Academic Integrity Policy changes and rollout

Flinders has a longstanding commitment to academic integrity and to ensuring that staff and students are aware of their responsibilities and roles in ensuring that academic integrity is maintained across the institution. Policy, procedures and resources to support students and staff are regularly reviewed and refreshed based on good practice evidence.

The most recent policy review occurred in the later part of 2018, with the new Academic Integrity Policy and Procedures approved by Academic Senate to take effect on 1 January 2019. The new suite of documents is published in the Policy Library.

Key changes within the documents clarify:

  • the responsibilities of students and staff in relation to academic integrity generally. As in the previous policy, staff responsibilities encompass being an exemplar of good practice, taking preventative actions including designing assessment to reduce the potential for students to fail to meet requirements, taking an educative approach to academic integrity, and taking action to detect failures to meet requirements.
  • types of failure to meet academic requirements to clearly differentiate misunderstanding from academic misconduct as well as clarification of consequences associated with each type of failure to meet requirements. New schedules attached to the policy clearly define these and provide indicative examples of student actions that fail to meet academic integrity requirements.
  • the roles of key staff in responding to a potential failure to meet requirements. The first level of review is the responsibility of the topic coordinator. While teaching staff need to provide evidence of a potential failure to meet requirements, the topic coordinator is responsible for determining the type of the failure, if any, and the consequences or further action to follow from their review.

We are currently working on an educational campaign for students to raise their awareness of academic integrity and what is required.

To further support staff in their responsibilities, we are developing workshops for academic staff to ensure alignment of practice with the new policy and procedures. Approaches to assessment which enhance academic integrity, and which reduce the potential for students to fail to meet requirements will be considered as part of the current review of the Assessment Policy.

We want to remind you that:

  • each college has an Academic Integrity Officer to advise and support staff in enacting the policy and procedures. Find out who the Academic Integrity Officer is in your college and contact them if you need help.
  • there are many resources available to assist staff to meet their responsibilities in relation to academic integrity. A key source of information is the website of a recent national project on contracts cheating and assessment.

Further information related to workshops for staff and the educational campaign for students will be circulated shortly. In the meantime, you are encouraged to familiarise yourself with the new policy and procedures

Dr Don Houston
Senior Lecturer in Higher Education – CILT

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