1. Introduction

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to protect the College’s academic integrity and the integrity of the qualifications and assessments we deliver, recognising that incidents of malpractice and/or maladministration can adversely affect students and undermine public confidence. The College takes malpractice and maladministration incidents very seriously and will investigate all allegations as fully as possible and immediately refer allegations to other bodies such as the relevant awarding organisation.

1.2 Incidents of proven breaches of academic integrity may result in disciplinary This policy should therefore, be read in conjunction with the College’s Academic Misconduct Policy.

2. Definitions

2.1 Malpractice is defined as ‘non-compliance with the regulations pertaining to the assessment process (including the conduct of examinations), which may adversely affect the integrity of a qualification, its assessment and the validity of learner certificates’. Malpractice includes acts, default or practice which compromises, or attempts to compromise the process of assessment, the integrity of any qualification, or the validity of a result or certificate; and/or damages the authority, reputation or credibility of any awarding organisation or centre or any officer, employee or agent of any awarding organisation or centre. Examples include acts of plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct on the part of students.

2.2 Collusion is defined as unauthorised co-operation to gain an This may occur where students have collaborated on a piece of work which is then submitted as an individual effort or where one student has allowed another to use their work. In the latter case, both students may be found guilty of a breach of academic integrity.

2.3 Commissioning is defined as the requesting and/or purchase of a piece of work from a third party and the submission of this work (in whole or in part) for assessment as the work of the The College views this as an extremely serious offence which will attract a severe penalty.

2.4 Essay mills are businesses where customers pay for a custom essay writing It is an academic offence to submit any essay received this way, whether the content is a piece of original writing or plagiarised from elsewhere.

2.5 Plagiarism is defined by Christ the Redeemer College as the use of another person’s work or ideas within an assignment without following the conventions for acknowledging sources. This includes the unauthorised use/copying of another student’s work. This also includes internet sources and any other form of paper or electronic medium. The offence does not require any deliberate intent by the student to be proved but the extent of deliberation involved may affect the nature of the penalty.

2.6 Self-plagiarism is defined as the further use by a student of identical or nearly identical portions of their own work for a further/new assessment, without acknowledging the source of the content by citing the original work.

3. Breaches of academic integrity

3.1 It will be regarded as a breach of academic integrity for any student to commit an act whereby they seek to obtain for themselves or for another student, an unfair advantage, as detailed in the College’s Academic Misconduct Policy.

3.2 Breaches of academic integrity will be taken to include:

3.2.1 Impersonation of another candidate or knowingly allowing another candidate to impersonate them.

3.2.2 Copying or communicating with another candidate in a formal, timed examination.

3.2.3 Introducing into an examination room any unauthorised aid or sources of information.

3.2.4 Fabrication of the results of work which the student claims to have undertaken (for example experiments, interviews, observations or other forms of research and investigations) which they have not carried out or results which they have not obtained.

3.2.5 Undertaking research without ethical approval, not adhering to the parameters given ethical approval, not securing informed consent in the manner set out in the student’s approved ethics application.

3.2.6 Colluding with others to present work which is not their own (including the commissioning of work, for example, through the use of essay mills).

3.2.7 Plagiarism or otherwise misrepresentation of their participation in and responsibility for any material submitted for assessment.

3.2.8 Unauthorized or unacknowledged use of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate content for assessments will be considered a form of plagiarism.

4. Turnitin

4.1 Students’ work is submitted to the Turnitin plagiarism detection service to safeguard against plagiarism and encourage proper use and citation of sources. Once submitted, the work forms a part of the Turnitin database.

4.2 To enable a student to experience submitting an assignment electronically, the front page of the College’s VLE provides an opportunity to submit a ‘practice assignment’. This one piece of work will not be stored in the Turnitin database.

4.3 The College’s VLE assignment links connect to the Turnitin service and present the student with a Similarity Report. Students can then resubmit if they have time before the deadline. Similarity Reports take approximately 30 minutes to be produced. Tutors will also be able to see the Similarity Report when they assess submitted assignments.

4.4 Students need to keep copies of all their work, as they may be required to resubmit their work, for any number of modules, at any time, in order for it to be run through Turnitin. It is the responsibility of students to demonstrate that the work they submit is their own. They must keep electronic copies of their work and are advised to keep all drafts and notes.

4.5 The maximum permissible plagiarism and AI usage similarity score for all academic levels using Turnitin is set at 25% for each tool (Plagiarism and AI similarity). This means that any submitted work, such as essays, research papers, or assignments, should have a plagiarism similarity index of less than 25% and AI usage similarity index is set to 20% as well to ensure academic integrity and originality.

5. Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

5.1 The College recognizes the growing significance of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the higher education sector. While AI offers numerous advantages in research and coursework, it is crucial to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity and ensure that AI tools are used responsibly. This policy outlines the College’s guidelines for the responsible use of generative AI, emphasizing the importance of accuracy, proper citation, academic honesty, and addressing unauthorized use.

5.2 There are areas of academic study in which ChatGPT (or similar tools) may be helpful in study, including:

  • Immediate answers to short questions
  • Sourcing technical definitions
  • Identifying search keywords
  • Generating prompts and formulating questions
  • Engaging with class or revision notes
  • Structuring research (but not argument)
  • Basic coding (following guidance from tutors)

5.3 Systems like ChatGPT will inevitably become more complex and more over the coming months and years. While higher education courses may present ethical, responsible and approved opportunities to engage with AI, the following guidelines are intended to help students develop vital employability skills. Students should always disclose where they have used tools like ChatGPT and be open and transparent in their use.

5.4 There are vital parts of student assignments where ChatGPT (or similar tools) should not be used including:

  • Original and distinctive expression
  • Demonstrating understanding and critical thinking
  • Structuring and refining an argument
  • Reflecting on your practice and personal experience
  • Keeping up to date with research
  • Accurate referencing and citations

5.5 It is important for students to recognise that they are not being marked on how well they can reproduce content, but rather on their own ideas, abilities, perspectives, research and understanding.

6. Guidelines for the use of Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)

6.1 Accuracy of AI – The College encourages the use of AI to enhance academic work. However, it is imperative that students and faculty exercise caution and diligence when utilizing AI-generated materials. AI systems, like ChatGPT, have limitations and may produce inaccurate or incomplete content. Therefore, students remain responsible for carefully reviewing and verifying the accuracy of AI-generated materials before incorporating them into their coursework.

6.2 Supplementing with AI – Generative AI tools can serve as valuable aids in brainstorming, idea generation and content creation. Nevertheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that AI cannot replace the fundamental process of independent learning, critical thinking and research. AI should complement students’ academic efforts but should never substitute them entirely.

6.3 Citing AI-Generated Work – Academic integrity remains paramount at the College and all AI generated material used in coursework must be properly cited. Given the unique nature of AI-generated content, it should be cited as ‘personal communication’ followed by the name of the AI tool or system used, the date of communication (Month, Date, Year), and the source, if applicable. This citation format ensures transparency and acknowledges the use of AI in academic work. Example: “(AI Tool Name, personal communication, Month, Date, Year)”.

6.4 Unauthorized Use of AI – The College acknowledges that tools like ChatGPT may influence the nature of higher education assessments in the future. However, the core activities of programmes of study will not substantially change. Students will still be expected to demonstrate their own understanding of complex ideas, apply these ideas to specific contexts and critically evaluate information.

6.5 The College currently defines the unauthorized use of AI in academic assignments as False Authorship – a form of plagiarism. Unauthorised and/or unacknowledged use of ChatGPT (or similar tools) to generate content for assignments will therefore be considered plagiarism and will carry appropriate penalties.

6.6 The score is not by itself the only factor that will be considered but there are other elements as per academic judgement as put in this policy. Refer to Section 4, point 4.5.

7. Managing Proven Cases of Breach of Academic Integrity

7.1 Any form of malpractice or academic misconduct will be treated seriously and if proven will directly impact on assessment judgements.

7.2 In cases of proven malpractice on the part of students, decisions as to what constitutes appropriate sanctions will take into consideration the severity of the case – i.e. the form and extent of the malpractice, the time at which the malpractice takes place in the learning experience, whether there have been previous cases of malpractice involving the same student, and sanctions given out to other students previously in similar circumstances.

7.3 Sanctions should be commensurate with the level of the proven malpractice, and the following examples, though not an exhaustive list, should act as a guide:

Level of security Type of malpractice Examples of plagiarism Learning journey / malpractice offence Examples of possible sanctions
Low-Medium Collaboration leading to unintended similarity of work submitted by multiple students Poor / inconsistent referencing Early stage of learning journey / First malpractice offence Resubmission of work with problems addressed.
Medium Sections of assessed work with high similarity rating Ideas / arguments unattributed More advanced stage of learning journey / First malpractice offence Assignment / unit / module failed. Resubmission grade capped.
Medium-High Copying of others’ work and/or evidence of commissioning a third party to undertake assessment on behalf of the student Significant pieces of uncited text copied from other sources / Deliberate attempt to circumvent plagiarism detection software More advanced stage of learning journey / Multiple malpractice offences Withdrawal from programme.

7.4 Assessors, teaching staff and/or module leaders may request a viva voce where a potential breach of academic integrity has been identified (for example, plagiarism and collusion, including the use of essay mills). This will be agreed by the Chair of the relevant Programme Assessment Board.

7.5 Any student against whom disciplinary action has been taken, or who has been found guilty of a breach of academic integrity, will not be deemed to be in good standing with the College.

7.6 Students that have been formally withdrawn from their programme of study by the College as the result of a breach of academic integrity who are eligible for an exit award, will not be invited to attend Graduation, unless sanctioned by the Principal/Rector.

7.7 Any entitlement to a certain classification of that component, module or unit (including merits or distinctions or their equivalents) may be set aside at the discretion of the Programme Assessment Board in the light of findings of an Academic Integrity Panel following a case of academic irregularity. The Programme Assessment Board may fail a student who has otherwise passed the programme concerned if academic misconduct is subsequently proven.

8. Managing proven cases of breaches of academic integrity

8.1 The student has the right of appeal against the decision of the Student Appeals and Conduct Panel if they believe:

  • The decision of the Panel was unreasonable in the light of the evidence supplied.
  • The procedure for the hearing was deficient in a way which materially prejudiced their case.
  • That further evidence has become available since the hearing which would materially affect the decision.

8.2 Appeals against decisions of the Panel will be heard by a second Panel made up of people who have not been involved previously.

8.3 To appeal against the decision of the Student Appeals and Conduct Panel, the student must do so within ten working days from the date on the hearing outcome letter. The student must complete the appeals form (and will need to contact the Assessment Office to receive the form) to set out their reasons for the appeal.

8.4 The Rector shall establish a new panel made up of people who have not been involved previously. Normally, the Panel shall review the case based on the existing case documentation, unless new evidence has become available and there is a good reason why it was not available previously.

8.5 The new Panel may:

  • Uphold the original panel decision;
  • Set aside the penalty and/or substitute an alternative penalty;
  • Refer the matter back for further consideration by the original panel.

8.6 The student shall receive the outcome, in writing, normally within one week of the appeal stage decision.

9. Approval and review

Title: Academic Integrity Policy
Approved with reference to: QAA Quality Code.
Version: 2023.1.
Approved: October 2023.
Implementation from: October 2023.
Next review: August 2024.
Approving body: Academic Board.
Member of staff responsible: Exams and Assessment Officer.

Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee – 6 October 2023
Paper C – Academic Integrity Policy