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Collusion or collaboration? Muriel and Tina are working together Release was granted by these students for use of these images.

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Presentation on theme: "Collusion or collaboration? Muriel and Tina are working together Release was granted by these students for use of these images."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collusion or collaboration? Muriel and Tina are working together Release was granted by these students for use of these images

2 Purpose of case study Target audience: Lecturers assessing student tasks Key issue: Making a decision about how to respond and assess a text when it bears a marked similarity to another student’s submission Purpose: To assist lecturers to use the policy and reflect on teaching and learning practices to address a seemingly simple case Materials: Full case scenario; University policy; Definition of collusion/collaboration; Barrett & Cox (2005). 2 Academic Integrity Standards Project

3 Our research Analysis of academic integrity policies at 39 Australian universities 8/39 (20.5%) of academic integrity policies did not mention ‘collusion’ Survey: 15,304 student respondents from 6 Australian universities Key findings:  International students expressed a lower awareness of academic integrity policy and confidence in how to avoid academic integrity breaches as compared to the overall respondents;  International students were twice as likely as domestic students to have had involvement with the academic integrity breach process at their university. 3 Academic Integrity Standards Project

4 Definition of collusion "Unauthorised collaboration on assessable work with another person or persons." (La Trobe University, 2011) “Presentation by a student of an assignment as his or her own which is in fact the result in whole or in part of unauthorised collaboration with another person or persons.” (Melbourne University, 2011) 4 Academic Integrity Standards Project

5 Tina and Muriel completed an English academic preparation course at a University language centre Now in their second semester Seem engaged in class activities, although only Muriel volunteers comment and Tina says little They have completed some online quizzes Intended learning outcomes for this subject include writing an academic essay with appropriate acknowledgement and evidence of independent thinking 5 Academic Integrity Standards Project Case Study: Tina and Muriel

6 Marking the first writing tasks The lecturer has not seen her students’ writing before. Some of the students, including Tina and Muriel, took less than a minute to do the quizzes. Their essays are uncomfortably similar in ideas and structure. Muriel says they prepared together, but wrote them up separately. She points out that there are no text matches. There are many more language errors in Tina’s essay. The lecturer advises the students that they could be accused of collusion. She gives the same mark for essay structure, ideas, evidence and referencing. Both students lose marks for independent thinking, and Tina loses marks for English language. 6 Academic Integrity Standards Project

7 The lecturer is uneasy … Maybe the students were not really naïve, so perhaps she was too lenient. Maybe her teaching could have been better She wonders what she could have done better to have ensured that this situation had not arisen. The policy states that collusion is academic misconduct, but she wasn’t sure what she could take into account. 7 Academic Integrity Standards Project

8 Questions for discussion 1.How would you explain the difference between collusion and collaboration? 2.Based on your own university’s policy, did the lecturer make the correct decision in this case? 3.What does your policy say about collusion and collaboration? 4.What would you take into account if you were deciding how to deal with this situation? 5.Do you have any advice for this lecturer with regard to her concerns about her teaching? 6.How could your university support lecturers to develop teaching practices and assessments which ensure an actual measure of what students can do? 7.Do you have any suggestions for how your university could support lecturers to make decisions in cases like this one? 8 Academic Integrity Standards Project

9 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: Barrett, R. & Cox, A. L. (2005). ‘At least they’re learning something’: the hazy line between collaboration and collusion. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(2), 107 – 122. doi: / Bennett, R. (2005). Factors associated with student plagiarism in a post-1992 university. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 30(2), Borg, E. (2009). Local plagiarisms, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. 34(4), 415 – 426. doi: / James, R., McInnes, C., & Devlin, M. (2002). Assessing learning in Australian universities [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 18 August, 2004 from La Trobe University (2011). Academic Integrity Policy, Retrieved 29 August Melbourne University (2011). Academic honesty and plagiarism, Retrieved 29 August 2012, 9 Academic Integrity Standards Project

10 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 10 Academic Integrity Standards Project


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