Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Designing for academic integrity

Academic Integrity

Means acting with honesty, fairness and responsibility in learning, teaching and research. It involves observing and maintaining ethical standards in all aspects of academic work.(Academic Integrity Policy 2.8.a)

What is expected at CSU?

Academic and professional staff involved in teaching and learning and/or research are responsible for:

  1. familiarising themselves with the policy expectations for academic integrity and the procedures relating to academic misconduct and research misconduct;
  2. modelling academic integrity by appropriately acknowledging the work of others in their own teaching, research and University activities;
  3. providing appropriate guidance, support and feedback to assist students to become familiar with the general expectations of academic integrity as well as any specific application of acknowledgment practices relevant to their discipline;
  4. communicating to students clear instructions about academic integrity expectations for assessment tasks, such as the appropriate referencing conventions and acceptable level of collaboration;
  5. facilitating learning activities and providing feedback that helps students recognise, develop and demonstrate academic integrity;

    and
  6. recognising, responding and where necessary, reporting instances of academic misconduct and research misconduct according to the Academic Integrity Policy and related procedures.

How can you promote academic integrity in your students' work?

CSU favours an educative and proactive approach to promoting Academic Integrity and minimising Academic Misconduct. Here are some approaches that can help you in your teaching practice. (Sources: Hrasky & Kronenberg, 2011; How to Minimise Plagiarism in your students' work in 5 steps, CSU).

Educate your students about Academic Integrity

  1. Encourage your students to complete the Academic Integrity at CSU course located in the study page of the CSU student portal. You can post a link and information in your subject outline and Interact 2 site. You can see what the students work through via the Academic Integrity at CSU (staff only) I2 site.
  2. Review and teach skills such as summarising, paraphrasing, critical analysis, argument development, and referencing. Remind students about resources that can help them develop these skills and how this will assist them to avoid academic misconduct.
  3. Encourage students to use Turnitin before submitting assignments. Direct them to the Plagiarism Checking Software page of the student portal.
  4. Explain the difference between collaboration and collusion especially where group work is required. Again, encourage students to complete the Academic Integrity at CSU course.
  5. Require students to sign a cover sheet on their assignments acknowledging the work as their own.

Create assessment tasks that minimise the opportunities for academic misconduct.

You may have the opportunity to do this in your subject team or as part of course review.

In reviewing, adapting or modifying tasks make sure you consult with the course director first to ensure that all the task design elements will be incorporated in your revisions.

  1. Develop unique tasks and be wary of reusing tasks from previous sessions Consider alternative assessment types such as a report, a multimedia presentation, a project, a learning journal, rather than an essay.
  2. Assess higher order thinking skills that require students to apply knowledge rather than simply find and present answers.
  3. Combine different methods of assessment, such as a submitted task with a related in-class component.
  4. Provide different students in the same cohort with different scenarios or data sets.
  5. Make the task more specific and less generalised so that the application of knowledge to a specific practical case is required (which can be varied from session to session).
  6. Incorporate an element of personal reflection, experience or opinion.

Require evidence of work in progress (where practicable).

  1. Request copies of drafts, reference material used or planning documentation.
  2. Hold meeting with students to discuss progress.
  3. Have students keep a journal of the time and activities to complete the task.
  4. Allocate marks toward the process as well as the outcome (especially in the case of group work)

Actively look for academic misconduct

  1. Make sure you are familiar with common sources of plagiarised material
  2. Use platforms such as Turnitin to test for academic misconduct

Take appropriate action if plagiarism/academic misconduct is identified

  1. Respond to instances of academic misconduct in student work by following the CSU policy. The procedures for addressing Academic Misconduct are outlined in the Misconduct – Student Academic Misconduct Policy.

Teaching resources and support.

The following resources can help you foster Academic Integrity in your teaching practice and help students avoid academic misconduct.

Support
Academic Integrity at CSU (staff only) I2 site.
Academic Integrity and Referencing (Student Portal/Library/Academic integrity and referencing)
ALLaN (Academic Literacy and Numeracy) Support

Policy documents
CSU Academic Integrity Policy
CSU Misconduct – Student Academic Misconduct Policy
CSU Referencing Policy

References and further reading
Hrasky, D., & Kronenberg, S. (2011). Curriculum redesign as a faculty-centred approach to plagiarism reduction. International Journal for Educational Integrity. 7 (2), 23-36.

Further reading