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Understanding, Preventing and Managing Academic Misconduct in Higher Education Institutions: The Griffith Trial A/Professor Anna Stewart.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding, Preventing and Managing Academic Misconduct in Higher Education Institutions: The Griffith Trial A/Professor Anna Stewart."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding, Preventing and Managing Academic Misconduct in Higher Education Institutions: The Griffith Trial A/Professor Anna Stewart

2 University of Western Sydney 3 July Academic Misconduct Issues Wide range of behaviours Culturally constructed construct Pervasive Difficult/time consuming to detect and manage Questions of ‘intent’ and ‘ignorance’ Institutional reputation and credibility

3 University of Western Sydney 3 July Academic Misconduct Issues Wide range of behaviours Culturally constructed construct Pervasive Difficult/time consuming to detect Questions of ‘intent’ and ‘ignorance’ Institutional reputation and credibility “Griffith is a joke....you can cheat as much as you want....if you get caught (highly unlikely) you can cry your way out of it (special circumstances) This is especially true of the GC campus”

4 University of Western Sydney 3 July Importance for student learning Students who cheat fail to learn Students who do not cheat feel frustrated Students are terrified Academic misconduct is a very unwise decision and you will almost always be caught out. Even if you don't get caught out you are still cheating yourself out of great opportunities to learn. Whats worse most of the kids that did enact such behaviour receive higher marks than they would otherwise. Its really disheartening to those who try. I have not participated in academic misconduct, but since undertaking my first semester earlier this year I have been petrified that i would commit plagiarism or academic misconduct without realising

5 University of Western Sydney 3 July Staff Survey Semester

6 University of Western Sydney 3 July Faculty/Academic Element 2005 Cases 2006 Cases Arts86 Education343 Griffith Law School4 GBS14148 Griffith Health29 EIT1110 ENS5530 Science FoI Figures provided to Courier Mail late 2006

7 University of Western Sydney 3 July A holistic institutional response Promote academic integrity –Promotion of supportive culture that values ethical conduct –Consistency, transparency and fairness Prevent academic misconduct –Proactive rather than reactive education and deterrence assessment practices Management of allegations of misconduct –Tracking across Groups/Faculties and of multiple offenders –Improved detection (including ‘text matching’ software) –Proportional responses

8 University of Western Sydney 3 July Framework for Promoting Academic Integrity Promotion PreventionManagement

9 University of Western Sydney 3 July Framework for Promoting Academic Integrity Promotion PreventionManagement Education

10 University of Western Sydney 3 July Framework for Promoting Academic Integrity Promotion PreventionManagement Education Deterrence

11 University of Western Sydney 3 July Framework for Promoting Academic Integrity Promotion PreventionManagement Education Deterrence Awareness

12 University of Western Sydney 3 July Framework for Promoting Academic Integrity Promotion PreventionManagement Education Deterrence Awareness Centralised management system

13 University of Western Sydney 3 July The Framework Two stage management process (monitored centrally) –School / Department level response –Institutional level response (Formal response managed by relevant Chair of Assessment Board) Principles –Protect student’s rights –Proportional and escalating interventions –Recognise and support the central role of Course Convenors Focus on prevention and developmental responses

14 University of Western Sydney 3 July Central Management System Necessary to ensure –Concerns tracked across the institution –Institutionally consistent responses Academic Integrity Management System database (AIMS) Academic Integrity Manager Committee of Chairs of the Assessment Board

15 University of Western Sydney 3 July Central role of Course Convenor Designing courses/assessment to minimise opportunities Modelling/promoting appropriate behaviour Detecting concerns –reporting to central management system –serious/repeat concerns escalated to Chair of Assessment Board School/Department based response –course convenor investigates –responds to ‘minor’ and ‘unintentional’ concerns –educational/developmental responses –If necessary supported by Program Convenor/HoS/FYA

16 University of Western Sydney 3 July Course Convenor flow process Course convenor identifies concern –Completes Concern form and sends to AI manager AI manager –Checks students academic record –Enters details into the AIMS –Provides CC with partial filled Closure form Draft letter/ to student Also sent to HoS Course convenor –Sends to student –Student response within 14 days –Cc conducts investigation and evaluates case (14 days –CC contacts AI for previous beaches (AIM sends reminder at 21 days) –CC finalises concern, completes closure form and sends to AI manager AI Manager –Records decision on AIMS –Prepares draft finalisation letter for course convenor

17 University of Western Sydney 3 July Chair of Assessment Board Serious and repeat concerns escalated to the Chair Similar process to the Course Convenor flow process Have the right to exclude students from the university Committee of the Chairs of the Assessment Board –Facilitate consistency of responses –Monitor the processes –Provide support for the Academic Integrity Manager

18 University of Western Sydney 3 July Trialled in three elements/groups Approved University Council October 2007 –Faculty of Arts –Faculty of Education –Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology end of Semester 2, 2007 (three weeks) Semester 1, 2008

19 University of Western Sydney 3 July Academi c Element Minor Medium Serious Plagiarism Cheating Collusion No of Cases Closed Arts28 minor 13 medium 8 serious 46 Plagiarism 1 Cheating 2 Collusion 46 Education3 minor 3 medium 6 serious 12 Plagiarism12 SEET15 minor 6 medium 13 serious 25 Plagiarism 1 Cheating 8 Collusion 28 TOTAL Semester 2 trial

20 University of Western Sydney 3 July Effective and efficient in –recording & identifying multiple incidences – providing information about a students’ academic performance and relevant correspondence Greater clarity about the role of the Academic Integrity Manager. Greater clarity about what constitutes a Level I, II or III breach Professional development required for academic staff

21 University of Western Sydney 3 July Testimonial Been at Griffith for a long time (decades) and in that time there has been three main phases. Everything left to the staff, however, problematic because not consistent as handled differently by each individual staff member. Second process – Uni took over – very bureaucratic and very unpopular – most staff steered clear of the process. New trial procedure – leaves decision in the hands of the Course convenor while recording in central database – this is preferred because back in the hands of academics while process lends itself to achieving consistent outcomes.

22 University of Western Sydney 3 July Seriousness matrix Curtin University framework to promote common understandings (Yeo & Chien, 2007) –Focus not on definition of plagiarism –But on degree of seriousness –and extent to which it constitutes misconduct Four criteria for determining the seriousness –Experience of the student –Nature of the act of plagiarism –Extent of the plagiarism –Intention of the student plagiarise (only for seriousness)

23 University of Western Sydney 3 July Two first year students, B and C, handed in substantial assignments (worth 30%) that were practically identical. On questions the students, I found that B, who completed the assignment first, allowed C to have it for a few days “just to get a few ideas to get started”. C then basically copied the assignment and submitted it without B’s knowledge. Both admitted their respective roles. B appeared genuinely dismayed at C’s actions.

24 University of Western Sydney 3 July

25 University of Western Sydney 3 July Where to from here? University trial approved for Semester –Trial will be continuously evaluated –External audit on completion Back to Council for consideration for full roll out in 2009 Academic Integrity Change Management Group –Communication strategy –Developing website –Staff resources –Student resources

26 University of Western Sydney 3 July Contact details Academic Integrity Manager –Jenny Martin –(07) Anna Stewart –(07)


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