Scope of the Concerns
Publishers provide supporting materials to institutions of higher education using the publishers’ textbooks, including the following types of question and answer content:
Test Banks are aggregated sets of questions and answers to be used by professors for tests. Each Test Bank is specific to a given textbook and is intended to be used by educators who assign the corresponding textbook for their course.
Instructor Solution Manuals (or Instructors Editions of textbooks) are publications that provide answers and solutions to questions contained within textbooks.
Nothing beneficial comes from cheating.
Students who cheat to obtain better grades instead of studying and asking questions are depriving themselves of valuable learning. They also are taking unfair advantage of the students who comply with applicable school honor codes. And they are depriving their instructors of valuable feedback on their progress in learning.
Both Test Banks and Instructor Solution Manuals support instructors by providing quality educational content that helps them create exams, quizzes, and homework assignments. When students obtain unauthorized access to these materials, the integrity of the educational process is compromised. That places even greater demands on teaching professionals, requiring them to each individually re-invent the wheel, and cutting into valuable time that could be used to develop and enhance their curriculum, keep up in their field of expertise, meet with students, and more.
Unauthorized use of Test Banks and Instructor Solution Manuals may likely constitute cheating under honor codes in place at the universities, colleges, and other institutions of learning. Violations of such rules yield serious consequences for students such as failing grades, notices to parents of academic dishonesty, loss of campus privileges, academic probations, suspensions, and even expulsion. Certain disciplinary actions are noted on permanent records, may prevent students from transferring to a different school or moving on to obtain higher degrees, and may adversely impact job prospects.
In addition to academic integrity issues, there are serious legal consequences. Test Banks and Instructor Solution Manuals are proprietary materials, protected by copyright law. Unauthorized copying and distribution of such materials constitutes copyright infringement.