7.6 Academic integrity in the online environment

Academic integrity best practice principles

JCU takes an educative approach to academic integrity and has developed a series of online modules that support both teaching staff and students. The Coursework Academic Integrity Education Modules are available on LearnJCU. All JCU  academic staff and  coursework students must complete the modules as indicated in the JCU Coursework Academic Integrity Policy and associated Procedure.

A useful resource to better understand the overarching principles that guide Australian universities’ implementation of academic integrity processes is the Academic Integrity Best Practice Principles developed by Universities Australia (2017).

Universities Australia outline seven (7) principles for academic integrity including:
  1. The primacy of institutional autonomy
  2. Everyone is responsible
  3. A whole of university approach
  4. Consistent and effective institutional policies and practices
  5. Engage with and empower students
  6. Empower and engage with staff
  7. Work together.

As you can see, these principles are a collaborative approach to academic integrity and you are encouraged to engage staff and students in regular conversations about academic integrity and promote a positive academic integrity culture. There is no single approach that will address academic misconduct (e.g., remote exam proctoring), rather a layered, multifaceted approach is required.

Why does academic misconduct occur?

Students’ perspectives:

  • Students lack understanding about academic misconduct and the consequences;
  • Students that fall into one or more vulnerable categories such as those who experience financial, time, family, or peer pressure, those who do not have strong English and literacy skills, or those who are dissatisfied with their learning experience are at a higher risk of engaging in academic misconduct;
  • Students do not understand the assessment task, expectations or criteria (e.g., poor assessment literacy);
  • Students have not received quality feedback nor the opportunity to action the feedback (e.g., poor feedback literacy);
  • Students are unaware of, or lack access to support mechanisms;
  • Students perceive that the assessment task is trivial and/or irrelevant and so is not worth their genuine effort, and does not require ‘original thought’ or an original voice (e.g., not clearly aligned to subject learning outcomes or not authentic).

Adapted from: Bretag & Harper (2019) and TEQSA (2020).

Designing assessment to promote academic integrity

There are a range of design strategies you can implement in your assessment practices that help to promote academic integrity and minimise the opportunities for students to engage in academic misconduct.


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