6. Report all suspected academic integrity breaches
To uphold high assessment standards, all academic integrity breaches must be investigated and managed consistently and fairly.
All staff involved in assessing student work are responsible for detecting and reporting the suspected breaches.
The process for managing suspected academic integrity breaches is outlined in the Assessment and assessment flexibility policy and procedure and the Student conduct policy.
These documents will help you deal with suspected breaches concerning authorship of the work submitted for assessment, and poor referencing and use of sources.
Decisions relating to suspected breaches of academic integrity must be made in consultation with at least one other staff member.
In cases of suspected serious breaches, the consultation process should include a senior academic staff, such as the Dean or Head of School.
Remember, when dealing with suspected academic integrity breaches:
- Use your academic judgement
- Be fair and avoid discriminating
- Provide consistent information to all students
- Take into account the severity of the breach and the progress of the student in their program of study in terms of the expected level of understanding and skill in the application of the principles of academic integrity.
- Apply penalties consistent with the University’s Student Conduct Regulation.
Reporting a breach
As soon as you identify a potential academic misconduct, stop marking the assessment and follow these steps in consultation with your Course Coordinator:
Gather and document the evidence about the nature and extent of the suspected academic misconduct, such as a Turnitin report, the results of an internet search, or other sources.
Inform the student about your findings and what will happen next. Give them the opportunity to admit to misconduct
Notify the Course Coordinator. If you are the Course Coordinator consult with another academic, such as the Program Manager or Head of School.
Where there is insufficient evidence of plagiarism, the case will be dismissed and no further action will be required.
If the Course Coordinator decides the breach is a minor lapse in referencing or use of sources, it will be treated as an assessment matter. The Course Coordinator will advise you on how to manage the incident from this point. For example, you may need to:
Provide advice to educate the student about academic integrity
Inform the student about the breach and assist him/her to respond to the actions requested, such as:
Asking the student to resubmit the work
Requesting the evidence of the research and writing processes before final submission
Participating in hearing the student’s oral defence of the work to demonstrate authorship
Complete the marking process, applying penalties such as a mark deduction, as instructed.
If the Course Coordinator determines that it is a serious breach of academic integrity, they will refer the matter to the Head of School.
Always follow-up to ensure the outcome of the incident has been determined and recorded, if a breach of academic integrity has occurred.
The role of the Dean/Heads of School and appointed Senior Officers
The role of the Dean / Head of School is to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant a case for academic misconduct to be heard under RMIT Statute No. 1 - Student Conduct Regulation.
Students must be informed in writing of the inquiry into academic misconduct and has the right to respond. Investigation of an alleged incident of academic misconduct is conducted by an appointed senior officer, who may then refer the matter to a hearing of the Student Conduct Board.
If a decision of academic misconduct is found, the outcome is recorded and included in the annual report of the Student Conduct Board.
Students have the right to submit an appeal against student conduct decisions in accordance with the regulations.