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Student Academic Integrity procedure

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Procedure was approved by Academic Board on 11 April 2017 and incorporates all amendments to 23 June 2017. This Procedure comes in to effect for study periods commencing on or after 10 July 2017.

(2) This Procedure is pursuant to the Student Academic Integrity policy and includes the following schedule:

  1. Schedule A: Outcomes for student breaches of academic integrity.
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Section 2 - Purpose

(3) This Procedure sets out the processes for educating students about academic integrity and responding to allegations of breaches of academic integrity.

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Section 3 - Scope

(4) This Procedure applies to staff and current and previous students of the University. Where students conduct research, they must also comply with the Research Conduct policy and the Student Research Integrity procedure.

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Section 4 - Policy

(5) Refer to the Student Academic Integrity policy.

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Section 5 - Procedure

Education and support

(6) Students will be provided with information about academic integrity as part of their transition to the University.

(7) Information about academic integrity will be included in all unit sites and relevant websites. This will include a statement on academic integrity incorporating definitions, sources of support and penalties that may apply to breaches.

(8) All courses will include compulsory learning experiences to develop students understanding of the principles of academic integrity and how to apply them to their learning and assessment in accordance with the Course Design and Delivery procedure. This will include education at the beginning of a student’s first year at the University and further development in later years.

(9) A member of staff in each Academic Unit will be nominated to ensure that:

  1. new teaching staff (including sessional staff) are informed about the University’s Assessment (Higher Education Courses) procedure and related faculty guidelines as part of their induction
  2. all teaching staff (including sessional staff) are reminded about policy requirements regarding academic integrity at least annually and provided with links to relevant information.

(10) A Faculty or Academic Unit member or group will be nominated to support new and existing staff to improve relevant practices and manage breaches of academic integrity.

(11) Staff will be provided with professional development and support regarding assessment design to minimise opportunities for breaches of academic integrity.

(12) Faculties will ensure Unit Chairs and higher degree by research supervisors have appropriate guidelines and support for the use of software for detecting breaches of academic integrity.

Academic Integrity Committee

(13) Each Faculty Board will establish an Academic Integrity Committee to monitor trends and issues in student academic integrity and report and make recommendations for improvements.

(14) The Committee will consist of:

  1. a senior academic staff member as Chair
  2. at least one academic staff member from each Academic Unit in the faculty
  3. other appropriately qualified academic staff from within the faculty as co-opted by the Chair to subcommittees established by the Chair from time to time, and
  4. any other person co-opted to the Committee or subcommittees by the Chair.
If the Chair is unavailable or otherwise unable to act an alternative Chair will be appointed by the Chair from the Committee members.

(15) The Chair will convene a subcommittee to hear and decide allegations of breaches of academic integrity. The subcommittee will

  1. have one or three members according to clause 21
  2. be chaired by a member of the Academic Integrity Committee or senior staff member.

(16) The Faculty Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning or Institute equivalent will ensure appropriate training of Committee and subcommittee members for their roles.

(17) Committee members will respond to enquiries from staff and students in their Academic Unit about academic integrity matters.

(18) The Faculty Executive Dean or Institute Director will appoint a Coordinator, Academic Integrity to administer allegations of breaches of academic integrity, support the work of the Academic Integrity Committee and act as its secretary. The Coordinator, Academic Integrity will receive an allegation, collate evidence and ensure decisions are implemented.

Allegation of breaching academic integrity

(19) Staff who believe that a current or former student has breached academic integrity will report the allegation in writing to the Chair, Academic Integrity Committee via the Coordinator, Academic Integrity. Allegations may also be reported, via the Coordinator, by students or others. Allegations must be supported by documentation and evidence.

(20) Where the allegation involves research integrity, the Chair will seek the advice of the Pro Vice-Chancellor Researcher Development and Integrity as to whether the matter should be heard according to this Procedure or the Student Research Integrity procedure. The Chair may refer the matter to be heard according to the Student Research Integrity procedure.

(21) The Chair, Academic Integrity Committee will consider the evidence and decide one of the following:

  Decision Outcome
a. There is insufficient evidence to support the allegation. Allegation dismissed.
The person making the allegation will be informed in writing.No further action will be taken.
b. The allegation relates to poor academic practice rather than not acting with academic integrity and there is evidence that the student did not understand academic integrity principles. Allegation dismissed.
The Chair recommends that the student complete academic integrity training.
c. There may be a case to answer but insufficient evidence is available. The Chair appoints a person to investigate and collate evidence for the purpose of further consideration.
d. There is enough evidence for the Academic Integrity Committee to hear the case and the assessment task contributes 10% or less to the overall unit mark. Allegation referred to a single member subcommittee or three member subcommittee.
e. There is enough evidence for the Academic Integrity Committee to hear the case and the assessment task contributes more than 10% to the overall unit mark. Allegation referred to a three member subcommittee.

(22) All allegations will be recorded centrally by the Coordinator, Academic Integrity.

Hearing by the Academic Integrity Subcommittee

(23) Where a matter is referred under clause 21d and 21e, the subcommittee will hold a hearing to consider the evidence.

(24) Subcommittee members will not have any conflict of interest in hearing the case. The Chair is able to make a decision concerning the allegation under clause 21 as well as hear the case.

(25) The Coordinator, Academic Integrity will notify the student at least 10 working days before the hearing of:

  1. the date and location of the hearing
  2. details of the allegation and evidence supporting it
  3. the opportunity to respond to the allegation in writing up to two days prior to the hearing and/or attend the hearing in person or via telephone or other communication means, and to call witness/es to the hearing
  4. the right to bring a support person to the hearing according to clause 28
  5. the opportunity to ask questions of the subcommittee and to answer questions asked by the subcommittee during the hearing
  6. the hearing still being held even if the student does not respond or attend the hearing. In this case, a decision (and penalty if appropriate) will be made in their absence.

(26) Where further evidence is received prior to the hearing, it will be provided to the student as soon as possible.

(27) The subcommittee may request the attendance of staff, students and other relevant people at the hearing to help them to make a decision.

(28) Students may bring a support person to any meetings associated with the investigation or management of the case, provided that the person is not a practising lawyer. Where the support person has expertise likely to assist the subcommittee on procedural, technical or factual matters or if the student requires reasonable adjustments, the subcommittee will allow the support person to speak on the student’s behalf.

(29) At the hearing, the subcommittee will review the evidence of the allegation and will give the student the opportunity to respond and the subcommittee can ask questions relevant to the case of any staff, students or other relevant people as required. The subcommittee will:

  1. act fairly and impartially
  2. exercise independent judgement
  3. act in an unbiased, professional and courteous manner.

(30) Where single member subcommittees determine during the hearings that the matter is too serious to be decided by them, they will refer the matter back to the Chair, Academic Integrity Committee to be heard by a three member subcommittee.

(31) The subcommittee will make a decision at the end of the hearing or as soon as possible afterwards. The Chair may adjourn the hearing if appropriate and reconvene the hearing at a later date. The membership of the subcommittee must remain the same throughout the hearing.

(32) The subcommittee will decide whether it is more likely than not that:

  1. the allegation is not supported and dismiss it
  2. the allegation is supported and that a breach of academic integrity has occurred.

Outcomes

(33) Where the subcommittee decides after a hearing that a breach of academic integrity has occurred, they will decide the outcomes using Schedule A: Outcomes for student breaches of academic integrity.

(34) The Coordinator, Academic Integrity will notify the student within five working days of the outcome, reasons and right to appeal the decision. The Coordinator, Academic Integrity will coordinate the implementation of the outcome and record the decision and outcome in a central register. The decision will be implemented immediately, except where the student appeals the outcome to the University Appeals Committee and the decision relates to suspension, exclusion, expulsion or rescinding a degree, in which case the decision will not be implemented until the University Appeals Committee process is completed.

(35) The Committee Secretary will notify Deakin International where the decision involves an international student.

(36) Where there is evidence of a pattern of breaches of academic integrity across a cohort or study period, or an incident that affects the academic outcomes for a cohort, the Faculty Executive Dean or Institute Director will notify the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, the Risk and Compliance Office and, if international students are involved, Deakin International. The Faculty will provide information on how it plans to manage the breach or incident.

(37) The Academic Integrity Committee will report annually to the Risk and Compliance Office, Faculty Board and Academic Board on academic integrity processes within the faculty, aggregated data on allegations of breaches of academic integrity and outcomes of these allegations, analysis of the aggregated data and recommendations.

Appeals

(38) A student may appeal to the University Appeals Committee against the decision and outcome/s only on one or more of the following grounds:

  1. there is new evidence that was not available or not known to the student at the time the allegation was heard
  2. the penalty imposed was too severe
  3. there was a misapplication of procedures resulting in some disadvantage to the student
  4. the decision was unreasonable in the circumstances or cannot be supported by the evidence that was available at the time the decision was made
  5. relevant evidence was not considered or irrelevant evidence was relied on in reaching the decision
  6. there was bias on the part of the Academic Integrity Committee.

(39) The appeal must be lodged in writing within 20 working days of being notified of the outcome according to the Student Appeals procedure.

Continuing study and enrolment

(40) Students will remain enrolled throughout the management of an allegation and internal management of a breach of academic integrity, including the University appeals process, and will continue normal academic work within their course.

(41) Allegations will be heard and decided even if the student withdraws from the unit or course.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(42) For the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. academic integrity: acting in accordance with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in academic settings.
  2. Academic Unit: includes a School, Department or Institute.
  3. reasonable adjustment: an adjustment that balances the interests of all parties affected and does not cause the University unjustifiable hardship as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).
  4. faculty: includes any institute that is approved under University Regulations to offer courses.
  5. notify: all correspondence under this Procedure will be sent to the student’s Deakin and last known private email addresses or an alert sent to their mobile telephone.
  6. student: as defined in Regulation 4.1(2) - Academic and Research Integrity.