Embedding and extending exemplary academic integrity policy and support frameworks across the higher education sector (Exemplary Academic Integrity Project) aimed to extend and embed the five core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy identified by the recently concluded Academic Integrity Standards Project (Bretag et al 2010-2012) – access, approach, responsibility, detail and support – across the Australian higher education sector. Central to these elements is a commitment by providers to fostering a culture of academic integrity.
Within the higher education context, the Exemplary Academic Integrity Project (EAIP) was a strategic collaboration between UniSA as project leader, Griffith University researchers and policymakers and Queensland Institute of Business and Technology (QIBT). Griffith University has been working with QIBT, a private (Navitas) higher education provider at the college level, since 1997. The partnership offers a pathway to university for international and domestic students. In this context these two institutions have worked collaboratively to address issues of English language proficiency and academic integrity to assure quality learning outcomes. UniSA, as lead institution, also has a close working relationship with the South Australian Institute of Business and Technology (SAIBT) which is another Navitas college. One of the reference group members, La Trobe University, also has a relationship with a Navitas college, the La Trobe University International College (LTUIC). The participation of these Navitas colleges in the project assisted to embed exemplary policy and support frameworks across both public and private providers.
Project team at OLT Showcase, Canberra on 20 Nov 2013
As support is crucial to enact exemplary policy, this OLT project developed resources accessible to both public and private higher education providers to embed these elements. Two critical areas identified by Bretag et al (2012) were addressed in this project. First, support systems were developed for vulnerable student groups including international English as an Additional Language (EAL) students, and educationally ‘less prepared’ students who struggle to understand the concept of academic integrity without assistance. Second, the lessons about exemplary academic integrity policy and support frameworks were extended to include higher degree by research (HDR) students.
The project deliverables were:
- An academic integrity policy toolkit for Higher Education private providers in an interactive online format.
- Tailored support resources for educationally less prepared students in higher education;
- Evidence based academic integrity policy and support framework for Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students;
- Final research report targeted at those in the learning and teaching community who are well informed, and who will utilise the report as a reference and framework; and
- High level summary document suitable for a wide variety of audiences.
The project conducted activities over a 12 month time frame in three phases. Formative evaluation was included in all phases of the project.
- Phase 1 (months 1-7), the project team and project reference group met for a two day roundtable to lay the ground work for the project deliverables. The development process took place on the key deliverables:
- toolkit for private providers
- tailored support resources for educationally less prepared students
- academic integrity policy and support frameworks for HDR students.
- Phase 2 (months 8-10), the resources developed were trialled and the academic integrity policy and support frameworks developed were finalised. Some formal dissemination was conducted at the end of this phase.
- Phase 3 (months 11-12) further formal dissemination, summative evaluation and submission of the final report to the OLT.