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Falsification and plagiarism A student fabricates data in postgraduate coursework These university students have provided a release.

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Presentation on theme: "Falsification and plagiarism A student fabricates data in postgraduate coursework These university students have provided a release."— Presentation transcript:

1 Falsification and plagiarism A student fabricates data in postgraduate coursework These university students have provided a release

2 Purpose of case study Target audience: Subject coordinators, research supervisors, academic integrity decision makers Key issue: How to design out opportunities for falsifying data. Purpose: To assist research supervisors and course/program and subject designers to consider strategies to reduce the risk of students falsifying data. Materials: Full case scenario; University policy; Readings. 2 Academic Integrity Standards Project

3 Our research Analysis of academic integrity policies at 39 Australian universities  one in five policies had no mention of higher degree by research (HDR) students. Survey of 15,304 students at 6 participating universities  One in five postgraduate research students said they had never heard of academic integrity  Two in five said they did not know whether their university had an academic integrity policy.  HDR students were the least satisfied with the information they had received about how to avoid an academic integrity breach.  HDR students indicated a higher agreement than their undergraduate peers to the question, ‘Do you think academic integrity has relevance to your life or work experience outside the university?’ (95.6% vs 92.1%). 3 Academic Integrity Standards Project

4 Case Study: Bonnie is the subject coordinator in a postgraduate coursework program She has designed the subject assessment to be ‘authentic’. Student Edgar submits the completed report based on a nominated work integrated learning case study. It is thorough, well-written and meets all of the assessment criteria for the assignment. 4 Academic Integrity Standards Project

5 Case study Bonnie discovers an identical report in a published journal after Edgar has graduated. Program Director advises Bonnie against further investigation of alleged misconduct Academic Integrity Standards Project

6 Questions for discussion What does your academic integrity policy say about ‘work-integrated learning’, ‘work-based learning’ or ‘authentic learning’? What other strategies could Bonnie implement to reduce the potential for students to falsify data in their assessments? 6 Academic Integrity Standards Project

7 Questions for discussion Bonnie did try to obtain some assurance that students were honest in their claims to have an agreement with a local organisation for the purposes of their research data collection. Were there any additional steps she could/should take? What does your university policy say about dealing with evidence of/allegations of academic misconduct that occur after the student has graduated? 7 Academic Integrity Standards Project

8 Questions for discussion Does the Program Director’s recommendation that Bonnie not pursue an investigation into her evidence and suspicions of Edgar’s misconduct accord with your own expectations of the university’s educational integrity? Does your own university’s policy indicate that every suspicion of academic misconduct related to falsification, fraud or plagiarism must be reported or investigated? Academic Integrity Standards Project

9 Questions for discussion How does this accord with what you know of custom and practice in your own university. Do you have any suggestions for how your university’s policy could be improved to better support the subject coordinator (Bonnie) or the program director? Is there any conflict of interest here? Academic Integrity Standards Project

10 Useful references and resources Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., East, J., Green, M., James, C., McGowan, U., Partridge, L., Walker, R. & Wallace, M. (2011). Academic Integrity Standards: A Preliminary Analysis of the Academic Integrity Policies at Australian Universities, Australian Universities Quality Forum, 29 June-1 July, Melbourne, Australia. Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., James, C., Green, M., East, J., McGowan, U. & Partridge, L. (2011). Core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy in Australian higher education, International Journal for Educational Integrity, Vol 7(2), pp. 3-12, available online: Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., McGowan, U., East, J., Green, M., Partridge, L., & James, C. (2012, under review). ‘Teach us how to do it properly!’ An Australian academic integrity student survey, paper submitted for review to Studies in Higher Education, 5 April Boud, D & Falchikov, N 2006, ‘Aligning assessment with long term learning, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 31, no. 4,, pp Gibbs, G & Simpson, C , ‘Conditions under which assessment supports students’ learning’, Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, vol. 1, pp Jackson, J, Fleming, K, Kamvoumias & Varnham, S 2009, Student Grievances and Discipline Matters Project: Good Practice Guide for Handling Complaints and Appeals in Australian Universities – Good Practice Guide (ALTC Funded Project), Southern Cross University, Lismore. Macdonald, R & Carroll, J, 2006, ‘Plagiarism: A complex issue requiring a holistic approach’, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, vol. 31, no. 2, pp Academic Integrity Standards Project

11 For further information, references and resources from the Academic Integrity Standards Project, please go to: Support for this project/activity has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views in this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License 11 Academic Integrity Standards Project


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