Case studies: prevention

The following cases focus on practical strategies to prevent breaches of academic integrity. These include proactive measures to educate students about academic writing, and designing out plagiarism in assessments. Each case study includes a printable handout in PDF and Word, and a matching powerpoint presentation in PPT or PPTX. 

Please use the following citation when referring to this resource: 

Academic Integrity Standards Project (AISP): Aligning Policy and Practice in Australian Universities (2012). Case studies, Office for Learning and Teaching Priority Project 2010-2012, www.aisp.apfei.edu.au/content/case-studies 

Understanding of academic writing

An international English as an Additional Language student has difficulty understanding why copying text is not appropriate scholarly practice.

Designing out plagiarism

Jennifer does not allow enough time to write her assignment and so copies and pastes from internet sources.  She is found out and receives an outcome for a ‘first offence’.

Collusion versus collaboration

Two international students with English as an additional language submit work which is very similar in structure and ideas, but using their own words. Their lecturer is concerned that this may constitute collusion.

Falsification and plagiarism

Despite designing an ‘authentic’ assessment based on a work related task, lecturer Bonnie discovers that one student fabricated the data for his report. As the student has already graduated, Bonnie is advised not to pursue the matter.

Group work: Assessment at stake?

Five students struggle to work together on a group assignment. Four of the students are concerned that the fifth student has plagiarised her part of the assignment and so rewrite her section. The Subject Coordinator is called in to adjudicate.

Falsified professional credentials

A man posing as a lawyer pretends to have professional qualifications from a local law school and fraudulently provides advice to a number of clients on a variety of matters.

PhD loses his way

A mature-aged PhD student is not provided with adequate support during the early stages of his candidature and submits a research proposal which contains plagiarism. Rather than face an academic integrity investigation, he withdraws from his program of study.

Does good policy mean good practice?

In response to varied practices across faculties, University X develops an institutional policy on academic integrity.  After five years of implementation, staff have not engaged adequately with the new policy.

Academic integrity and transnational education

An overworked, under-resourced sessional lecturer who teaches in multiple offshore environments is accused by her Australian Course Coordinator of allowing plagiarism to go unchecked in her students’ assignments.