue.

My teacher had no idea about this, and she can’t do anything about it. She told me to talk to academic integrity themselves. I now have a 0 for the course, and I’m very angry, and I have no idea what to do. I can show them I didn’t cheat by answering on the phone any questions they have, and I’ve already studied for the exam and I plan on taking it, and I’m very confident I can get a good grade. I’ve also used the knowledge I’ve learned from the course, and I’ve created iPhone applications as well as games and other software.

I’ve left the academic integrity team a message stating that I need to speak with them ASAP, but how can I communicate to them that I didn’t plagiarize the work?

UPDATE: I have done some research as to how I present my case, and I found a couple things regarding appeals. FLVS claims that its so called "academic integrity" team is fair and not biased and they utilize a lot of technology to ensure that their claims are as factual as possible, such as www.turnitin.com. I have found a Customer Support number that I can voice my concerns to, so I’m going to present my case to them.

UPDATE #2: After speaking with customer support (see update above), the person on the other line wrote down my grievance in an email, and she sent it to the academic integrity people. I also received a copy of the email. She told me she’s sorry for my problem and that I should expect a call in the next 48-72 business hours. Hopefully I will fix this.

UPDATE #3: We had a long talk with the academic integrity team yesterday, and apparently (I had no knowledge of this) they claim I have copied work from my twin brother Varun from about 20 assignments. Going through these assignments, there seems to be evidence of similar code, but that’s because certain instance variables and functions had to be created as per the assignment’s instructions, but the overall design of the program is different. They also say that we had the same typesetting (meaning me and him had the same spacing and tabs and white space), although we’re both very experienced programmers, and we follow the conventional format of tabbing and spacing. I’m most likely going to court :D.

UPDATE #4: This is the best part. After talking we academic integrity before (see above update), we decided to check all of the assignments she flagged and come up with legitimate reasons as to why I didn’t cheat on them. After coming up with a long list, we sent an email to the academic integrity people and told them that we came up with a lot of reasons as to why we didn’t copy, so she said that she would call us in a couple of days. After 2 days, she sends another email stating that her reasons are legitimate, according to her "boss", and that she won’t discuss the issue any further. I am now super angry about this, and I have legitimate reasons as to how I didn’t cheat. She won’t tell me anything, and my teachers haven’t returned any of my calls. I really hate FLVS.