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).

Why introduce academic integrity?

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)

Introductory activities to download and use

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


Other online resources

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 integrity

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.

Examples of introductory modules

Many universities have developed orientation modules that introduce students to their expectations about academic integrity.

Some of these are mandatory:

Some are available as a learning resource:

Some are modules on information literacy:

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,