What can I do to promote academic integrity?
Staff have the responsibility to ensure opportunities for academic misconduct are minimised. Actions you can take to encourage students’ positive behaviour include:
- Being open and proactive in discussing issues of plagiarism and cheating as well as ensuring that your paper outline contains the correct Regulations and information about University procedures.
- Being aware of websites relevant to your discipline where students can purchase assignments; there are a number of websites that sell identified University of Waikato assessment items.
- Being proactive at Orientation and ensure your Faculty provides accurate information about the University’s requirements for academic conduct; it is not sufficient to tell new students ‘not to plagiarise’.
The Staff Assessment Handbook provides a framework for assessment and is a valuable resource for all teaching staff. The Paper Outline Policy advises staff on how to meet the University's requirements with respect to teaching and learning quality assurance processes.
Design of Assessment Tasks
Generally it is a good idea to require evidence of ongoing individual engagement with the assessment task:
- Try to modify assessment tasks each year so that students cannot copy the work of previous students.
- Set sub-tasks that require students to show their process steps on assessment tasks and indicate individual findings, for example, drawing up an annotated bibliography, marshalling the evidence for and against a position.
- Be careful not to overburden students with assessment as this may put them under pressure to plagiarise.
- Break up assessment tasks into steps.
- Try to include some oral components to assessment tasks.
- Avoid surface tasks requiring little more than reproduction of material.
- Include a meaningful individual component to group work.
These elements help to establish meaningful assessment tasks.
For more information on assessment design, contact Te Puna Ako - Centre for Tertiary Teaching and Learning