I submitted an assignment in February and I recently received an email accusing me of academic misconduct. I have just finished my second year of university and this is the first time that I have ever been accused of something this serious.
The accusation says that I plagiarised the algorithm from someone else. However, I did not look at anyone's code nor did anyone else got to see my code which they could've later copied. Prior the the assignment deadline, me and couple other students (who I do not know closely) attended the in-person office hours of the course's Teaching Assistant (TA). The overwhelmed TA decided to take in all our concerns simultaneously instead of private sessions and perhaps tired of our inefficient (and buggy) code implementations or solution proposals, finally got up and instead wrote on the whiteboard what he called "the most efficient and best possible" algorithm for the code. He explained every step line by line which I made sure to understand fully and then later followed his algorithm implementation to write my own code without consulting anyone else, thinking that following the faculty's instruction isn't clearly plagiarism since I've understood everything and am confident in what I'm writing.
Much to my dismay, I have now received the Disciplinary Committee's email and have been asked to present a written statement tomorrow followed by a formal hearing later.
I have evidence of the TA explaining the algorithm as I did take photos of his algorithm right in front of him.
If I am found guilty, I'd either get a grade reduction, a straight F, or a semester-long suspension. This has me worried sick because an accusation this serious can potentially derail all my post-grad plans.
Is my evidence sufficient? What other evidence or explanations could I use to strengthen my case? Thanks