Procedure: Student academic integrity NEW (Effective from 1 December 2021)
To outline the overarching processes that support maintaining academic integrity and assessing potential breaches of the Academic Integrity Principle.
Decision maker is the inquiry officer or inquiry panel in the context of an inquiry for academic misconduct, the course convener in the context of a review for poor academic practice.
Thesis can be a thesis (coursework) where a coursework program includes a thesis component, or a thesis (HDR) in a research program.
For additional definitions of terms in this procedure, please refer to the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, section 6. Definitions.
- This procedure is to be read in conjunction with the Academic Integrity Rule 2021 and the Student Academic Integrity policy.
Education and support
- During their first semester of enrolment, all coursework students must successfully complete an online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum). Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training within three months of program commencement.
- For coursework courses (that is, excluding theses), course conveners:
- provide clear expectations and discipline specific standards in relation to academic integrity at the commencement of the course, and continue to provide support throughout the course or as appropriate; and
- clearly define, in writing, permissible or expected collaboration on any assessment item. For example, if group work is part of the course, students are informed of specific guidelines for cooperative projects or assessment items.
- For thesis (coursework) and thesis (HDR), supervisors and supervisory panels provide clear expectations and discipline specific standards from the commencement of the thesis and/or program.
- Course conveners and supervisors clearly define, in writing, any allowable assistance with assessment items or theses, including proofreading and editing. Theses (HDR), must comply with the Guideline: Higher Degree by Research: Editing of Theses.
Handling reports of potential breaches of the academic integrity principle
- Any student conduct which potentially breaches the academic integrity principle is considered, in order to determine whether it may be academic misconduct, poor academic practice or not a breach of the principle.
- Where the consideration, or a subsequent review or inquiry, finds that the student conduct is not a breach of the academic integrity principle, but the conduct is not in line with academic practice, the conduct is considered a minor mistake, and is not dealt with under the Academic Integrity Rule.
- Conduct that is potentially poor academic practice or academic misconduct is dealt with in accordance with the procedures and processes described pursuant to the Academic Integrity Rule.
- In considering a potential breach, the decision maker must comply with the Academic Integrity Rule to ensure procedural fairness.
- Where potential breaches include group work, reviews or inquiries consider the conduct of each student involved separately. In particular:
- separate notifications are provided to each student;
- review or inquiry meetings are held for individual students;
- the matters for each student are considered separately; and
- any finding for each student is applied individually, and may vary within a group.
- Where an Associate Dean or their delegate, or the decision maker, considers that a significant number of students in a particular assessment item are being investigated for a potential breach, the Associate Dean or their delegate, or the decision maker, may initiate a process to examine whether there may be systemic issues affecting the assessment item.
- Where potential breaches are related to fabrication of data or source material, reports sent to the Registrar include, at a minimum:
- circumstances underlying the report;
- all relevant evidence and its relationship to the breach collated for review by an academic outside the discipline; and
- sufficient detail of how the data and subsequent evidence was gathered and analysed for an academic outside the discipline to make an informed assessment.
- Students are encouraged to cooperate in reviews or inquiries, as the case may be, into any report of breaches of the Rule when asked. Students are also encouraged to discuss (orally or in writing) or authenticate their learning on the assessment task, for example, by showing notes/drafts/resource materials used in the preparation of the task or undertaking a viva voce assessment.
- Where the student attends a meeting, they may be accompanied by another person to observe the proceedings. The support person may only act as an advocate with the approval of the relevant decision maker.
- During any review or inquiry process, the relevant authority does not publish any pending results in relation to the individual student for the relevant course until the process is complete. Where the process extends past the formal release of results for the course, students are assigned a Result Pending (RP) grade. Students contact the College responsible for their program for advice on enrolling in further courses whilst they have a RP grade.
- If a student withdraws from a course or program in which a potential breach has been reported, the review and/or inquiry will continue to proceed to an outcome. The withdrawn grade remains in place as the formal result. Any outcome is recorded on the student’s internal record as per clause 19.
- In determining outcomes of reported breaches of the academic integrity principle, the student’s conduct in relation to the breach is considered holistically. This may include, but is not limited to, reference to the support and educative material made available to the student in relation to the assessment, course or program requirement item. Additionally any further relevant circumstances and/or material are taken into account in determining the outcome.
- If as a result of consideration, review or inquiry, the decision maker decides the conduct was a minor mistake, no record of this decision is made on the student’s record.
- Outcomes of poor academic practice and academic misconduct are recorded on the student’s internal record. Student internal records of outcomes include, at a minimum, the type of breach, the relevant course or program and a reference to the conduct as described by the Rule. The outcome is not recorded on the student’s testamur or official academic transcript.
- The decision maker ensures that outcome findings are recorded to the Student Administration Systems.
- The decision-making process is documented and individual student outcomes are placed on the student file in the University’s Electronic Records Management System (ERMS). This includes, but is not limited to, records of communication, presented evidence and minutes from review or inquiry meetings. This is to ensure compliance with the record keeping requirements set out in the Policy: Records and archives management. Where appropriate, documents are placed on a confidential file. Separate records of the inquiry should not be maintained outside of University approved systems.
- Aggregated data for outcomes of poor academic practice and academic misconduct are reported on for the purposes of monitoring, quality improvement and research but do not disclose the identity of individuals.
Actions after a review or inquiry
- Where the decision maker accepts an undertaking from the student, or imposes a condition or requirement on the student, a copy of the undertaking, condition or requirement is given to the student and the Registrar. Specifications for the undertaking, condition or requirement include a date or description for completion.
- Students inform the Registrar by email to email@example.com when any of the specifications are met.
Review or appeal of outcomes
- Students may lodge a review against a poor academic practice finding in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Rule. The application is lodged in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, addressed to the Registrar, and outlines the reason(s) for the review and includes evidence supporting the reason(s). The decision is reviewed in accordance with the Rule.
- Students may lodge an appeal against an academic misconduct decision, in accordance with the procedures outlined in the Appeals Rule. The application is lodged in writing by email to email@example.com, addressed to the Registrar, and outlines the reason(s) for the appeal in accordance with the Appeals Rule 2021. Appeals on academic misconduct are conducted in accordance with the Appeals Rule 2021. The decision of the appeals committee is final.