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Academic integrity awareness

Reach out to us with any questions you may have about all things academic including assessments and exams.

DUSA and the Student Advocacy & Support Service (SASS) are here to raise awareness and help you navigate actions that could be considered a breach of academic integrity.

Academic integrity awareness campaign.

Every year, the SASS team host an Academic Integrity Awareness Campaign covering many different facets of dishonest conduct in assessments. The aim is to assist students to avoid breaching Academic Integrity.

There were sudden changes in T1 – a move to online learning and online or open-book exams. This was new for many students and we understand that your T1 studies may not have gone to plan. It’s really important to make sure you understand the requirements for your assessments to avoid breaches of Academic Integrity. We are here to give you the heads up about T2’s upcoming exam period.

So let’s talk about everyone’s favourite assessments… exams.

Exams can be stressful and the move to online exams was not what anyone expected at the start of T1

Deakin is aware that some students worked together on their online exams in T1. If you work together with someone during your T2 exam, it is very likely that Deakin will find out as they are now using new detection methods. Remember you need to do your exams by yourself. There can be serious consequences if you don’t.

So let’s get studying.

Studying together can be a great way to learn about your course work and from each other, however there is a difference between collaborating and colluding. For example: helping each other with exam study notes could lead to you and your friend writing the same answers in an online or open-book exam. This can be considered collusion, even if you are just trying to help each other. We know that exams can be really stressful and are frequently a large percentage of the unit’s total grade, so we really want to help all students prepare for their exams in the right way.


So you decide to reach out for support and notice that there are a lot of ‘study’ and ‘assignment help’ services out there…what should you choose?

Unfortunately not all services are as helpful as they may appear. You may see ads or webpages for external study/assignment services and receive messages or emails. We do not recommend accessing these services as many of these companies and not legitimate and could be considered contract cheating, even if you are just accessing or exchanging study notes. It can be hard to tell as the websites are really good at pretending to be student friendly. It’s safest to assume the website is not allowed by Deakin unless Deakin has directed you to use that particular website’s services.


Okay, we’ve told you a lot about what not to do, so let’s talk about what you can do.

You may be feeling uncertain, however Deakin actually has numerous free supports available for students (like you!). The great thing about Deakin services is that they are here just for Deakin students. So have a read through our below recommendations so you know where you can get the support you need when you need it.

  • If you are unsure of what the requirements for your assessment are or if you are worried about failing, we recommend getting help now. Talk to your Unit Chair, access Study Support, speak to a counsellor and consider applying for an extension or Special Consideration.
  • Utilise study planners to help you stay on top of your trimesters study load.
  • Create your own personal study notes; make sure anything you include in your exam paper is your own individual work and not from any shared study notes.
  • If you’re not up to doing your T2 exam/s, consider withdrawing from your unit/s – 4th October is the last day to withdraw from a Trimester 2 unit and get a Withdrawn Late (WL) listed on academic record (and not a fail).
  • If a friend tells you then have cheated or colluded, help them get the assistance they need so they don’t do this again. You also have the option to report a student to the Student Conduct team.

Not sure where to start? If you would like to speak to someone about your specific circumstances, please feel free to contact our free Student Advocacy and Support Service. We are here to help and support students and our experienced and friendly team can help you develop a plan for your current and future studies. You can complete our online contact form here, or give us a call on (03) 9246 8615.


Need help with an academic integrity allegation?

The DUSA Advocates provide free and confidential advice for students regarding Deakin processes. If you have received an allegation of a breach of Academic Integrity from your faculty, we can help you with this. We can assist you to respond to the allegation and attend your hearing as a support person. You can contact the Student Advocacy and Support Service team here for more information, or you can call us on (03) 9246 8615.

Some helpful resources that students can access for further support or information are Deakin’s Academic Integrity webpage, Deakin’s Study Support services, and Deakin’s Student Academic Integrity policy.

Ask an Advocate

Yes, advocates are employed by the Student Association to assist all students.
Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) is independent from Deakin. All information received is confidential and staff are bound by the privacy act. Advocates work in the student’s best interests in all dealings with Deakin University.
One of the largest roles of Advocates is to assist students with academic progress or misconduct allegations. Advocates can help students to understand the allegations made against them by the faculty, explain where assistance can be sought within the university, assist with show cause letter content and review draft letters for students prior to their submission. Advocates can inform students of the show cause procedure and also attend hearings with students if requested.
You should never send your assignment to a friend (unless it is a group assignment), even if you have already completed the unit. Your assignment is your property; if you send your assignment to your friend, you run the risk of them copying all or parts of the assessment task and using it as their own. Turnitin or the Unit Chair can pick up on the similarity even if your friend was to change some of the wording and your Unit Chair may refer this to the Academic Integrity Committee. This will mean that you and your friend may receive an allegation of collusion. Instead of sending your assignment, we would recommend that you refer your friend to talk to their Unit Chair or contact Deakin’s Study Support. You can find further information on study support here: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support If you would like further support and information, please feel free to contact a DUSA Advocate for advice. We can support you to understand academic integrity and support you to access available resources. When accessing the service, we will work together with you to assess your situation and discuss possible courses of action. You can contact us .
Uploading the university’s assignment questions to a website is not allowed. If the university see that you have posted them on this website you could receive an allegation of contract cheating, even if you didn’t use the information, as they may think you have gained an unfair advantage. I would encourage you contact the website to request to have your questions taken down and then cancel any subscription if you have one. It is also important to be aware that the assignment questions are the university’s property and students aren’t allowed to share them on websites. If you are struggling with an assignment we recommend you discuss it with your Unit Chair. You can also utilise some of Deakin’s Study Support Services such as Smart thinking, this service offers real time online tutoring and provides writing feedback on assignments within 24 hours. Please note there is a limit of 8 assignment submissions to Smart thinking per trimester for each student. You can access Smart thinking via https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support.  Deakin’s Library also provides recommended websites and study resources for all courses https://www.deakin.edu.au/library/help/resource-guides. If you experience any difficulty getting the website to remove the questions (and/or anything else) you uploaded to the website, please contact a DUSA Advocate for assistance with this. We offer a highly confidential and non-judgmental service to all Deakin students. You can contact us.
Proofreading is one of the last things a student does before submitting their assignment. It usually involves a final check for any punctuation, spelling or grammatical errors. It is best to proofread your individual assignment yourself rather than ask someone else to proofread it for you. There are a few reasons for this. As proofreading is part of the writing process and part of the work of completing an assignment, students are generally required to proofread their own assignments prior to submission. Part of being a student is learning how to proofread effectively and a good way to learn this is through proofreading your own work repeatedly over time. It is best to allow time to do this prior to submitting an assignment. For tips on how to do your own proofreading, see: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support/academic-skills/drafting-your-assignment If you were to give your assignment to someone else to proofread, there is a risk they could do more than marking up any punctuation/spelling/grammatical errors for you to fix yourself. If they were to edit your assignment or provide you with other significant help with your assignment, this may lead to an allegation of academic integrity breach (e.g. collusion or contract cheating). You need to ensure the security of your own work. We strongly advise you against providing anyone with your assignment work, particularly in electronic form. It is very important that you do not ask another student to read or to proofread your individual assignment. This would be a breach of Deakin’s academic integrity rules unless your unit chair has specifically given you permission to do this. Consider booking a free one-to-one appointment with a Language and Learning Advisor to learn how to proofread your assignment: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support/appointments There are a couple of exceptions to the advice we’ve given above: If you are working on a group assignment, you could ask your group members to proofread your section of the group assignment (and vice versa). If you are an HDR (Higher Degree by Research) student, it may be acceptable for you to get your thesis professionally proofread prior to submission. There are certain rules to follow in terms of what is allowable and how to acknowledge this in your thesis. To find out these details, please talk to your HDR Supervisor or your School HDR Coordinator.  If after reading all of this you still feel strongly that you want someone else to proofread your assignment, we encourage you to ask your unit chair whether they would allow this. You may also want to review Deakin’s academic integrity webpages: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/academic-integrity/responsibilities We hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like to discuss this with an Advocate, please book an appointment. We can support you to understand academic integrity and to access appropriate, useful resources. You can contact us.
This is a great question! I would discourage you from using these sites, as they are unlikely to improve your grammar or proofreading skills as you may become dependent on these websites rather than learning how to improve your writing and do your own proofreading. The use of online assessment grammar tools could potentially be an academic integrity issue in some cases depending on what type of changes the tool suggests or makes. Online grammar assessment tools may be more of a problem regarding academic integrity if the website offers a log in or payment option. If the website offers advanced suggestions about word choice, vocabulary, run on sentences, tone, and more then we should suggest you do not use it. Instead of using such sites, consider accessing Deakin supports such as: Smart thinking, this service offers real time online tutoring and provides writing feedback on assignments within 24 hours. Please note there is a limit of 8 assignment submissions to Smart thinking per trimester for each student. You can access Smart thinking below. https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support If you would like further support and information, please feel free to contact a DUSA Advocate for advice. We can support you to understand academic integrity and support you to access available resources. When accessing the service, we will work together with you to assess your situation and discuss possible courses of action. You can contact us.
Deakin expects all students to act with integrity and in accordance with the Deakin Student Code of Conduct. (Hyperlink to policy https://policy.deakin.edu.au/document/view-current.php?id=192&_ga=2.34375969.1420461865.1600038723-703498786.1539292647) If you would like to report someone who you believe has cheated or is planning to cheat, you may do so via the Student Conduct form. You can find further information and how to make a report here: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/dean-of-students/student-conduct If you would like further support and information, please feel free to contact a DUSA Advocate for advice. You can contact us.
It is great to see that your mum wants to be so involved with your studies; however, you need to be careful about the help and support you receive from other people. A quick grammar and spelling check is fine, but if your mum was to contribute to, or change, the content of your assignment this could constitute a breach of Academic Integrity. If you do require some help and support with your Academic Writing can I suggest you have a look at the link below to access the Study Support services offered at Deakin. https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support This link includes information for Language and Learning Advisers - help you to understand your assessment task and provide feedback on planning, writing and revising for assessments. They can also suggest strategies to help you further develop your writing and study skills.  Writing Mentors – help with assignment writing and study strategies.  The links also includes information around tutoring and referencing guides. If you would like further support and information, please feel free to contact a DUSA Advocate for advice. We can support you to understand academic integrity and support you to access available resources. When accessing the service, we will work together with you to assess your situation and discuss possible courses of action. You can contact us.
Unfortunately, there is no exact Turnitin percentage that Deakin provides as a measure. This is because it depends on what is highlighted by Turnitin. It can also depend on the type of assignment and whether you have been provided with a template for example. Therefore, there are a range of factors that can change the Turnitin percentage. It is important that you read your Unit Guide and Assignment instructions to ensure you are meeting the requirements. If you are using any sources, be sure to acknowledge the work of others by including citations, paraphrasing or using direct quotes, and including a reference list at the end of your assignment. If you have any questions regarding the assignment requirements, reach out to your Unit Chair for clarification and advice. Language and Learning Advisers are also available to help you understand how to reference, paraphrase and learn how to interpret a Turnitin report: https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support If you have not used Turnitin before, the following link will take you to Deakin’s website explaining how to use it:   https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/help/about-clouddeakin/help-guides/assessment/plagiarism If the unit chair identifies that there is plagiarism in your assignment they may refer your assignment to the Academic Integrity Committee. You may receive an allegation of plagiarism. If you do receive an allegation, please book a time to talk to one of the DUSA Advocates so we can help you understand all of your options. If you would like further support and information, please feel free to contact a DUSA Advocate for advice. We can support you to understand academic integrity and support you to access available resources. When accessing the service, we will work together with you to assess your situation and discuss possible courses of action. You can contact us.
Plagiarism of any source is not permitted and can lead to an allegation of a breach of academic integrity. Exclusion from the University is an outcome for some breaches of academic integrity, but most outcomes are not as severe as this. Plagiarism is the use of ‘other people’s words, ideas, designs, materials, research findings or other works without proper acknowledgement.’(https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/academic-integrity/responsibilities)  If you are using any sources, be sure to acknowledge the work of others by including citations, paraphrasing or using direct quotes, and including a reference list at the end of your assignment. Language and Learning Advisers are available to help you understand how to reference and paraphrase correctly : https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/studying/study-support Plagiarism can occur deliberately, or it could be unintentional if a student does not fully understand the requirements of academic writing. Either way, plagiarism can often be detected by Turnitin. Turnitin can detect material from a wide range of sources – journal articles, text books, other students’ submitted papers and websites. If you have not used Turnitin before, the following link will take you to Deakin’s website explaining how to use it:  https://www.deakin.edu.au/students/help/about-clouddeakin/help-guides/assessment/plagiarism Language and Learning Advisors can also advise you on how to interpret a Turnitin report. If the unit chair identifies that there is plagiarism in your assignment they may refer your assignment to the Academic Integrity Committee. You may receive an allegation of plagiarism. If you do receive an allegation, please book a time to talk to one of the DUSA Advocates so we can help you understand all of your options. If an allegation of plagiarism is proven, the Committee will look at several factors when determining an outcome, including the amount of plagiarised material in the assessment, whether the student has had previous allegations, the level of the student’s experience and whether the plagiarism was deliberate or unintentional. As well as any penalties, there will be a focus on ensuring that the student develops the appropriate academic skills to avoid plagiarism in the future. Schedule A: Outcomes for student breach of academic integrity is available for students to understand the factors that are considered when determining an outcome: https://policy.deakin.edu.au/download.php?id=576&version=8&associated If you would like further support and information, please feel free to contact a DUSA Advocate for advice. We can support you to understand academic integrity and support you to access available resources. When accessing the service, we will work together with you to assess your situation and discuss possible courses of action. You can contact us.

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