Academic integrity policy in MH

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY AT HAMRAHLÍÐ COLLEGE (MH)

The school’s mission is to cultivate all elements of students’ development and to promote their active participation in a democratic society by fostering a student-centred learning environment. A key component of our students’ development is their ethical behaviour and the school aims to cultivate this by promoting personal integrity, responsibility and academic honesty. The school expects both staff and students to participate in creating an environment of progressive learning and teaching. Academic integrity is thus encouraged at all levels of the school community from teachers and administration to students and parents. To this end, the school’s Academic Integrity Policy is informed by three key traits of the IB learner profile as it seeks to develop principled and reflective thinkers.  

WHAT IS ACADEMIC INTEGRITY?

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) defines academic integrity as “a guiding principle in education and a choice to act in a responsible way whereby others can have trust in us as individuals. It is the foundation for ethical decision-making and behaviour in the production of legitimate, authentic and honest scholarly work” (2019, p.3). Accordingly, academic integrity goes beyond students knowing the rules and consequences of academic misconduct at the school, and rather encompasses the broader ethical development of students as well as the ethical culture of the entire school community. Teachers, students, parents/guardians and administrators are expected to reinforce the principle of academic integrity in all school-related work. For teachers, administrators and students, academic integrity includes but is not limited to[1]:

  • Producing authentic and genuine individual and group work
  • Making the source of one’s knowledge and understanding transparent by fully acknowledging all source material, including primary, secondary and tertiary sources (whether they are written, spoken, visual or audio texts)
  • Properly and consistently citing one’s sources and providing a bibliography when needed according to an appropriate academic referencing system
  • Using information technology and social media responsibly
  • Observing and adhering to ethical and honest practice during examinations (for students: not taking unauthorized material into exams, not talking to other students or disrupting other students during exams; for teachers: properly monitoring students during exams, not allowing students unauthorized additional exam time, not providing unauthorized help during exams; for administrators: ensuring that IB rules and regulations regarding examinations are met, providing a sufficient number of trained invigilators to oversee exams)

WHAT IS ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT?

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) defines academic misconduct as“behaviour that results in, or may result in, the student or any other student gaining an unfair advantage (or a behaviour that disadvantages other students) in one or more assessment components” (2016, p.12). It should be noted that academic misconduct includes both deliberate and unwitting behaviour. Not knowing what constitutes academic misconduct does not acquit one from its consequences and penalties.

According to theIBO’s General Regulations: Diploma Programme(2016), academic misconduct includes the following categories and definitions (p.12-13):

a. Plagiarism: this is defined as the representation, intentionally or unintentionally, of the ideas, words or work of another person without proper, clear and explicit acknowledgment

b. Collusion: this is defined as supporting academic misconduct by another candidate, for example, allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another

c. Duplication of work: this is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or DP core requirements

d. Misconduct during an IB examination (for example, taking unauthorized material into an examination, behaviour that disrupts the examination or distracts other candidates, or communicating with another candidate)

e. Unethical behaviour such as the inclusion of inappropriate material in any assessment materials or the breach of ethical guidelines when conducting research

f. Any other behaviour that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate (for example, falsifying a CAS record, disclosure of information to and receipt of information from candidates about the content of an examination paper within 24 hours after a written examination via any form of communication/media).

Other examples of academic misconduct include:

  • Copying the work of another candidate or allowing one’s work to be copied by another candidate
  • Completing an assignment for another student
  • Submitting the work done by another student, parent, friend or private tutor
  • Not acknowledging sources, whether deliberately or unwittingly
  • Falsifying data used in an assignment
  • Falsifying CAS records and journals
  • Falsifying lab data or work
  • Stealing examination material and/or exam papers
  • Bringing unauthorized material into the examining room such as unauthorised software on a graphic calculator, smart phones, smart watches, laptops, tablets, wireless headphones, and other electronic devices
  • Disrupting an examination or failing to comply with the rules set by the invigilator
  • Impersonating another candidate

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT?

Internal Procedures and Penalties at MH[2]

Internal procedures and penalties are those enforced by the school for incidents of academic misconduct relating to homework, classwork, lab work, essays and internal exams which do NOT include final work submitted to the IBO towards completion of the Diploma Programme (such as final exams, Written Assignments, Individual Orals, the CAS project and portfolio, Comparative Study and Process Portfolio, the TOK essay and the Extended Essay), but may include early drafts of such work. 

First offence on minor assignments (such as homework, classwork, lab work, CAS entries, small projects and quizzes):

  • The teacher makes the student aware of the gravity of the matter and the student is given the opportunity to respond to the charge.
  • The student is reminded of the school’s Academic Integrity Policy and the IB categories of academic misconduct.
  • If the student is found guilty of academic misconduct, they may or may not be given the opportunity to re-do the work in question (this decision is made at the discretion of the teacher).
  • If the student is not given the opportunity to re-do the work, then the student receives a zero for the given work.
  • The teacher makes a note of the incident and keeps relevant evidence on file.
  • The student is made aware of the consequences of committing further offences of academic misconduct. 

First offence on major components of MH course assessment[3] (such as midterm and final exams and major term assignments/papers/projects) OR second offence on minor assignments:

  • The teacher makes the student aware of the gravity of the matter and the student is given the opportunity to respond to the charge.
  • The teacher informs the DP coordinator and the principal and submits any statements and evidence of academic misconduct.
  • If the student is found guilty of academic misconduct, the student is given a zero for the work and could face both removal from the course and suspension from the school.
  • The incident is recorded in the Learning Management System (INNA) and accessible only to administrators.
  • The student is made of aware of the consequences of committing further offences of academic misconduct. 
  • If the student is under 18 years of age, their parents are informed by the principal or DP coordinator.

For IB students only: First offence on major subject components completed outside the exam room before submission to the IBO (CAS project, TOK essay, EE, WA, CS, PP and other IA work):

  • The teacher makes the student aware of the gravity of the matter and the student is given the opportunity to respond to the charge.
  • The teacher informs the DP coordinator and the principal and submits any statements and evidence of academic misconduct.
  • If the student is found guilty of academic misconduct, the student is given the opportunity to re-do the work, but could face suspension from the school.
  • The incident is recorded in the Learning Management System (INNA) and accessible only to administrators.
  • The student is made of aware of the consequences of committing further offences of academic misconduct. 
  • If the student is under 18 years of age, their parents are informed by the principal or DP coordinator.

Second offence on major components of MH course assessment (e.g. midterm and final exams, major term assignments/papers/projects) or second offence on IB work intended for eventual submission to the IBO (CAS project, TOK essay, EE, Written Assignments and other IA work) OR third offence on minor assignments:

  • The teacher informs the DP coordinator and submits any evidence of academic misconduct. The principal is informed.
  • The DP coordinator and/or the principal meet with the student and the student is given the opportunity to respond to the charge. If the student is under 18 years of age, their guardian is invited to be present at the meeting.
  • The student is invited to present a written statement that addresses the suspicion of academic misconduct.
  • If the student is found guilty of academic misconduct, the student will receive no credit for the course and may face removal from the subject in question, expulsion from the Diploma Programme and further disciplinary measures such as expulsion from the school.
  • The incident is recorded in the Learning Management System (INNA) and accessible only to administrators.

Note: If the student’s first offence is in one subject, say Chemistry, and subsequent offences are in another course, such as Psychology, the student will face consequences in the subject in which they committed their last offence (in this case Psychology)

External Procedures and Penalties

If questions arise about the authenticity of a candidate’s final submission of work towards completion of the diploma programme (such as IA, WA, EE, TOK essay, CAS portfolio or final exams) the school will follow IBO procedures as outlined in Article 21 of General Regulations: Diploma Program (2016) and Academic Integrity (2019).

  • The school will conduct an investigation and provide the IB with statements and other relevant documentation concerning the case.
  • The DP coordinator will lead the investigation and collect all relevant statements and documentation from parties involved, i.e. the teacher or examiner and the student.
  • In such cases, the student must be invited to present a written statement that addresses the suspicion of academic misconduct.
  • The majority of cases of suspected academic misconduct will be presented to an IB sub-committee of the Final Award Committee. If the sub-committee decides that a case of academic misconduct has been established, a penalty will be applied in the subject(s) concerned.
  • If no grade is issued for a subject that contributes to a candidate’s IB Diploma, no IB Diploma will be awarded to the candidate.

For a detailed account of IB investigation procedures and penalty matrices for both school maladministration and student academic misconduct, please consult the appendices of the IBO’s publication Academic Integrity (2019).

The rights of the student, if suspected of a breach of academic integrity

Students suspected of academic dishonesty are given a chance to explain themselves to the teacher, the DP coordinator and/or the principal.

Students who face severe consequences for academic transgressions, such as a fail grade for a whole course, expulsion from the DP or expulsion from the school, have the right to have a parent or another advocate present for discussions about their case. Before a decision is taken regarding suspension or expulsion from the school, and in accordance with article 13 of the Icelandic Administrative Procedures Act (stjórnsýslulög 13.gr.), the student and/or their guardian/advocate have the right to review all evidence relating to the case and to put forward any objections or recommendations.    

HOW TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND AVOID ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT?

The responsibilities of students

Pre-IB and DP students are independent learners and Hamrahlíð College emphasises their independence. The school expects its IB students to strive to fit the IB learner profile by being reflective thinkers and principled inquirers and acting with integrity and honesty.

It expects its students to exercise academic integrity and good academic practices in all their work, both oral and written, whether it be produced in class, outside class, or on final exams.  This includes projects, assignments, homework, lab work, lab reports, CAS documentation and reflections, essays, research papers and creative work.  Good academic practices include acknowledging any sources used within an assignment, carefully citing them and including a bibliography using an appropriate academic referencing system. This applies equally to sources in print, online and other recorded forms, whether audio or visual.

Students must understand what constitutes academic malpractice, which includes but is not limited to plagiarism, duplicate use of work, collusion of malpractice with another student and misconduct during examinations. If students are unsure whether something constitutes academic misconduct they should consult their teacher or the DP coordinator. It is ultimately the students’ responsibility to familiarise themselves with the school’s Academic Integrity Policy.  Not being informed of what constitutes plagiarism does not excuse students in the case of academic misconduct.

Students are also expected to respond to acts of student academic misconduct and school malpractice and report them to their teachers, the DP coordinator and/or the principal.

How can students avoid academic misconduct and practise academic integrity?

  • Become familiar with the school’s Academic Integrity Policy
  • Always strive to complete your work on your own
  • Do not give your work to another student
  • Do not copy work from another student
  • Refrain from receiving unauthorized assistance in the completion or editing of work, such as from friends, relatives, other students, private tutors, essay writing or copy-editing services, pre-written essay banks or file sharing websites
  • Refrain from giving undue assistance to peers in the completion of their work
  • Always acknowledge your sources, whatever they be (in print or online)
  • When giving an oral presentation, always state whose work or words you have used
  • Do not present the same work for different assessment components
  • Learn how to cite (reference) sources using the appropriate style
  • When in doubt, ask you teacher, supervisor, DP coordinator or a librarian
  • Submit your work on Turnitin
  • Show a responsible use of the internet and social media platforms
  • Report any incidences of student, teacher or school malpractice to your teacher, DP coordinator or principal

The use of Turnitin

The school currently has access to the online plagiarism detection service Turnitin and both teachers and students are expected to use it. All students are encouraged to submit on Turnitin both drafts and final versions of word-processed work which constitutes a major component of course assessment. If students refuse to submit their work on Turnitin, teachers can refuse to evaluate the work and students risk receiving a zero for the given work. Before final submission to the IBO, DP students are required to submit on Turnitin the final version of most work submitted towards the IB Diploma Programme which is completed outside the exam room (such as the EE, the TOK essay, and Written Assignments). The school may refuse to submit student work to the IBO based on the Turnitin search results or if a student refuses to submit their work on Turnitin.

The responsibilities of teachers

Teachers should help foster principles of academic integrity among students and promote the ethical culture of the school by providing a supportive environment for students that informs and corrects students rather than merely punishes them for academic misconduct.  In order to provide sufficient support to students, teachers are responsible for acquiring a detailed knowledge and understanding of their respective subject guides as well as relevant IB regulations and policies. To enable students to effectively produce work according to IB’s expectations, teachers should plan a manageable workload for their students, provide appropriate feedback, and allow students to submit practice drafts when appropriate. Teachers should also remind their students regularly of the school’s Academic Integrity Policy and the consequences of academic misconduct.

Individual subject teachers are expected to regularly demonstrate and remind students of appropriate ways to carry out research and acknowledge sources.  All student research papers should be carefully cited and accompanied by a bibliography. Subject teachers are responsible for introducing the academic conventions in their field.

When appropriate (for example in research papers, projects and oral presentations based on primary, secondary or tertiary sources), teachers should incorporate assessment criteria for  components such as bibliographies, in-text citations, the quality of sources used and how the sources are used.

Teachers should regularly confer with each other to keep up to date on the assignments their students undertake. They are also expected to keep a record of incidences of academic misconduct. Teachers are strongly encouraged to use Turnitin technology to verify all longer essays and written work by students.

Teachers are expected to respond to student academic misconduct, follow relevant protocol as outlined in the school’s Academic Integrity Policy and support any IB investigations. Teachers are also expected to respond to school maladministration and support the school’s and IB’s investigations as outlined in the IBO publication Academic Integrity (2019).

The responsibilities of the DP coordinator

The DP coordinator must ensure that the school’s Academic Integrity Policy is regularly reviewed and consistent with the IB expectations regarding academic integrity. The DP coordinator should also make sure that both teachers and students clearly understand the school’s Academic Integrity Policy. To this end, the DP coordinator should hold regular meetings with faculty members to verify they have a clear understanding of IB expectations and discuss any changes to the school’s Academic Integrity Policy. The DP coordinator should also inform the students’ parents of the school’s expectations regarding academic integrity. The DP coordinator should ensure that the school’s Academic Integrity Policy is easily accessible to all relevant parties, including teachers, students, parents, and IB exam invigilators.

The responsibilities of the school

It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that its students receive guidance in academic integrity and training in the correct use of sources in academic work. This guidance should take place at various places and stages: in formal classes in the pre-IB programme; with the help of the school’s librarians; in individual subject classes when introducing major assignments, such as the IAs; and in discussions between students and their EE supervisors.

Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the school to make sure that teachers are trained in new technology to help promote academic integrity and kept up to date on new developments in the IB’s policy.

The responsibilities of parents

DP students are independent learners. It is expected that parents provide students with a supportive learning environment at home. It is also expected that they allow students to make their own mistakes. Parents should not produce, edit or re-write student work.

Other measures taken to provide education and support

Pre-IB students receive an introduction to the IB’s and the school’s Academic Integrity Policy. This is reinforced in the DP courses and at the start of all major DP assignments (EE, TOK essay, IAs).

The school’s librarians are always available to students for assistance with referencing and appropriate source searching.

The school also acknowledges that proper citation and referencing is a learning process. Students who make mistakes in citations and bibliographies have the opportunity to correct them, and students who are suspected of academic dishonesty may be given an opportunity to address the problem, amend their work and resubmit.

REVIEWING THE ACADEMIC INTEGRITY POLICY

The school’s Academic Integrity Policy should be reviewed regularly, at least every five years and every time the IB updates its Academic Integrity Policy.

Any change in the policy has to be approved by the pedagogical leadership team, but the policy can also be reviewed in a DP teachers’ meeting.

December 2019
Soffía Sveinsdóttir, Alda Kravec, Steinn Jóhannsson.
Bibliography
International Baccalaureate Organization. (2019). Academic Integrity. Retrieved from:
https://www.ibo.org/contentassets/76d2b6d4731f44ff800d0d06d371a892/academic-integrity-policy-english.pdf
International Baccalaureate Organization. (2016). General regulations: Diploma Programme.
Retrieved from: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/become-an-ib-school/dp-general-regulations-sept-16-en.pdf
International Baccalaureate Organization. (2014, updated 2016). Academic Honesty in the IB
Educational Context. Retrieved from: https://resources.ibo.org/data/g_0_malpr_sup_1408_2a_e.pdf
International Baccalaureate Organization. (n.d.). Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme.
Retrieved from: https://resources.ibo.org/data/g_0_malpr_sup_1601_1_e.pdf

[1] The following list is developed from the IBO’s description of academic integrity as it appears in Academic Integrity (2019), p.3.

[2] According to Article 21.1 of the IBO General Regulations: Diploma Programme (2016), “If questions arise about the authenticity of a candidate’s work before submission for assessment, the situation must be resolved within the school.”

[3] What constitutes minor and major components of course assessment is ultimately determined by the teacher in light of both term assessment and IB subject assessment. However, anything worth 20% or more of the term evaluation can be considered a major component.  

 

Síðast uppfært: 30. desember 2019