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.

What is expected at Charles Sturt?

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

  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:
  5. academic integrity and correct referencing practice in the discipline, preferably involving students in the discussion to ensure active learning; and
  6. 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;
  7. regularly review the online academic integrity subject for students to ensure that their own explanations of these matters are consistent with the subject;
  8. for each assessment task, explain the extent to which collaboration is permitted and warn against collusion beyond this limit;
  9. provide instructions on how group assessment work will be managed and marked to assess each group member’s contribution;
  10. 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;
  11. 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;
  12. 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;
  13. be vigilant for breaches of academic integrity: using similarity checking software to identify plagiarism, comparing students’ performance across a number of tasks; and
  14. 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.
    This is from the Charles Sturt Academic Integrity Procedure,  Academic staff responsibilities (Clause 9)

The updated Academic Integrity Policy and procedure came into effect from 1 July 2020. Please see the Academic Policy Review and Implementation web page for the latest information.

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

Charles Sturt  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).

Effective in all sessions commencing since the policy took effect on 1 July 2020, Charles Sturt’s Academic Integrity course became compulsory for all students to complete prior to grade release. The only exception will be for those students who completed the AIM currently available in the i2 organisation site after 24 February 2020. Students who have not completed the training will be unable to view their grades.

From July, the Academic Integrity course is being delivered via a single subject with no points weighting, visible in their student portal and supported by the Division of Learning and Teaching. This subject will be free and will help students understand academic integrity, contract cheating and the support services available.

Educate your students about Academic Integrity

  1. Encourage your students to complete the Academic Integrity course located under "Single subjects and StudyLink" section  of the Charles Sturt student portal or on their i2 dashboard.
  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 Charles Sturt course.
  5. Students are required 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: do 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
  2. Consider alternative assessment types such as a report, a multimedia presentation, a project, a learning journal, rather than an essay.
  3. Assess higher order thinking skills that require students to apply knowledge rather than simply find and present answers.
  4. Combine different methods of assessment, such as a submitted task with a related in-class component.
  5. Provide different students in the same cohort with different scenarios or data sets.
  6. 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).
  7. Incorporate an element of personal reflection, experience or opinion.

    Please see the Charles Sturt Academic Integrity Procedure,  Design and conduct of assessment (Clause 29-30)

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)
    Please see the new Charles Sturt Assessment Policy,  Group assessment work  (Clause 20-21)

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 similarly checking and plagiarism
    Please see the Academic Integrity Checking Processes 

Take appropriate action if plagiarism/academic misconduct is identified

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

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 Checking Processes outlines how to use Turnitin
Cheating at University (wiki site) Look here for examples of introducing students to academic integrity through learning activities.
Academic Integrity (staff only) ELMO training.
Academic Integrity and Referencing (Student Portal/Library/Academic integrity and referencing)

Policy documents
Charles Sturt Academic Integrity Policy
Charles Sturt Academic Integrity Procedure
Charles Sturt Misconduct – Student Misconduct Rule
Charles Sturt Referencing Policy

References and further reading

Hrasky & Kronenberg, 2011; How to Minimise Plagiarism in your students' work in 5 steps, CSU

Further reading

TEQSA integrity tool kit located at: https://www.teqsa.gov.au/academic-integrity-toolkit