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.
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