Academic Integrity Module

Site: learnonline
Course: Referencing
Book: Academic Integrity Module
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Date: Wednesday, 20 October 2021, 9:02 AM

What is Academic Integrity?

This module has been designed to help you understand Section 9 'Academic Integrity' in the UniSA Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual (UniSA 2021).

Academic integrity means 'a commitment to act with honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, respect and responsibility in all academic work' (UniSA 2021, p.44). These values guide the behaviour of everyone in the academic world, including students, teachers and scholars.

AI values

What does Academic Integrity mean in practice?

It includes:

Acknowledging the sources of information and knowledge in your assignments by using a referencing system

Paraphrasing other people's work and ideas into your own words while still referencing the source

Completing your own work independently

Behaving honestly in exams, assignments, and other forms of academic work

What is Academic Misconduct?

Academic misconduct occurs when staff or students disregard the values of academic integrity. UniSA's Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual 2021 (Section 9.2.1) identifies the different types of academic misconduct, which are explained in more detail in this module.

Some examples include:

red crossplagiarism (copying work from other sources; not accurately following referencing guidelines)

red crosscheating in exams

red crosscopying or falsifying documents or data

red crossgetting other people to write your work

red crossdoing someone else's work for them

 

Plagiarism


Plagiarism

Watch this short video on Plagiarism, a concept which is the same regardless of what referencing style you use at university.
Note: the example in-text citations in this video are not in Harvard Referencing (UniSA).

Bainbridge State College 2010, Plagiarism: how to avoid it, video, YouTube, 5 January, viewed 20 February 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q0NlWcTq1Y>.



What the policy says:

Plagiarism means:

a. directly copying any material from electronic or print resources without acknowledging the source

b. closely paraphrasing sentences or whole passages without referencing the original work

c. submitting another student's work in whole or in part, unless this is specifically allowed in the course outline

d. using another person's ideas, work or research data without acknowledgment

e. appropriating or imitating another’s ideas unless this is specifically allowed in the course outline (UniSA 2021, p.45).


What this means:

If you include someone else's materials, information, images or ideas in your work, you must acknowledge the original author/creator in both the in-text reference and the reference list.  If you do not cite the sources you use, this is considered plagiarism. You should also use your own words (paraphrase) to express their ideas (this shows that you've understood them).  If you use their exact words (direct quote) you must put them in quotation marks to show they are being quoted.  


What to do:

Include in-text references and a reference list for material from other sources

Paraphrase/summarise original material into your own words to demonstrate understanding and include a reference

Submit your own work (unless where permitted for group assignments).


 Plagiarism: check your understanding

So, now you know when plagiarism can occur, try the Plagiarism Quiz to check your understanding.

  • There are 6 questions in this quiz.
  • When you have answered all questions, click 'Finish' to see your result and the correct answers.
  • You can attempt the quizzes more than once if you want to practise and improve your understanding. 
  • If you do not understand the quiz questions and/or answers, book an appointment with a Learning Adviser. Bring your questions and your quiz result to the appointment.


 Paraphrasing: check your understanding

You can also check your understanding of what is acceptable paraphrasing by doing the Paraphrasing Quiz below.

  • There are 4 questions in this quiz.
  • When you have answered all questions, click 'Finish' to see your result and the correct answers. 
  • You can attempt the quiz more than once if you want to practise and improve your understanding. 
  • If you do not understand the quiz questions and/or answers, book an appointment with a Learning Adviser. Bring your questions and your quiz result to the appointment.

Here is an extract adapted from page 42 of Stefanone, MA, Lackaff, D & Rosen, D 2011, 'Contingencies of self-worth and social-networking-site behavior', Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, vol. 14, no. 1-2, pp. 41-49.

Are the following 4 paraphrases of the original text acceptable, or are they plagiarism? 




Need more help?

Breaching exam procedures

What the policy says:

Academic misconduct includes 'breaches of the examination procedures that have been determined to be breaches of academic Integrity (see clause 6.4)' (UniSA 2021, p.44).

What this means:

Exams are designed to test your knowledge of course content and how you apply it under time constraints. Cheating in exams is a form of academic misconduct, as it gives you an unfair advantage over others. You will be identified as cheating if you:




Smith, M (dir.) 1990, 'Mr Bean', Mr Bean, television program, Thames Television.




Landis, J (dir.) 1985, Spies like us, motion picture, Warner Bros.



What to do:

     Be aware of exam procedures provided in UniSA’s Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual 2021

     Respect exam procedures

     Be clear about each course's exam expectations.

Presenting false or copied data

What the policy says:

Academic misconduct includes ‘presenting data that has been copied, falsified or in any way obtained improperly' (UniSA 2021, p.44).

What this means:

The data you collect and use in your assignments must be presented accurately, and honestly represent your research. It is academic misconduct when the data you present is:

  • copied - if the assignment asks for your research findings, it is your findings that must be presented, not data copied from another student or source
  • falsified - the data presented in your assignment must be the data you collected, and must not be modified; In some cases you may need to adapt the format of your data (e.g. put it into a table) to suit the task requirements
  • obtained improperly - your data must be collected ethically.

What to do:

     Ensure your data is collected ethically and presented accurately

     If using data from other sources, present and reference it correctly.

Receiving assistance when not permitted

What the policy says:

Academic misconduct includes 'including material in individual work that has involved significant assistance from a third party, unless this is specifically allowed in the course outline' (UniSA 2021, p.44).

What this means:

When you produce an assignment, it is expected that the assignment is your own work. If you submit work that has involved significant assistance from another person, it would be considered misconduct. Assistance for assignments does not only relate to writing, but can include solving problems, doing calculations, writing computer code, and designing creative work and images.

Examples of significant assistance can include, but are not limited to:

  • paying someone to write, rewrite or produce your assignment
  • asking anyone to write, rewrite or produce your assignment
  • receiving assistance to the extent that it no longer resembles your original work
  • doing assignments with others when this is not specified as part of the task - this is known as 'collusion'.

However, if your course outline states that the assignment is a group task which requires input from the group members then collaboration is acceptable. 

While it is also acceptable to ask someone to read your work and provide feedback, it is unacceptable for them to provide feedback to such an extent that they are rewriting your assignment. The picture below illustrates the differences between acceptable feedback, such as pointing out simple grammar and expression errors and providing suggestions to make meaning clearer, and unacceptable feedback, which involves significant rewriting of material by the reader.

Acceptable and unacceptable feedback

 

Providing assistance when not permitted

What the policy says:

Academic misconduct includes 'providing assistance to a student in the presentation of individual work, unless this is specifically allowed in the course outline’ (UniSA 2021, p.44).

What this means:

It is unacceptable for you to provide significant assistance to other students to complete their assignments.

While it is acceptable to talk to your fellow students and give them advice, you must not write, rewrite or produce any part of their assignment. If you do, the work they submit will not be entirely their own, and they will be guilty of misconduct. In addition, you too will have committed misconduct because you provided significant assistance where it was not permitted.

What to do:

Don't help to write, rewrite or produce another student's assignment

 Don't allow another student to read or copy your assignment in either paper or electronic format.

 

Altering records or other actions

What the policy says:

Academic misconduct includes 'falsifying or misrepresenting academic records, or any other documents' (UniSA 2021, p.44).

What this means:

Tampering with academic records or any other official documents is an act of academic misconduct. This includes forging, changing, or adapting the details of documents, including medical certificates, and presenting them to staff.

What to do:

     Ensure all documents submitted to the university are authentic.

 

And finally...

Academic misconduct includes ‘any other actions that contravene the principles of academic integrity' (UniSA 2021, p.44).

 

What happens if you engage in misconduct?

AI process flow chart

If you are suspected of committing academic misconduct, it will be investigated by one of the Academic Integrity Officers in your School. This process is shown in the diagram on the left and is designed to educate students. Outcomes can include: 

- resubmission of assignment with revised referencing and paraphrasing

- zero grade for the assignment

- failure of the course 

- suspension or expulsion from uni.

Note that outcomes will vary and increase based on the severity and frequency of the misconduct. There are also consequences if you breach exam procedures (see Section 6 of UniSA's Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual 2021).

USASA, the UniSA Students' Association, has Student Advocates whose roles are to advise students of their rights and support them throughout this process. There is also an Appeals process which you can explore.

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Final tips and resources

As discussed in this module, acting with academic integrity at university means acting with respect, honesty, trust, fairness, responsibility and courage. Simple ways to do this include:

     referencing the sources of information and ideas in your assignments

     paraphrasing other people's work and ideas while still referencing the source

     completing your own work independently

     behaving honestly in exams, assignments, and other types of academic work.

 

 Referencing and paraphrasing resources

Referencing is among the most important tools for academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism. Actions you can take to ensure you reference correctly include:    

   putting ideas and information in your own words while doing research

   recording your sources' authorship and publication details

   finding out which referencing style you need to use and learning its rules

   inserting references into your work as you write

   using Turnitin to check for similarity of your work to other sources

   learning more about referencing and paraphrasing elsewhere on this website 

   attending a referencing workshop

   seeking help from the Referencing forum when you have difficulties.

 

Academic Integrity Quiz

  Check your knowledge about Academic Integrity

  • Once you have completed the Academic Integrity module, test your knowledge by doing the quiz below.
  • There are 11 questions in this quiz.
  • When you have answered all questions, click 'Finish' to see your result and the correct answers.
  • You can attempt the quiz more than once if you want to review, practise and improve your understanding.
  • If you do not understand the quiz questions and/or answers, click here to book an appointment with a Learning Adviser.  Bring your questions and your quiz results to the appointment.