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Learning advisors and confidentiality Learning Commons (Lower Columbia College 2009)

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Presentation on theme: "Learning advisors and confidentiality Learning Commons (Lower Columbia College 2009)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Learning advisors and confidentiality Learning Commons (Lower Columbia College 2009)

2 Purpose of case study Target audience: Learning advisors/developers, HDR students, supervisors Key issue being addressed: The role of learning advisors in supporting HDR research students Purpose of the case: To assist learning advisors and supervisors in understanding their role in regards to academic integrity, confidentiality and ethical research and writing Materials and preparation needed to answer case: Copy of university academic integrity policy and procedures Copy of university IT policy Statement about the role of the learning center/ student support unit about their role when working with students 2 Academic Integrity Standards Project

3 Our research Policy analysis only 39% of policies identified the institution as being responsible for academic integrity Survey of 15,304 students at 6 participating universities Postgraduate research students expressed the least satisfaction with the information they had received about how to avoid an academic integrity breach. Interviews with 28 senior academic integrity stakeholders at 6 Australian universities No. 1 recommendation for good practice: Provide appropriate and on-going professional development for all staff in relation to academic integrity policy and process. 3 Academic Integrity Standards Project

4 Case Study: a student consultation Harriet is a learning advisor who works in the student learning support unit (or your equivalent). She sees students from across the university in individual consultations. Sometimes these students are referred to by their tutors or lecturers, and sometimes they make bookings on their own initiative, bringing with them a copy of their latest assignment and requesting advice on how to improve their writing or meet a particular assignments marking criteria. Harriet sees a first year PhD student who is confused about academic writing expectations. He is an international student and is struggling with his English language and academic writing. The student is worried about meeting a departmental deadline for his formal thesis proposal of 10,000 words by the end of his first year. 4 Academic Integrity Standards Project

5 A suspicion of plagiarism During the consultations Harriet works with the student to improve his English grammar, while also helping him to refine and articulate his thesis research questions and navigate through a literature review. Frequently, the student brings in drafts of the thesis proposal. This includes poorly written material with inadequate referencing and uneven writing, some of which has clearly been copied directly from the internet At the final meeting, the student appears with an almost perfect thesis proposal. Harriet is convinced that this student has not produced this document on his own. The student says he has already submitted it to the department. 5 Academic Integrity Standards Project

6 Questions for discussion 1. What would you do at this point if you were Harriet? 2. Would you: Contact the supervisor/department and advise them that you suspect the student has plagiarised? Consider that the individual consultation is confidential, so dont contact the supervisor/department, but strongly advise the student to withdraw this document and resubmit work of their own? Something else? Brainstorm other issues that might come up in consultations with students, issues of confidentiality, and your responsibility in relation to academic integrity 6 Academic Integrity Standards Project

7 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., 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 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: Lower Columbia College (2009), Learning Commons, digital image, accessed on 29 August 2012, This image is used with permission under a under an Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivs 2.0 Creative Commons License. Academic Integrity Standards Project

8 For further 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 License.Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License 8 Academic Integrity Standards Project

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