Academic honesty

Student doing an in-class quizAssessment design can greatly impact academic honesty.

  • Consider discussing academic honesty with students before every assignment highlighting the key academic dishonesty risks and the importance of maintaining academic honesty.
  • There is substantial generic value in supporting students in developing the skills needed to effectively communicate a position without plagiarising (e.g. skills in paraphrasing)
  • Inclusion of draft submissions and/or annotated bibliographies as part of the assessment reduces the opportunities to plagiarise or commission writing by a third party.
  • Requiring students to compare and contrast theory/data with something in the current affairs, real business practice, or their personal experiences reduces opportunities for using recycled assignments.
  • Using different assignment questions with each cohort adds to the integrity of the assessment process.
  • Introducing tasks which are reflective and do not have a right answer keep students interested and reduce opportunities for plagiarism.

Why

Students may not be aware of how academic honesty translates to in different types of assignments like group work. Shared discussion in class helps to reduce the risk of unintentional dishonesty.

Academic honesty is important for the integrity of degrees students graduate with as well as part of developing professional integrity. Students may need help in seeing the link of these values to their current assignment.

Interesting assignments are often also assignments difficult to plagiarise, so they serve a double purpose for learning and integrity.

Examples

  • Including learning journals or personal portfolios in group assignments is a vehicle to reduce dishonesty related to free-riding and plagiarism.
  • Asking students why academic honesty is important can be used as a way of starting a beneficial classroom discussion on issues like plagiarism. The discussion can be extended to discuss fairness of outcomes when getting caught as well as the policy in place.