I took an online exam a month ago and ran into some technical issues which caused me to do it on another device. I realize now that this can be seen as academic misconduct since it shows me leaving the test page quite a few times near the end and going on the LMS. A month has already passed after the exam and my final grade is out. Should I still contact the instructor in the circumstance that they look back on completed courses to spot for signs of cheating, or is this just overthinking on my end? This has been on my mind a lot and I would like some advice as to whether I am overthinking this one issue. I’ve been reading about Some people getting accused months later have been giving me anxiety since I do not want to be falsely accused, and I would like to know how often this happens and whether I should reach out to the prof, or is this unnecessary for my case since all I struggled with were technical problems.

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    As you describe it, it wasn't actually misconduct.
    – Buffy
    Dec 25, 2021 at 15:17
  • OP, for allegations of assessment offences, does your institution operate on the basis of a "beyond reasonable doubt" standard of proof or a "balance of probabilities" standard of proof? It should say somewhere in the published academic regulations. Dec 26, 2021 at 16:16
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    They operate in balance of probabilities, but I decided to just leave this problem as it is because it seems like no one has emailed me yet and likelihood of them emailing me in the future after final grades are slim Dec 26, 2021 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


Teachers usually understand that technical issues come up, and yours probably already saw what happened and figured that it wasn’t a big deal. Especially if your test wasn’t proctored or recorded I would think that leaving the test browser is one of the lesser signs of cheating they would be looking for. As for people being accused months after finishing their class, I’ve personally never heard of it and would imagine that your justification will be just as reasonable if you do end up in such a situation sometime down the line.

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    Definitely agree that a complaint after the course ends is very unlikely.
    – Buffy
    Dec 25, 2021 at 15:18

I think that you have nothing to worry about, just make sure you inform them of so just in case.

  • Strongly disagree with 'make sure you inform them'. AIUI, the situation is that no actual misconduct took place, but there exists circumstantial evidence that might, if anyone notices it, be enough to get a conviction in a "balance of probabilities" system. Best strategy seems to me to be to keep quiet and not draw attention to the situation. Dec 26, 2021 at 21:19
  • I don’t think anyone will look after final grades are out, maybe everything I read was just fear mongering and those cases after final grades only happen due to someone reporting the student after the fact or some plagiarism checker picks up something. Since everything is online now, schools will give the benefit of the doubt for technical issues during exams when investigating academic misconduct? Dec 26, 2021 at 22:50

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