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Academic Integrity Procedure

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This procedure supports the Academic Integrity Policy by stating detailed responsibilities and requirements in relation to academic integrity.

Scope

(2) This procedure has the same scope as the Academic Integrity Policy.

References

(3) Where a supporting document is referenced in this procedure, it will be listed in the associated information tab.

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Section 2 - Glossary

(4) The terms used in this procedure are defined in the glossary section of the Academic Integrity Policy.

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Section 3 - Policy 

(5) This procedure supports the Academic Integrity Policy and should be read alongside that policy.

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Section 4 - Procedure

Responsibilities

(6) All members of the university community have responsibilities for promoting, maintaining and defending academic integrity, as follows.

Students’ responsibilities

(7) Students will:

  1. undertake training in academic integrity and, where relevant, research integrity as required;
  2. in their first session of study at Charles Sturt University (the University), gain an understanding of the University’s expectations of academic integrity and what constitutes academic misconduct and (where relevant to their course) research misconduct;
  3. become proficient in referencing practice for their discipline(s) and seek support to develop this proficiency as needed;
  4. undertake academic activities with honesty and integrity, and without collusion, cheating or plagiarism;
  5. ensure that their assessment work is the product of their scholarly activity and, where it uses the work of others, references this;
  6. take reasonable steps to ensure that other students cannot copy their work or use it to commit academic misconduct; and
  7. where they are part of a group undertaking group assessment work, ensure that each group member’s contribution to the work submitted is properly acknowledged, and keep evidence of their own contribution to the work in case this needs to be confirmed.

(8) The University asks students to help defend academic integrity by:

  1. practising and modelling academic integrity;
  2. encouraging other students to maintain academic integrity;
  3. discouraging other students from engaging in academic misconduct; and
  4. reporting instances of suspected academic misconduct that they become aware of.

Academic staff responsibilities

(9) Academic staff (whether continuing staff, contract staff, sessional staff or adjuncts) will:

  1. undertake training in academic integrity and research integrity as required;
  2. model academic integrity to students by acknowledging the scholarly work of others used in their own teaching and research, and by the integrity of their academic decisions about students;
  3. as far as possible design assessment tasks to minimise the likelihood of academic misconduct;
  4. ensure students understand:
    1. academic integrity and correct referencing practice in the discipline, preferably involving students in the discussion to ensure active learning; and
    2. that students’ assignments will be checked for originality and correct referencing using text similarity checking software, and students must accept this condition to have their assessment work accepted and marked;
  5. regularly review the online academic integrity subject for students to ensure that their own explanations of these matters are consistent with the subject;
  6. for each assessment task, explain the extent to which collaboration is permitted and warn against collusion beyond this limit;
  7. provide instructions on how group assessment work will be managed and marked to assess each group member’s contribution;
  8. where a coursework subject involves research with human subjects, explain the requirements for responsible conduct of research stated in the Research Policy, and any specific arrangements to meet these requirements for the research task;
  9. in core subjects for students who are about to undertake a research component of a coursework course, explain the requirements for responsible conduct of research stated in the Research Policy, and any specific arrangements to meet these requirements for research in the course;
  10. where they supervise a coursework student’s or higher degree by research candidate’s research project, ensure that the student and project comply with the requirements for responsible conduct of research stated in the Research Policy;
  11. be vigilant for breaches of academic integrity: using similarity checking software to identify plagiarism, comparing students’ performance across a number of tasks; and
  12. where they suspect cheating, collusion, contract cheating, plagiarism, research misconduct or self-plagiarism, report these to an appointed officer for investigation under the Student Misconduct Rule 2020.

(10) Supervisors of academic staff will ensure that they complete the relevant online academic integrity module and, where relevant, the online research integrity module, as required by the staff training in academic integrity section below.

Course director responsibilities

(11) Course directors will ensure that:

  1. the course communications to students explain academic integrity and correct referencing practice; and
  2. where a student or group of students joins the course at a later point, they receive communications explaining academic integrity and correct referencing practice.

Professional staff responsibilities

(12) Professional staff who support academic work or who have dealings with students will:

  1. undertake training in academic integrity and, where relevant, research integrity as required;
  2. support academic staff in promoting academic integrity;
  3. warn students of the consequences of academic misconduct or research misconduct; and 
  4. support academic staff in investigating and managing allegations of academic misconduct or research misconduct, where this is part of their role.

(13) Where professional staff supervise assessment tasks and suspect a student of cheating or collusion, they will report this to an appointed officer for investigation under the Student Misconduct Rule 2020.

Academic leaders’ responsibilities

(14) Executive Deans and other academic leaders in faculties and schools will ensure that:

  1. course design provides students with opportunities to develop and demonstrate academic integrity skills as they progress through the course;
  2. course design teams include staff with expertise in embedding academic integrity in the curriculum: that is, educational designers and faculty liaison librarians;
  3. course and subject teams design assessment tasks to minimise potential for academic misconduct;
  4. instances of suspected academic misconduct or research misconduct are identified, reported and managed in accordance with, as appropriate, the Student Misconduct Rule 2020, Research Misconduct Procedure or Enterprise Agreement.

Divisions’ responsibilities

(15) The Division of Student Success will provide:

  1. develop regular communication campaigns, including web content to support awareness and understanding;
  2. support students in understanding and practising academic integrity.

(16) The Division of Learning and Teaching will provide:

  1. online training in academic integrity for staff and students;
  2. a web page on academic integrity for staff; and
  3. support and advice to faculties in designing assessment tasks, subjects and courses to maintain academic integrity and minimise academic misconduct.

(17) The Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) will provide:

  1. online training in research integrity for staff and students; and
  2. induction for higher degree by research candidates in the responsible conduct of research.

(18) The Division of Information Technology and Division of Student Administration will collaborate to ensure:

  1. the integrity and security of marking, grade approval and student records systems and access to these, so that marks and grades are only recorded or changed by staff with authority to do so, as outcomes of assessment, moderation, grade approval and mark and grade review processes; and
  2. the integrity and security of exam papers and exam scheduling so that students cannot gain access to exam papers before the exam.

(19) The Division of Facilities Management will speedily remove any advertisements for contract cheating that appear on campuses. All staff are expected to remove such advertisements on sight.

Academic integrity information to applicants for admission

(20) Information provided to admission applicants with their offer of admission will include:

  1. a statement of the University’s expectations that they will maintain academic integrity;
  2. a statement that
    1. similarity checking software will be used to check students’ assessment work for correct referencing of others’ work; and
    2. students must agree to this checking and to having their work added to the database of the similarity checking software, to have their assessment work marked; and
  3. a warning that academic misconduct or research misconduct will be investigated and may be penalised.

Student training in academic integrity

(21) Every student new to the University must complete the online academic integrity subject for students, before they can receive access to their grades. Exemptions to this requirement are:

  1. students enrolled in StudyLink subjects who will receive information about academic integrity via their subject site; and
  2. students who undertake subjects as part of alternative pathways/study options and where there is no assessment requirement.

(22) After this policy takes effect, any student who is already enrolled must complete the online academic integrity subject, to retain access to their results. The modules and quizzes have been updated to cover contract cheating, so students who have already completed the previous version of the module must complete the new version.

(23) The Division of Learning and Teaching will ensure all students complete the academic integrity subject by the following process:

  1. Students will be automatically enrolled in an academic integrity module single subject as part of their first session of enrolment at the University.
    1. This subject will have no points weighting, and no fee will be charged for the student’s enrolment in it.
    2. The grading scale for the subject will be SY (Satisfactory)/US (Unsatisfactory).
    3. The student’s result in the subject will not appear on their transcript.
  2. To gain a SY grade in the subject, a student must achieve at least an 80% score in the academic integrity subject quizzes. The student may attempt the subject repeatedly until they gain the required score.
  3. Students who have not passed the academic integrity module subject will be unable to view their grades.
  4. Once the student has successfully passed the academic integrity module subject, if the student is required to re-sit this subject due to an academic misconduct incident, their grades will not put back on hold.

(24) Every higher degree by research candidate, or student in a coursework course with a research component, must complete the online research integrity module. Where a coursework subject requires students to undertake a research task involving human subjects, students must complete the online research integrity module.

  1. Principle supervisors and sub-deans (graduate studies) will ensure that a higher degree by research candidate’s candidature is not confirmed until they have completed the online research integrity module and, if they are new to the University, the online academic integrity module.
  2. Course directors of coursework courses with research components will ensure that students’ completion of the online research integrity module is a condition for approval of their research proposal.
  3. Where a coursework subject requires students to undertake a research task involving human subjects, the subject coordinator will ensure that students have completed the online research integrity module before they begin the task. This may involve setting completion of the module as an unweighted hurdle assessment for the subject.
  4. To complete the online research integrity module a student must achieve at least an 80% score in the research integrity module quizzes.

Staff training in academic integrity

(25) All academic staff (whether continuing staff, contract staff, sessional staff or adjuncts) will:

  1. on starting work at the University, complete the online modules on academic integrity for staff and on research integrity as part of their induction;
  2. if they have not previously completed these online modules, complete them as soon as possible after this procedure takes effect; and
  3. repeat these online modules every three years after that.

(26) Any professional staff member in a role that supports academic governance committees, any aspect of assessment or learning and teaching, will:

  1. complete the online academic integrity module for staff when they begin the role; and
  2. repeat the online academic integrity module for staff every three years after that while they continue in such a role.

(27) Any professional staff member in a role that supports a research governance or ethics committee, higher degree by research candidature or supervision, or research by staff, will:

  1. if they have not previously completed the online academic integrity module for staff and the online research integrity module, complete these when they begin the role; and
  2. repeat the academic integrity module for staff and online research integrity module every three years after that while they continue in such a role.

(28) To complete the online academic integrity module for staff, or the online research integrity module, the staff member must gain at least an 80% score in the quiz that ends each module.

Design and conduct of assessment

(29) Course design teams and subject design teams will design major assessment tasks to minimise the risk of breaches of academic integrity. The Division of Learning and Teaching provides resources and advice on how to do this.

(30) Subject coordinators and subject teaching teams must not re-use assessment tasks in such a way that students who have acquired knowledge of the task from a previous offering of the subject are at an unfair advantage over students encountering the task for the first time. To this end, they must ensure that:

  1. assignment questions in subject outlines are changed in each offering of the subject, unless the questions are designed so that a student will not gain an unfair advantage from seeing students’ assignments from previous offerings of the subject; and
  2. exam and test questions are varied each time the exam or test is administered in a subject, so that students will not gain an unfair advantage from knowledge of the previous version of the exam or test.

Similarity checking of students work

(31) Students have access to similarity checking software to check their draft assessment work for similarity to other texts, to ensure that they have referenced others’ work correctly before submitting an assignment.

(32) All text-based assignments will be submitted electronically via the University’s system for online assignment submission, unless the associate dean (academic) of the teaching faculty approves an exception for a specific assignment or subject.

(33) All higher degree by research (HDR) theses will be submitted in electronic form.

(34) All text-based assignments and text-based components of higher degree by research theses must be in a format that can be similarity-checked by Turnitin.

(35) In submitting an assignment, the student or candidate will complete a declaration:

  1. confirming their authorship of the work;
  2. indicating whether they have submitted it previously for an assessment task;
  3. agreeing to have it checked using similarity-checking software; and
  4. agreeing that it can be added to the database of the similarity-checking software, for similarity-checking of other work in future.

(36) The Higher Degree by Research Policy schedule 3 requires a similar declaration as part of each HDR thesis.

(37) The University’s online assessment submission system automatically uses similarity checking software to check assignments for similarity with other texts, including other assignments submitted by students for the same assessment task, and to identify any plagiarism.

(38) The Charles Sturt Office of Research Services and Graduate Studies will run each HDR thesis submitted through similarity checking software.

(39) The Division of Learning and Teaching provides online resources to help staff and students understand how to use similarity checking software to check assessment work for similarity, and how to understand the implications of similarity reports.

Editing of students’ assessment work

(40) A student may only have the help of a professional editor with their work to be submitted for assessment on the following conditions:

  1. in a coursework subject, the subject outline states that the assistance of a professional editor is permitted; or
  2. in a research component subject for a coursework course, or a higher degree by research thesis, the principal supervisor has approved the use of a professional editor; and
  3. in either of the cases above:
    1. the editing is consistent with the Australian Institute of Professional Editors guidelines for thesis editing; and
    2. the editor’s help is acknowledged in the acknowledgements section of the thesis or in the text of the assessment work.

(41) Teaching staff and supervisors of students’ research theses must avoid editing a student’s work to such an extent that they become an unacknowledged co-author and/or the student’s level of skills, knowledge and academic achievement is obscured.

(42) To help students develop their academic writing skills, they may receive feedback on draft assessment work from the University’s common support units: this does not constitute editing help.

Third party delivery of courses and subjects

(43) Where a course or subject is delivered with a partner institution or organisation, there will be the following measures to ensure academic integrity of the delivery:

  1. The partnership agreement will include requirements to ensure the academic integrity of the delivery.
  2. The partner must accept that the University’s Academic Integrity Policy applies to partner staff and to students enrolled in the course or subject.
  3. The teaching faculty and Division of Student Administration (DSA) will collaborate with partner staff to ensure a shared understanding of academic integrity in teaching, assessment and exams.
  4. The teaching faculty will monitor students’ assessment work.
  5. The DSA will administer exams for partnered deliveries, unless the Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) permits an exception. Where the Provost permits the partner to administer the exams as an exception, the DSA will:
    1. specify requirements for administration of the exams;
    2. collaborate with the teaching faculty to monitor the partner’s administration of the exams; and
    3. wherever possible exam supervisors will be independent of the partner organisation.
  6. The teaching faculty will inform the relevant School Board(s), the Faculty Board and University Learning and Teaching Committee of any concerns about academic integrity in the delivery and how these are being resolved.
  7. University Learning and Teaching Committee will:
    1. provide a consolidated annual report of academic integrity in third party deliveries to Academic Senate and the University Council; and
    2. inform Academic Senate, which will inform the University Council, of any concerns with academic integrity of third party deliveries as the concerns arise, and how the concerns are being resolved.

Breaches of academic integrity

(44) Where a staff member believes that a student has committed academic misconduct or research misconduct, they will report the matter to an appointed officer as defined in the Student Misconduct Rule 2020, so it can be investigated.

(45) The Student Misconduct Rule 2020 states the requirements for handling academic misconduct allegations. 

Confidentiality

(46) Allegations that a student or staff member has breached academic integrity must be treated confidentially, and only discussed with or communicated to:

  1. the person alleged to have committed the breach;
  2. those directly involved in investigating and managing it; and
  3. persons from whom the investigator needs to gain information in relation to the allegation.

(47) Where, however, a staff member is found to have committed academic or research misconduct (whether in their capacity as a staff member or as a student), the decision may be handled in accordance with clause (52).

Academic misconduct officers

(48) Each faculty must have an academic misconduct officer who will support appointed officers in investigating allegations of misconduct.

(49) The academic misconduct officer or faculty operations team will record, on the University’s online student misconduct database, details of each academic misconduct allegation and its investigation, outcome and any penalties applied to the student.

(50) Where the outcome of an investigation is a decision that the student has breached academic integrity through poor academic practice, rather than academic misconduct, the academic misconduct officer will record this outcome for reference in deciding penalties for any academic misconduct the student is found to have committed in future.

Student misconduct database

(51) All academic misconduct allegations against students, investigations, decisions and penalties will be recorded in the University’s online student misconduct database.

Staff breaches of academic integrity

(52) Where a staff member is believed to have breached academic integrity, this will be handled under the following rule or policies, depending on the circumstances:

  1. If the staff member is alleged to have committed plagiarism in teaching activities, a research output, or another form of research misconduct, the matter will be handled under the Research Misconduct Procedure.
  2. If the staff member is also a student of the University and is alleged to have committed academic misconduct or research misconduct, the matter will be handled under the Student Misconduct Rule 2020, which may lead to disciplinary action under the Enterprise Agreement.
  3. If the staff member is alleged to have breached academic integrity in an academic decision about a student, the matter will be referred to the Executive Director, People and Culture, or their nominee for staff disciplinary matters, to consider whether to invoke the disciplinary process under the Enterprise Agreement
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Section 5 - Guidelines

(53) Nil.