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Consequences of Academic Integrity Breaches

The consequences of plagiarism, collusion, exam cheating, contract cheating, fraud, misrepresentation and other breaches of academic integrity can be very serious, including possible suspension or exclusion from the University. All breaches of academic integrity are noted on the Academic Integrity database and more severe breaches are recorded on students’ permanent academic record. The following examples highlight some of the recent sanctions that have been imposed for low, intermediate and high-level breaches.

Low-level breach

A low-level breach suggests that a student has failed to meet the expectations of academic integrity, yet the breach may be unintentional (i.e. the student may be at an early stage of undergraduate study, studying at an Australian institution for the first time or the conduct is a minor contravention of academic practice and standards).

Examples

Plagiarism:

Student used poor referencing skills and failed to use direct quotation marks when citing four sources.

Sanction = resubmission with correct referencing style

Educative response = completion and/or review of the Student Academic Integrity module

Plagiarism:

Student copied and pasted two paragraphs from a website and failed to correctly reference the source.

Sanction = resubmission with correct referencing style

Educative response = completion and/or review of the Student Academic Integrity module

Collusion:

Student A shared their previously graded assignment with student B. Student B copied, pasted and submitted several similar sections in their assignment in this year’s unit.

Sanction = Student A given a warning and reminded that if students share their assessment tasks with anyone else, that they do so in a responsible manner. Students need to be careful when sharing previous assignments, as it may provide an opportunity for another student to misrepresent work as their own and gain for themselves an academic advantage to which they are not entitled. To maintain the integrity of your assessment tasks, computer and USB drives, students should remain vigilant and ensure that they are not able to be easily accessed by anyone else without permission. Student B required to resubmit and given a 50% reduction in final marks for the assessment.

Educative response = completion and/or review of the Student Academic Integrity module by both students

Intermediate-level breach

An intermediate-level breach indicates that a student has sought an unfair advantage and the breach may be intentional (i.e. they have attempted to deceive or gain an unfair advantage, and/or disadvantage others, and/or the student has a previous substantiated breach).

Examples

Plagiarism:

Student copied and pasted several paragraphs from online sources in a submitted essay and failed to correctly reference the authors. Student had one previous substantiated low-level breach for plagiarism.

Sanction = a formal reprimand, resubmission and a 50% reduction in final marks for the assessment

Educative response = completion and/or review of the Student Academic Integrity module

Collusion:

Two students submitted identical code in response to several assignment questions. Both students denied that they had worked together. The assignment criteria required students to work independently. Both students had one previous substantiated low-level breach for plagiarism.

Sanction = For both students: a formal reprimand and zero marks for the assessment

Educative response = completion and/or review of the Student Academic Integrity module

Exam Cheating:

Student had taken unauthorised materials into an end-of-semester invigilated examination. Student had one previous substantiated low-level breach for collusion.

Sanction = a formal reprimand and zero marks for the unit

Educative response = completion and/or review of the Student Academic Integrity module

High-level breach

A high-level breach shows that a student has made sustained or significant attempt/s to seek an unfair advantage and the breach is intentional (i.e. they have attempted to deceive or gain an unfair advantage, and/or the breach is of a serious nature such as fraud or misrepresentation, and/or the conduct threatens the University’s reputation, and/or the student has multiple previous substantiated breaches).

Examples

Contract Cheating:

Student paid for multiple essays from an online essay writing service and submitted them as their own work. Student had no previous substantiated breaches.

Sanction = failure of the unit and permanent exclusion from the University

Fraud/Forgery:

Student altered a professional placement report from a fail to a passing grade and falsely signed a supervisor’s signature. Student had no previous substantiated breaches.

Sanction = failure of the unit and permanent exclusion from the University

Exam Cheating:

Student was found with several pages of notes in an end-of-semester invigilated examination. Student had two previous substantiated low-level breaches – plagiarism and collusion.

Sanction = failure of the unit and a 6-month temporary exclusion from the University

Breach Consequences

This video points out some of the negative consequences faced by all students at Australian universities if a breach of academic integrity occurs.

For online and face-to-face support and assistance at the University of Tasmania contact Study Support and Resources. Alternatively, contact a Student Adviser, International Student Adviser or the Tasmanian University Union (TUU) if you’re not sure of the assistance you need.