It’s a trap!
You may have come across websites that offer resources like lecture notes, summaries, study guides and file sharing to students. These websites often advertise directly to students, and they appear at the top of your google searches and even through your social media. However, you need to be very careful about these types of websites. If you are asked to share an old assignment or Deakin materials in order to access their resources, think again. Uploading your work to these third-party websites is a form of contract cheating, a serious breach of Deakin's Student Code of Conduct and Student Academic Integrity Policy.
You should not interact with suspicious websites and alert Deakin of any offers you may receive by third-party 'assignment help' services. Uploading your work to these third-party websites may result in you being permanently excluded from Deakin University. You can report suspicious websites to Deakin by contactnig Student Life at email@example.com.
Most students think of Contract Cheating as having someone else complete all or part of their assignment for them. This includes asking family or friends to do the work for you, or paying a company that promotes 'study or assignment help' However, Deakin also considers sharing of your own assignments to third party websites for personal gain, i.e. accessing study notes, as a breach of Academic Integrity. The risk of having your work publicly available is not just one, but many other students could potentially copy your work from anywhere in the world!
Read on for a cautionary tale.
(Case study de-identified for privacy)
James* received an allegation of a breach of Academic Integrity; specifically collusion. James made an appointment with the DUSA Student Advocacy and Support Service to receive assistance in responding to the Faculty Academic Integrity Committee. In discussion with the Advocate, James soon realised that the allegation was actually in relation Contract Cheating. The allegation named another student and alleged their assignment and his were very similar. James did not know the other student named in the Collusion allegation and was very confused. However, he remembered accessing a website in the previous year for study notes to prepare for one of his exams and was asked to upload a completed assignment in order to have access. This assignment was then copied by another Deakin student a year later. The Advocate assisted James to respond to the Committee with a written submission and attend a zoom meeting. James received a proven allegation and was penalised with zero marks for the assignment he had uploaded, impacting on his final mark for the unit from the previous year.
Advocates understand receiving an allegation of a breach of Academic Integrity can be a very stressful process to go through. If you have any questions or concerns regarding Academic Integrity matters, you can meet with a DUSA Advocate for support. DUSA Advocates will keep your information private and confidential, and they are independent from Deakin. You can fill out our online form to make a free confidential appointment.
How can I make sure I don’t break the rules?
If you’re a commencing student this trimester, complete your mandatory Academic Integrity unit now. You will have been automatically enrolled in this compulsory unit, which will help you develop knowledge, skills and good practice principles during your study, so that you avoid allegations such as plagiarism, collusion and contract cheating. The unit will take about two hours to complete and you’ll find it in the My Units tab of DeakinSync.
Make sure you are across all the various aspects of academic integrity and the University’s expectations of you. Visit Deakin’s Academic Integrity webpage which explains how to uphold these standards and gives you helpful advice and resources, and make sure you’re adhering to the expectations of Deakin’s Student Code of Conduct and Student Academic Integrity Policy.
Remember genuine study support services are available at Deakin. While we understand that university study can be difficult at times, you shouldn’t feel like you need to cut corners or breach ethical standards to succeed. If you need help with your assignments or preparation for your assignments or exams, use the help that is provided by Deakin – this way, you know it’s legitimate. Check out the full range of study support available at Deakin and remember that the best source of help is your Unit Chair or teaching team. They’re here to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
To contact the Advocacy team, fill in the online web form here.
For general information regarding an allegation of Academic Integrity read more information here.
If you would like to know more about what an Academic integrity meeting is like read the FAQs here.