Policy Directory

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

Date first approved:
15 October 2010

Date of effect:
Autumn Session 2011

Date last amended:
(refer Version Control Table)
29 April 2016

Date of Next Review:
March 2019

First approved by:

University Council

Custodian title & e-mail address:

Director, Academic Quality and Standards Unit
quality@uow.edu.au

Author:

Academic Quality and Policy Specialist, Academic Quality and Standards Unit

Responsible
Division & Unit:

Supporting documents, procedures & forms of this policy:

Assessment and Feedback Principles
Code of Practice – Teaching and Assessment

Copyright Policy

Examination Rules

Higher Degree Research (HDR) Supervision and Resources Policy

Information Literacy Integration Policy

Privacy Policy

Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework

Procedure for Managing Alleged General Misconduct by a Student

Records Management Policy
Research Misconduct Policy

Student Conduct Rules

References & Legislation:

Higher Education Standards Framework

Audience:

Public – accessible to anyone

  • Contents

1 Purpose of Policy

  • 1. This policy sets out the University’s commitment to academic integrity:
        • a. reflecting that academic integrity is a shared responsibility across the University;
        • b. outlining the roles and responsibilities of the University, faculties, schools and units, staff and students in promoting academic integrity; and
        • c. responding to academic misconduct in a fair, consistent, transparent and timely manner.

2 Definitions

Word/Term

Definition

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity involves upholding ethical standards in all aspects of academic work, including learning, teaching and research. It involves acting with the principles of honesty, fairness, trust and responsibility and requires respect for knowledge and its development. Academic integrity is foundational to the work of the whole academic community, including students, teachers, researchers, coordinators and administrators. 

Academic Integrity Officer (AIO)

One of several academic staff members in a Faculty (at the level of Lecturer or above) who are responsible for making (or helping to make) an initial determination of the allegation of academic misconduct, for actioning a low-level outcome where appropriate within their Faculty, and for maintaining records. The AIO will act in the role of the Primary Investigation Officer (PIO) as described in the Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework.

Academic Misconduct

Conduct of a student when undertaking the preparation, presentation or submission of coursework, or during the course of undertaking research, that is in breach of:

    • Academic Integrity Policy,

    • Research Misconduct Policy,

    • Code of Practice - Research,

    • faculty/unit requirements,

    • Subject Outlines, or

    • Other University policy documents or requirements setting out student academic requirements.

Acknowledgement

Acknowledgement involves the practice of respecting, referencing and giving credit to the words, ideas, designs, interpretations and influences of others.

Coursework

All work undertaken as part of a non-research award course or non-award course, as well as any non-research components of a Higher Degree Research course. Coursework also includes research subjects undertaken by undergraduate honours and postgraduate coursework students.

Curriculum design

The designing and sequencing of learning activities, learning support, resources and assessment tasks that enable a student to attain specified learning outcomes.

Higher Degree Research (HDR)

Masters by Research and Doctoral degrees.

Staff

All persons appointed by the University as academic or professional services staff regardless of their level of seniority and regardless of whether holding full-time, part-time, or limited-term appointments, including conjoint appointments. For the purposes of this policy, it also includes all persons engaged by the University as casual employees.

Turnitin

An online service integrated with the University’s eLearning platform that provides a streamlined process for submitting, assessing student submissions and providing feedback online. It also provides a text-matching tool to assist in preventing and identifying plagiarism.

3 Application & Scope

  • 1. This policy applies to all students and staff of the University of Wollongong (UOW) as well as those students enrolled in non-award study, Higher Degree Research degrees, and courses delivered in collaboration with a partner institution both onshore and offshore.
  • 2. This policy does not apply to students enrolled in courses offered by the University of Wollongong in Dubai or the UOW College, as they have their own policy governing Academic Integrity.

4 Policy Principles

  • 1. Academic integrity is fundamental to learning, teaching and research at the University.
  • 2. Academic integrity involves the ongoing fostering of a complex network of strategies and responsibilities across the University community.
  • 3. The University is committed to providing an educational approach to academic integrity recognising that students need to be supported to develop and demonstrate academic skills.
  • 4. Academic integrity allows students and staff the freedom to build new ideas, knowledge and creative works while respecting and acknowledging the work of others.
  • 5. The University will respond to academic misconduct in a fair, consistent, transparent and timely manner.
  • 6. The University will ensure that records of investigations and outcomes are kept secure and confidential, in accordance with the Privacy Policy and Records Management Policy.
  • 7. The University will ensure a continuous cycle of quality improvement to monitor the occurrence and nature of instances of academic misconduct and take action to address underlying causes.
  • 8. The University will take steps to ensure that academic integrity is maintained in arrangements with any collaborative partner.

5 Academic Integrity

  • 1. The University will promote academic integrity by:
        • d. maintaining an Academic Integrity Portal on the University web site that provides access to relevant resources on Academic Integrity for prospective and current students and staff;
        • e. providing resources and support to staff to assist them in providing guidance and feedback to students to develop their knowledge and skills related to academic integrity; as well as responding to allegations of academic misconduct;
        • f. monitoring, reviewing and reporting on strategies to promote academic integrity and minimise academic misconduct across the University.
  • 2. The University mandates the completion of the StartSmart program (which includes a module on academic integrity) by all new coursework students, as well as an equivalent program for all new HDR students.
  • 3. Each course offered by the University must integrate academic integrity instruction, support to develop good practices and assessment on academic integrity within a discipline context.
  • 4. Assessments must be designed to minimise the potential for academic misconduct by students.
  • 5. The University mandates the completion of a professional development module on academic integrity and academic misconduct management by all Academic Integrity Officers (AIOs). This module is also available and highly recommended for all staff involved in teaching, learning and research.

6 Academic Misconduct

  • 1. Academic misconduct includes any action or attempted action by a student that may result in an unfair academic advantage for the student, or an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for other students.
  • 2. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:
        • g. Cheating
          • i. Accessing, purchasing, exchanging or offering for purchase any item to be submitted as an assessment task;
          • ii. Behaving deceitfully or dishonestly in examinations, in the preparation of assessable items or during in-class assessments;
          • iii. Using or possessing prohibited equipment or material during an examination;
          • iv. Sending, receiving or accessing or endeavouring to send, receive or access any source of stored electronic information during the examination unless specified by the examiner.
          • v. Drawing or writing on materials, other than the exam papers provided, during an examination.
        • h. Collusion / Facilitating Academic Dishonesty
          • i. Assisting another student, intentionally or recklessly, to commit an act of academic misconduct;
          • ii. Unauthorised collaboration with other students on assessable work;
          • iii. Uploading a copy of a subject outline or other subject or course materials to a website or server without express permission of the University;
          • iv. Removing or endeavouring to remove from the examination room any question or answer paper, other paper provided for use by the student during the course of the examination, or other material which is the property of the University, unless authorised by the examination supervisor and examiner.
        • i. Fraud
          • i. Impersonating another student, or a student allowing another individual to impersonate him/her, for the purpose of completing an exam, assessment task or online activity;
        • j. Misrepresentation / Fabrication
          • i. Submitting a piece of work, including an assessable group work item, with the intention of deceiving the assessor regarding individual contributions to the work.
          • ii. Intentional and unauthorised falsification or invention of any information, experimental data or citation in an assessable item;
          • iii. Misleading ascription of authorship (including claiming authorship of parts of a group assignment prepared by other students);
          • iv. Representing data or information incorrectly, improperly or falsely;
          • v. Falsely indicating participation, or recording attendance on behalf of another student, in an activity where attendance is required for assessment purposes;
          • vi. Submitting a text/code-matching software originality report that falsely represents the originality of an assignment submitted for assessment.
        • k. Obstruction / Interference
          • i. Behaving in any way that limits the academic opportunities of other students by improperly impeding their work or their access to educational resources.
        • l. Plagiarism
          • i. Using another person’s ideas, designs, words or any other work without appropriate acknowledgement ;
          • ii. Re-using one’s own work without appropriate acknowledgement.
  • 3. The University will take action in response to allegations of academic misconduct to ensure that:
        • a. academic integrity is upheld,
        • b. that students who observe the principles of academic integrity are not put at a disadvantage;
        • c. that the University’s reputation and standards are protected for current and future students and staff; and
        • d. the University provides opportunities for educational intervention where appropriate.
  • 4. Submitting fraudulent documentation (including, but not limited to medical certificates) for the purposes of an academic consideration request is misconduct that is managed in accordance with the Procedure for Managing Alleged General Misconduct by a Student.
  • 5. Allegations of academic misconduct by a student undertaking a coursework subject must be managed in accordance with the Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework. This includes HDR students who are enrolled in coursework subjects.
  • 6. Allegations of research misconduct by an HDR student undertaking a thesis subject, or in the preparation of a research paper or report for publication or presentation must be managed in accordance with the Research Misconduct Policy.

7 Record Keeping

  • 1. Faculties will maintain records of educational strategies, resources and other initiatives that promote academic integrity.
  • 2. Faculties will maintain secure and confidential records relating to the management of alleged cases of academic misconduct within the faculty, in accordance with the Privacy Policy and Records Management Policy.
  • 3. The University will establish and maintain a centralised management system to keep secure and confidential records of cases of alleged academic misconduct and the outcomes of investigations.
  • 4. All files relating to cases of alleged academic misconduct by coursework and HDR students will be retained and disposed of in accordance with University and statutory requirements.

8 Reporting

  • 1. Each year, Faculties, the Graduate Research School and Student Services Division will report to Academic Senate via the appropriate subcommittees on:
        • a. Statistics and trends relating to allegations of academic misconduct for both coursework and HDR students,
        • b. The manner in which the allegations were dealt with, and
        • c. The steps taken to promote academic integrity and minimise academic misconduct within the faculty.
  • 2. Each year, Academic Senate will report to University Council on the statistics and trends relating to academic misconduct received and addressed by faculties; and strategies to promote academic integrity and minimise opportunities for academic misconduct.
  • 3. Statistics and trends will be reported back to Faculties, to ensure opportunities for continuous quality improvement.

9 Roles and Responsibilities

  • 1. Students will:
        • a. Act in accordance with the principles of academic integrity in their learning and research;
        • b. Be familiar with the principles of academic integrity both generally and for their discipline or course of study;
        • c. Encourage other students to uphold academic integrity and discourage other students from any form of academic misconduct;
        • d. Familiarise themselves with the expectations for assessment, including assessment task requirements, acknowledgement practice, and marking criteria;
        • e. Submit only work which properly acknowledges the ideas, designs, words or works of others and which is otherwise their own original work;
        • f. Avoid lending or otherwise providing assessment items, directly or indirectly, to other students where it could be reasonably foreseen by the student that their work could be used dishonestly;
        • g. Be aware of the collective responsibility of proper acknowledgement within group assignments, and be able to substantiate their claims to authorship in a group assignment;
        • h. Acknowledge that a copy of an item submitted for assessment may be shared with other staff members for the purpose of assessment, or submitted to a text/code-matching software program such as Turnitin for originality checking; and
        • i. Otherwise refrain from any forms of academic misconduct as defined in this or any other University policy document.
  • 2. Faculties and Schools will:
        • a. Ensure that a consistent approach is taken across the faculty to promote the principles and practice of academic integrity;
        • b. Promote academic integrity in its courses as they are developed or reviewed, through the integration of learning experiences and assessment tasks that allow students to develop and demonstrate good academic practices as they progress through the course;
        • c. Ensure that students are required to declare that assessment items submitted are entirely their own;
        • d. Take a fair and consistent approach to the identification and investigation of possible cases of academic misconduct and actions to address substantiated allegations of academic misconduct;
        • e. Support subject coordinators and other staff to promote academic integrity within subjects taught in their school and faculty;
        • f. Ensure that all teaching staff are aware of, and provide advice to students, regarding the available sources of assistance for students;
        • g. Support subject coordinators and teaching staff, including research supervisors, to address allegations of academic misconduct in accordance with published procedures;
        • h. Maintain secure and confidential records relating to the management allegations of academic misconduct within the faculty; and
        • i. Nominate one or more Academic Integrity Officers, who must be at the level of Lecturer or above, combined with appropriate experience.
  • 3. The Associate Dean (Education) or a nominated senior staff member will:
        • a. Oversee the development and delivery of appropriate academic integrity education in their Faculty;
        • b. Provide support and advice to the Faculty’s nominated Academic Integrity Officer (AIOs); and
        • c. Analyse reports about trends in academic misconduct and advise Faculty Executive and Course Directors about appropriate educational interventions.
  • 4. Collaborative Partners (Third Party Providers) will:
        • a. Uphold and promote the principles and practices of academic integrity.
        • b. Ensure that teaching staff employed by them act in a manner consistent with their responsibilities as set out 9.5 and 9.6.

COURSEWORK RELATED ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • 5. Subject Coordinators will:
        • a. Design assessment tasks and learning activities in such a way as to:
          • iii. support the development of the skills necessary to demonstrate academic integrity, and
          • iv. minimise opportunities for academic misconduct;
        • b. Where appropriate, provide access to text/code-matching software to students as an educative tool in promoting appropriate acknowledgement practice, and use text/code-matching software as a tool in detecting suspected cases of academic misconduct;
        • c. Actively seek to identify cases of possible misconduct;
        • d. Support teaching staff to identify cases of possible misconduct; and
        • e. Identify and act in accordance with published procedures whenever plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct are suspected.
  • 6. Teaching staff will:
        • a. Demonstrate academic integrity within their teaching practices and act as role models for their students;
        • b. Enable and support students to become aware of academic expectations and what constitutes academic misconduct, taking into account their level of experience in the university environment, and their social and cultural background;
        • c. Ensure that adequate information is provided to students about acknowledgement practice that is appropriate to their field of study and provide examples of what is acceptable;
        • d. Provide feedback to students on acknowledgement practice and refer them to sources of advice when necessary;
        • e. Give clear guidelines for group work and make clear the distinction between group work and individual work;
        • f. Inform the subject coordinator whenever academic misconduct is alleged in a coursework subject, in accordance with published procedures; and
  • 7. Academic Integrity Officers will act as the Primary Investigation Officer and carry out investigations of alleged academic misconduct in accordance with the Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework.
  • 8. The Faculty Investigation Committee and Student Conduct Committee will act in accordance with the Procedure for Managing Alleged Academic Misconduct by a Student Undertaking Coursework.
  • 9. Student Services Division will maintain a secure and confidential register for the management of allegations of academic misconduct across the University.

RESEARCH RELATED ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • 10. Research supervisors are responsible for:
        • a. Promoting academic and research integrity and actively seek to identify cases of potential academic misconduct by students they are supervising;
        • b. Providing guidance on the conduct of research and the preparation of a thesis for assessment, a research paper or a report for publication or presentation; and
  • 11. Heads of Postgraduate Studies are responsible for:
        • a. Providing advice and guidance on academic and research integrity and cases of alleged academic or research misconduct;
  • 12. The Graduate Research School will provide resources and support HDR supervisors to promote academic skills and minimise opportunities for academic misconduct for students undertaking HDR courses, thesis subjects and in the preparation of papers or reports for publication or presentation.
  • 13. Roles and responsibilities for undertaking research misconduct are outlined in the Research Misconduct Policy.

RESOURCE PROVISION & SUPPORT RELATED ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • 14. The Learning, Teaching and Curriculum Unit and Library Services will have a role in:
        • a. Identifying and developing resources to support academic integrity;
        • b. Providing information, resources, advice and consultation to academic units and teaching staff on methods of integrating learning activities and designing assessment tasks in courses and subjects in order to develop student understanding of academic integrity and proficiency in relevant academic skills
        • c. Providing support for students to develop academic skills to minimise the potential for academic misconduct;
        • d. Developing and maintaining an Academic Integrity Portal on the University web site that provides access to resources regarding academic integrity for students and staff;
        • e. Providing resources and professional development to teaching staff to enable the efficient identification of inadequate acknowledgement practice; and
        • f. Providing resources for the use of text/code-matching software by staff and students to support the development of good acknowledgement practice.

10 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

Autumn Session 2011

University Council
15 October 2010

First Version- Replaces the Acknowledgement Practice – Plagiarism Policy and Use of Turnitin Policy

2

8 February 2013

University Council
8 February 2013

Amendment to Section 7 to include in the definition of academic dishonesty the provision of an assessment item to others where it is known or reasonably foreseeable that it will be used dishonestly.

3

3 February 2014

Vice-Chancellor
3 February 2014

Minor amendment to Appendix 1, Clause 3 to allow variation in wording of the written statement made by a student before an item is submitted to Turnitin.

4

Autumn Session 2015

University Council

Amendments to reflect the implementation of the new Coursework Student Academic Complaints Policy and Higher Degree Research (HDR) Student Academic Grievance Policy, which replace the previous Academic Grievance Policy (Coursework and Honours Students) and Academic Grievance Policy (Higher Degree Research Students).

5

1 January 2016

University Council

Scheduled major review. Changes include renaming from the ‘Academic Integrity and Plagiarism Policy’ to the ‘Academic Integrity Policy’, strengthened educational approach, introduction of reporting requirements and clearer roles and responsibilities.

6

29 April 2016

Vice-Chancellor

Amendment to section 6.2.a.i to clarify examples of cheating.

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