Academic integrity toolkit

An academic integrity toolkit has been collated to support the implementation of the SCU Academic Integrity Framework. This toolkit includes examples of embedded approaches that can be used to support students to practise academic integrity, links to resources, and guidance on using the Turnitin text-matching software.

SCU Academic Integrity Framework

The SCU Academic Integrity Framework is a holistic approach aiming to develop a whole of institution culture of academic integrity. Elements of this framework include strategies to mitigate risk, academic integrity education and support opportunities for students and staff, robust decision-making systems, accessible transparent systems for managing records of academic integrity breaches, consequences of unintentional student breaches focused on education and deterrence for intentional breaches, principles around the framework embedded and applied through SCU policy (including curriculum development processes), and a dedicated academic integrity webpage for staff and students.

Key elements of the SCU Academic Integrity Framework and associated resources relate to teaching and learning practice. For further information on rules, guidelines and procedures see:

The SCU Academic Integrity Framework (staff login required) is a holistic approach aiming to develop a whole of institution culture of academic integrity.

Academic integrity

Academic integrity at SCU is defined as behaving in accordance with the values of honesty, fairness, trustworthiness, courage, responsibility and respect in relation to academic work

Based on students' intentions and experience, SCU has a three-tiered classification for academic integrity breaches (as set out in (17) Breach of academic integrity):

  1. Minor breach: Unintentional and can be reasonably considered as part of the normal learning process.
  2. Moderate breach: Unintentional but unacceptably negligent with regard to the opportunity to learn and appropriately apply academic integrity principles.
  3. Major breach: Intentional or deliberately negligent including (but not limited to) contract cheating.

As markers, teachers, and unit assessors, it is important to understand and apply this classification. The Substantiating contract cheating: A guide for investigators will help you to make decisions about potential breach classifications. As text-matching software Turnitin is a major tool for deterring, detecting and classifying breaches, understanding how to interpret Turnitin similarity reports in this context is critical.  

In addition, underpinning the framework and breach classification, is the emphasis on educating students about academic integrity.

Supporting student education on academic integrity

Practising Academic Integrity module

  • There is an introductory module on practising academic integrity linked to students' unit Blackboard sites. SCU students are required to complete this mandatory academic integrity awareness training in their first study period after admission to the University as set out in Rule 3 – Coursework awards - Student assessment and examinations, Section 18, (107).
  • The module can continue to be used as a resource by students.

Curriculum and assessment design

  • Curriculum and assessment design that incorporates mechanisms to ensure all students are educated about academic integrity. This includes course learning outcomes related to the development of threshold knowledge and skills including academic integrity (see 16 (a) Curriculum design and development procedures)
  • In practice, this translates to having the explicit opportunity for students to develop skills and understanding on how to practise academic integrity and assessments that are designed to minimise academic integrity risk and give students the opportunity to develop their skills. These opportunities may include embedding activities (including feedback within the curriculum), formative assessments, and opportunities for students to discuss and ask questions about assessments and academic integrity in class (for example, what is collaboration and where does this become collusion? This example is discussed in the Academic Integrity webinar). 

Student Learning Zone

Embedding learning activities on academic integrity into the curriculum

An effective way to support student learning about academic integrity in a disciplinary context is to provide learning activities within the unit content. Ideas are provided from SCU colleagues in the Sharing and championing ideas and resources section below.

There are also student resources from the Student Learning Zone and from SCU Library services that can be incorporated into your teaching and online learning spaces. When using such resources, it important to contextualise and frame the resources to link them to 'how' and 'why' they are important to student learning and for their assessments. See Embedding academic literacy support for more information. 

Sharing and championing ideas and resources from SCU’s teaching community

Talking Teaching webinars

Learning activity examples

The following activities show ways of learning about and practising elements of academic integrity that can be embedded into the curriculum:

Here is a screenshot of an example created by Dr Liz Goode from SCU College, incorporating a paraphrasing activity with content readings in a first-year business unit.

Earlier in the module, students were provided content to learn about using Turnitin similarity reports and paraphrasing, and this activity provides an opportunity for students to practise these elements and raise questions that will be addressed by the unit assessor as required.

Here is a screenshot of another activity provided by Dr Liz Goode in the same unit as above. It helps students to check their understanding of summarising other sources. H5P has been used for this purpose, but importantly, there is linking text connecting previous concepts and introducing the activity's purpose.

The activity offers students feedback around their understanding of summarising, an important element of practising academic integrity. The next activity then goes on to practice summarising. The educational approach is to form knowledge and understanding, then apply this.

The details of the H5P activity are here: 

Here is an example of a learning activity created in H5P by SCU Librarian, Carlie Nekrasov, to help students learn about and practice referencing for their upcoming assessment in a first-year nursing unit.

Slides 7-13 focus on the elements related to academic integrity (in this instance, referencing).

Here is an example of content from a SCU College unit, developed by Dr Suzi Syme, supporting students to understand the difference between academic integrity and academic dishonesty. Students, in the previous activity, have explored the concept of academic integrity. The example here uses a video of students comparing the concepts of academic integrity and academic dishonesty and the video is introduced by contextualising why this is important at SCU. Finally, students can check their understanding of these concepts through the follow-up quiz.

The next activity builds on these concepts, explaining an important element of practising academic integrity, acknowledging the work of others.  

If you are interested in the video used, the link is here.

The link to the H5P is below:

Here is an example of content from a SCU College unit, developed by Dr Liz Goode. There are many ideas, supported with content that can be used to support the understanding and skill development around a broad range of academic integrity concepts.

Here are some examples of academic integrity learning activities for different disciplines created by Meredith Kayess. These examples provide content that you could adapt and use in a class or learning site to support students understanding of how to interpret and use Turnitin similarity reports to edit draft assignments for academic integrity.

Here is an example from law, developed by Helen Coleman, Meredith Kayess, Cristy Clark, and Jen Nielsen, using an educational approach to develop academic integrity awareness and skills explicitly connected with assessment submission. A short video is provided, stepping students through the originality declaration and the significance of claiming work as their own.

Students reflect on their Turnitin similarity report and write a brief explanation about the nature of the matched text and what they needed to do with this (e.g. editing their work). The student communicates their reflection via the assessment cover sheet.

Effective assessment design

How you design your assessment can help mitigate the risk of academic integrity. Assessments that students are less likely to cheat on include:

  • individualised tasks;
  • activities completed in class;
  • oral presentation/viva; and
  • reflection on practicums (Bretag et al., 2019).

Authentic assessment where students use and apply knowledge and skills in ‘real-life’ situations or simulate a professional activity individually, do not address the problem of contract cheating (Ellis et al., 2020). They can, however, offer relevance and a rich learning experience for the student beyond the assessment task. In combination, delivery of authentic assessments that feature individualised tasks, or as an oral presentation/viva, or reflection on a practicum, serve to minimise the risk of Academic Integrity Issues.

  • Provide students with the opportunity to submit and review draft assessments using the Turnitin similarity report.
    • This supports students to develop skills in practising academic integrity and gives them an opportunity to edit their assessment before the final submission.
    • It is recommended that you guide students on how to submit to Turnitin and interpret the Turnitin similarity report to edit their work accordingly. There are great resources available for this purpose on the Student Learning Zone site Academic integrity and Turnitin.   

Personalised teaching and learning relationships

Building relationships with students helps to improve engagement and minimise cheating. It also helps to detect cheating when it occurs and reduces academic integrity risk. This involves:

  • providing opportunities for students to approach lecturers and tutors for assistance
  • lecturers and tutors to ensure that students understand what is required in assessments
  • ensuring students receive sufficient feedback to learn from the work they do (see the Academic integrity toolkit resource).

For more information on the importance of building relationships with students in mitigating academic integrity issues, read 'What is contract cheating and methods to reduce it' on the TEQSA site.

SCU Academic Integrity Framework page 

  • SCU has a dedicated Academic Integrity Framework landing page for both staff and students for all academic integrity matters.
  • You can find more links on this page for policy, procedures, guidelines, and associated forms and templates.