Ensuring academic integrity is essential – not just in relation to student but also in our own work as we develop learning resources for students.
Plagiarism, collusion, contract cheating and misconduct in examinations, essays, assignments, course requirements or any other work relevant to assessment, constitute serious breaches to academic integrity (sometimes referred to as academic misconduct).
While breaches may occur due to poor study skills or lack of awareness and education, they can also result from cheating, and penalties can be associated with them.
We must be extra careful that in our online materials – including presentation slides – we acknowledge all sources of information we’ve drawn from. It is not good practice to copy and paste whole paragraphs from online sources or from the textbook to use in our teaching materials if we don’t acknowledge the work is not our own. We must be mindful of modelling good practice in this regard, given the seriousness of academic misconduct.
The University’s definitions of plagiarism and collusion are as follows:
Plagarism: A student or staff member using other people’s words, ideas, media, research findings or other information as their own without appropriate referencing. Plagiarism can be intentional (deliberate cheating) or unintentional (happen accidentally).
Collusion: A student working with another person to submit some or all of the other person’s work as their own or vice versa.
It is important that you are familiar with the Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. Questions can be referred to the Faculty of Business and Law Academic Progress and Integrity Coordinator via email@example.com .
In the course of assessment, academic staff may have cause to suspect that a student or students have breached academic integrity rules (eg. committed plagiarism or similar). In such cases the staff member must follow Deakin’ Academic Policy and Procedure. Deakin takes an educative approach to academic integrity for students who have committed a first offence in relation to plagarism.
In accord with policy, unit chairs should make a formal allegation to the Academic Integrity Committee (AIC). The AIC assesses evidence of breaches of academic integrity by students and can take action from making educational interventions to holding formal hearings.
For more information on the process or to submit an allegation, see the Faculty Academic Integrity Breaches and General Misconduct site available on the B&L Wiki.
When designing assessment tasks and examinations, ensure you design tasks that require students to go beyond seeking easily searchable information (aim for the un-Googleable question) and for those that cannot be readily answered by Generative Artificial Intelligence tools, such as Char GPT.
It’s also appropriate to have conversations with your students – in the seminar when you talk through each assessment task in details – about essay mills, contract cheating, etc. Ask students why they might engage in academic misconduct (as a real, rather than rhetorical question), let them know it isn’t appropriate and that there are consequences for cheating, and let them know you know contract cheating exists, that the markers have been trained to detect it and that Deakin also uses tools to detect it.
Also, write about plagiarism in your assessment brief – again, bringing to students’ attention that you know it happens, that it isn’t condoned and that if they’re struggling there are other means of support.