- Why introduce academic integrity?
- Introductory activities to download and use
- Other online resources
- Examples of introductory modules
The following learning activities can be used to orient new students to academic integrity, either at the beginning of their studies in first year, or at key points in their transition.
"Academic integrity is different in different sectors and other cultures. Rules are not about universal understandings but local expectations of those rules." (Student focus group, University E: FG4).
Our project survey of 15,304 students found that most students had heard of academic integrity prior to starting university studies. Only 26.5% first heard of academic integrity at their current university. So why bother telling them more about academic integrity?
"I think that each of us actually has our own connotations attached to what academic integrity means and I think that's where we can get into problems...the students may not have the same understanding." (Academic developer focus group, University B: FG8)
Students do not arrive at university as ‘blank slates’, they bring pre-formed understandings of academic honesty and integrity. These can differ from the understandings held in academic culture, so students require orientation into the rules and conventions of academic integrity as enacted in their university. It is not just about compliance.
"I know the concept but use different words to explain it – realize that the term might not be used by all students the same way." (Student focus group, University E: FG4)
Activity: How many forms of cheating do you know?
Activity: Create a community of inquiry engaged in defining key concepts related to academic integrity by examining examples or ‘cases’
Activity: Discuss the ethical issues around academic integrity
There are a lot of stand-alone activities available online. These have been developed in universities, by learning specialists or teachers who are interested in making the concepts of academic integrity clear to their students. The list below gives some examples of a range of open-access introductory online resources:
Academic Honesty, Plagiarism and Cheating
These downloadable booklets found at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice introduce students to avoiding academic misconduct at three levels of understanding: Levels 1 and 2, and postgraduate level. There are lots of examples and scenarios, which could be used to trigger discussions. There are also quiz questions.
What is academic integrity? Downloadable guides for students from The University of York which introduce broad concepts of academic integrity, along with information about university policy and procedures if a student is found to have breached academic integrity.
Referencing, academic integrity, and avoiding plagiarism are inter-related, according to the University of South Australia. The guides here say that citing where information comes from in your assignments is a major part of academic writing. It shows the reader that ideas build on prior work by researchers and theorists and that as a writer you are aware of this work.
Many universities have developed orientation modules that introduce students to their expectations about academic integrity.
Some of these are mandatory:
- The University of Western Australia Academic Conduct Essentials (ACE) ‘is a compulsory online module for all students about ethical scholarship and the expectations of correct academic conduct that UWA has of its students’.
- La Trobe University Academic Integrity Module (AIM) ‘teaches students about La Trobe's values and its academic integrity guidelines to minimise the chances of academic misconduct’.
Some are available as a learning resource:
- The University of Auckland has 5 modules in which students and staff define and explain concepts and practices.
- University of Canberra Academic Integrity Module (AIM) ‘is a module that supports academic integrity: it addresses ethical issues around plagiarism, it outlines conventions and examples of major referencing systems and it contains online quizzes covering topics in the module’.
Some are modules on information literacy:
- Referencing and the Referencing Tool – This tool sets out the formatting for the different referencing styles and also directs students to the Academic Integrity Student Tutorial at Griffith University.
- Academic Referencing Module (ARM) and Academic Referencing Tool (ART) – Resources in the La Trobe University library to teach and provide citing information.
- Writing and plagiarism – a program in the University of Newcastle Library. It is thorough and links to all the formal policy documents.
Some are modules on acknowledgement as part of scholarship:
- Learning and Teaching, plagiarism information for staff – This page at The University of Adelaide provides resources for staff about how they can assist students e.g. see Research-Writing: learning a writing skill and thereby avoiding plagiarism, and an audio-narrated version: Avoiding Plagiarism – Achieving Academic Writing (click on ‘Resources’ tab).
- The Higher Education Academy - A UK site which links to ‘tried and tested’ resources and sites.
Please use the following citation when referring to this resource:
Academic Integrity Standards Project (AISP): Aligning Policy and Practice in Australian Universities (2012). Learning activities, Office for Learning and Teaching Priority Project 2010-2012, http://www.aisp.apfei.edu.au/learning-activities