3. Educate students about academic integrity

We must educate students about the principles that underpin academic integrity and how to uphold these principles in their academic work.

Make sure you understand where your course is positioned within the overall program structure. This will give you the necessary insight into the levels of understanding and skills in applying the principles of academic integrity you should expect from your students. If in doubt, talk to the Course Coordinator.

Set clear expectations during your first contact with students and then keep reinforcing them during the assessment activities and class discussions. Check that all students understand what is required of them. Lead by example.

Here is a suggested schedule with helpful resources:

During the first week of classes

During the first week of classes, introduce students to academic integrity and their responsibilities as members of RMIT University.

What students need to know

  • What is academic integrity, what are RMIT’s and your expectations in this area, and what it means to their studies, profession, and their reputation and future careers
  • Definitions and examples of academic misconduct
  • How to avoid academic misconduct
  • The consequences of academic misconduct
  • Where they can get more information and help.

Suggested strategies

Resources

Include academic integrity statements in program and course guides.

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Schedule class presentations to introduce students to the concept of academic integrity, and resources and support available to them from the Study and Learning Centre and the Library.

Download and adapt this presentation to suit the requirements of your teaching discipline and the needs of your students:

Academic Integrity: An essential requirement in tertiary study (PPTX, 2.81 MB)

Distribute handouts, and/or post printed copies on walls of classrooms and labs.

Here is a quick guide for sharing and printing:

Academic Integrity quick guide for students (PDF, 249 KB, 1 page)

Set the standard by acknowledging all sources of information used in your course materials and presentations.

EndNote: managing your references

Introducing the first assessment task

At this time, students will need practical advice on how to avoid plagiarism and collusion. Remind them that the consequences of cheating are serious. Reassure them that help is available if and when they need it.

What students need to know

  • What is academic misconduct and how to avoid it
  • What are the consequences of academic misconduct
  • The difference between collusion and proofreading
  • What sources need acknowledging and which don't (common knowledge)
  • How to acknowledge sources of information (referencing)
  • Which referencing style to use and where to find referencing examples
  • How to avoid plagiarising discipline-specific information, such as computer code, images or data (e.g. crediting source of external code using inline comments)
  • How to plan and manage their time
  • What to do if they struggle to meet the requirements
  • That all assessments must include a declaration of authorship
  • That their work will be checked for plagiarism.
  • That all assessment tasks may be reproduced, communicated, compared and archived for the purposes of detecting plagiarism.
  • That they may be asked to provide evidence of the development of the work before final submission and/or make an oral defense of their authorship.

Suggested strategies

Resources

Make students aware of the resources and help available to them.

Here are the links you can add to your online course:

Online tutorials and guides:

Workshops and classes:

Tools:

Help:

AskRMIT - provides answers to questions about academic integrity, copyright and plagiarism

Organise learning activities to discuss examples and ethical issues associated with cheating and plagiarism.

For ideas, visit:

Online quizzes:

Set out clear rules for each assessment task. These rules must be unambiguous to prevent any misinterpretation. Check that students understand what is expected of them and that they are aware of the consequences of breaking the rules.

Use the statements for paper-based and electronic submissions of assessment.

Authorisation of assessment work

At least one week prior to due date of the first assessment task

Remind your students

  • Where they can get help
  • To protect their written work by not making it available to others (intentionally or unintentionally)
  • To protect their work by logging off from shared computers, removing USBs or other file storage devices, or collecting the printouts
  • To check their references and make sure they have correctly distinguished between their original ideas and those of others
  • That they can check their written work using Turnitin
  • That it is possible to apply for an extension if they are struggling to meet the due date
  • To include a declaration of authorship when submitting their assessment.

Suggested strategies

Resources

Provide reminders during classes and by using announcements in your online course.

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Remind students that they can meet with a learning adviser to get help and feedback on their writing.

SLC drop-in learning centre

Smarthinking Writing Centre

Show students how to use Turnitin’s OriginalityCheck to review their assignments.

Turnitin: OriginalityCheck

Make yourself available to students, who need help. In particular, those that may need an extension.

Extensions of time for submission of assessment

After marking of assessment task

Use this opportunity to reinforce the academic integrity values to the whole class and to the individual students.

Suggested strategies