Code of Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure

Code of Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure

PURPOSE

To set standards of academic integrity expected from all members of ACK community and to establish a framework to maintain honest scholarship across College.

SCOPE

This policy applies to all students and staff.

POLICY STATEMENT

  • Academic Integrity lies at the core of the academic environment at ACK and is the shared responsibility of all members of the College community. Following sections outline the role of each party in maintaining an environment of honest academic scholarship.

All members of ACK community:

  • ACK expects all members of its community to display the highest standards of academic behaviour and, in doing so, protect the validity of the College’s intellectual work and create an effective learning, teaching and research environment.
    All members of community are expected to be vigilant and report detected incidents of Academic Dishonesty in accordance with the terms of this document.

Faculty and staff:

  • Faculty and staff are responsible to foster academic integrity and promote honest effort in academic work through use of educative techniques which may include:
    • Setting out expectations about proper academic conduct at the beginning of each unit;
    • Educating students about referencing;
    • Distinguishing between Negligent and Intentional Plagiarism;
    • Where applicable, asking students to sign a declaration that the work submitted is their own and is done without any unauthorized aid;
    • Where appropriate, utilizing Turnitin, for submission of assignments;
    • Including in the unit outlines and other course documents students’ responsibilities in relation to protecting academic integrity;
    • Using assessment and proctoring techniques that eliminate or reduce opportunities for academic misconduct;
    • Preparing assessments with multiple versions and significantly different from previous semesters.
  • Faculty and staff are responsible to report all suspected and detected incidents of academic dishonesty to their Head of Department to be dealt with in accordance with the terms of this document.

Students:

  • Students are responsible to inform themselves with what constitutes academic integrity and adhere to its principles which include:
    • Understanding academic dishonesty, and if in doubt, seeking clarification from their instructors;
    • Following instructions provided by their instructors when conducting group work, referencing information and reporting research, and if in doubt seeking for further clarification;
    • Familiarizing themselves with the conventions of referencing in their discipline;
    • Protecting their work from being copied;
    • Reporting incidents of academic misconduct or concerns relating to Academic Dishonesty to their relevant instructor or Faculty Advisor.
  • ACK has zero tolerance for any form of academic dishonesty. Students found to be in violation of this Code of Academic Integrity are subject to the disciplinary sanctions outlined in this document and may not be eligible for academic honors, scholarships or financial aid. A student may not drop a course in which s/he is found in violation of the Code of Academic Integrity or during an ongoing inquiry.

Academic Dishonesty:

  • Breaches to the Code of Academic Integrity include, but are not limited to the following:1
    • Cheating: Using or attempting to use unauthorized means of information (study aids, notes, textbooks, copying answers from another student, mobile phones, smart watches, etc.) during an assessment or for any other academic work.
    • Intentional Plagiarism: Submitting academic work that is not entirely one’s own without giving specific reference or proper acknowledgment to its correct source. In general, any attempt to mislead instructors as to the true origin of the work presented. The most common instances of intentional plagiarism include:
    • Failure to provide a citation for a paraphrase or summary;
    • Failure to paraphrase or summarize properly;
    • Copying another source word for word without quotation marks or proper indentation;
    • Copying another source without acknowledgement; and
    • Turning in another person’s paper or other work as one’s own (including a paper purchased from a person or service or downloaded from the Internet).
    • Negligent Plagiarism: Means recklessly plagiarizing without acknowledgement of the source due to lack of understanding of proper referencing and fear of paraphrasing or writing in their own words or lack of skill in using the relevant academic conventions. Inexperience is a mitigating factor for negligent plagiarism and involves mostly new students (i.e.: first year students).
    • Unauthorized Collaboration: Collaborating with others when completing an assignment, performing laboratory experiments and writing reports in the absence of explicit instructions from the instructors to do so.
      In assignments where group work is permissible, it is the student’s responsibility to understand acceptable level of cooperation or seek clarification from the instructor before the work is carried out. When working in groups, all members must contribute to the work required.
    • Multiple Submissions: Submitting same or similar piece work to be graded for more than one unit.
    • Fabrication, Falsification of Data: Fabricating, inventing data as genuine, tampering with data to reach a conclusion, citing non-existent sources and data and any other form of intentional dishonesty regarding data and its source
    • Unfair Advantage: Undertaking any form of activity with the purpose of obtaining unfair advantage over other students, including gaining unauthorized access to instructor’s teaching and examination materials; stealing, damaging or otherwise depriving other students from public sources of information; interfering with another student’s academic efforts; giving false reasons to obtain make-ups; carrying on writing during an exam when time is up and any other attempt to afford oneself unfair advantage over other students.
    • Bribery: Giving or offering any member of staff money or any other benefit as means of obtaining Unfair Advantage.
    • Falsification of Records: Gaining unauthorized access to academic and administrative records (paper or electronic) and falsifying, misrepresenting, tampering or attempting to tamper any portion of them and any other attempt to falsify official records.
    • Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Knowingly aiding or attempting to aid others in acts of Academic Dishonesty. (e.g. allowing another to copy from one’s own paper, substituting for another person to take an assessment, giving information to another student about an exam when it is being given or after having taken the exam, using another person’s online password to undertake any academic activity on their behalf.)

CONTROL OF PROCESS

  • The following sections aim to provide the general framework for addressing situations where there is evidence to suggest that a student may have engaged in a form of academic misconduct. They do not attempt to catalogue specifics of any departmental procedures, which should be determined by each area in accordance with the general principles outlined in this document.

General Principles

  • ACK has zero tolerance for Academic Dishonesty and is committed to dealing with all incidents promptly, effectively and with the principles of procedural fairness.
  • All proven cases will be penalized and such penalties will include, but will not be limited to the following:
    • Reduced or failing grade on the assignment, assessment /exam or unit.
    • Educative action for the student which includes the explanation of referencing guidelines.
    • Resubmission of academic work for a maximum result of pass.
    • Requirement to undertake another form of assessment.
    • Written Warning.
    • Suspension.
    • Expulsion.
    • Any combination of above.
  • Above list is only a guideline. The College reserves the right to modify the sanctions depending on the severity of the offenses. Repeated and/or multiple violations increase the severity of the penalty.
  • Sanctions listed are not progressive. There is no necessary connection between a first time offense and a reduced or failing grade on the assignment, assessment/exam or the unit. A first-time offender can receive stricter sanctions, including expulsion from the College, depending on the severity of her/his offense.
  • The College will investigate and conclude all alleged cases of academic dishonesty within 10 business days of reporting.
  • Faculty cannot submit a student’s grade when grades are due if a violation of academic integrity is suspected or if an investigation is ongoing.

Process for Handling Allegations for Academic Dishonesty:

  • A faculty member, who has reason to believe that a student has engaged in academic dishonesty, should promptly report this to his/her Head of Department. Exam invigilators, teaching assistants or lab technicians should report any incidents of academic dishonesty to the relevant faculty.
  • Head of Department, after discussing with the relevant faculty and the student and based on the review of all relevant evidence, forms a judgment on whether an academic misconduct occurred.
  • If the Head of Department determines there are no grounds for a charge, s/he informs in writing all parties involved and the case is closed.
  • If the Head of Department determines that are grounds and sufficient evidence to suggest academic dishonesty, s/he decides on one of the following courses of action or a combination of them:
    • Reduced or failing grade on the assignment, assessment /exam or unit.
    • Arrange for appropriate educative action for the student which includes the explanation of referencing guidelines (unless in relation to negligent plagiarism not to be issued on its own).
    • Require the student to resubmit his/her work for a maximum result of pass.
    • Require the student to undertake another form of assessment.
  • Severity of the offense, student’s previous record of violations and academic standing are taken consideration in determining the appropriate penalty. Academic misconduct committed by a first semester student might have less severe penalty than a more senior student.
  • Head of Department at any stage of the investigation, decision or sanctioning process may refer to the case to a departmental or school committee or to the relevant Dean for resolution.
  • Any case deemed to deserve stricter penalties than the ones listed in the Process for Handling Allegations for Academic Dishonesty are referred to the relevant Dean. The relevant Dean may decide on one of the following courses of action or a combination of them:
    • Reduced or failing grade on the assignment, assessment /exam or unit.
    • Arrange for appropriate educative action for the student which includes the explanation of referencing guidelines.
    • Require the student to resubmit his/her work for a maximum result of pass.
    • Require the student to undertake another form of assessment.
    • Issue a Written Warning for Academic Dishonesty.

A Written Warning for Academic Dishonesty

  • A Written Warning for Academic Dishonesty can be issued only ONCE to a student during her/his study in the College. Any violation thereafter results automatically in Suspension for one Semester or Expulsion depending on the severity of the violation. When a student is issued a Written Warning, this should be given using template (ACK.FO.VPAC.09.01) attached to this policy. A copy should be provided to the Student Affairs Department and Admissions and Registration Department to be included in the student’s file.
  • Relevant Dean at any stage of the above investigation, decision or sanctioning process may refer to the case to relevant Departmental committee. Any case deemed to be severe enough to deserve a Suspension or Expulsion is referred to the Vide President-Academic Affairs for decision.

Suspension due to Academic Dishonesty

  • A student placed on Suspension is not allowed to enroll in any course during the period of suspension. Students placed on suspension at the end of the spring semester for the following fall semester is not allowed to enroll in the summer semester. A student on suspension cannot attend classes, use campus facilities including athletic facilities, library and computer clusters, participate in student activities and be a member of student organizations. A student’s email account is kept active during the period of suspension as email is an official form of communication used by the College. A student on suspension will be allowed limited time access to the campus to attend matters related to his or her enrollment. If the student needs to meet with any member of faculty or staff during his/her period of suspension, this will be arranged through the Student Affairs Department.
  • Readmission after suspension is not automatic and cannot be guaranteed. No credit is given for any units completed in another higher education institution outside of ACK during the period of Academic Suspension. A student who is readmitted to ACK after being suspended for an Academic Dishonesty is permanently expelled from ACK if s/he is found to have committed another violation of this policy. Suspension will be noted on the transcript and a record of it will be kept in the student’s file with the Student Affairs Department and Admissions and Registration Department. A copy of the notice of Suspension given to the student should be provided to the Admissions and Registration Department for inclusion in the student’s file. A suspended student has no right for a refund on course fees.

Expulsion from ACK due to Academic Dishonesty

  • Student is no longer considered part of the ACK community and is not allowed to complete his/her study in the College. A record of Expulsion is kept in the Student’s file with the Student Affairs Department, the Admissions and Registration Department and will be noted on the transcript.
  • ACK Quality Assurance processes require that all incidents of breaching academic integrity and their outcomes are logged and recorded for monitoring purposes and to identify opportunities to improve standards of education and services offered in the College. Accordingly, all incidents need to be electronically logged onto Power Campus, kept up-to-date by all Departments and are submitted as a report to the Vice President-Academic Affairs at the end of each semester or as frequently as requested.

Appeals

  • Head of Department notifies the student and the relevant faculty in writing of the outcome of investigation and penalty assigned. Letters of suspension or expulsion are issued from the office of the Vice President- Academic Affairs. Students have the right to appeal any penalties imposed under this policy. An appeal letter must be submitted to the Vice President-Academic Affairs office within five (5) working days of receiving the penalty decision detailing why and on what grounds the appeal is made. An appeal is not granted automatically simply by submitting a letter. An appeal hearing will be held if grounds are substantiated in the letter.
  • The President will decide upon the appeal. All appeal decisions are final.

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

  • Academic Work: Refers to all gradable work that a student is required to complete to provide a record of achievement or competence in a unit, including, but not limited to learning tasks, assignments, reports, laboratory work, viva voce, classroom tests and examinations.
  • Academic Dishonesty: (Academic Misconduct) Refers to any violation of this Code of Academic Integrity.
  • Turnitin: Is a tool used to check the originality of papers and the correctness of referencing practices in a student’s work.
  • Relevant Faculty: Refers to the instructor of the unit in which a student is alleged to have committed dishonesty.
  • Appeal: A request to review a decision or outcome.

ATTACHMENTS

  • Notice of Written Warning (ACK.FO.VPAC.09.01)
  • Incident/ Investigation Log (System Generated on PowerCampus)

  1. Examples included under each definition of Academic Dishonesty are only illustrative, not exhaustive. When in doubt about what constitutes an Academic Dishonesty, students should seek clarification from their instructors before any offenses are committed.

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