Understanding your responsibilities
What are your responsibilities as a UOW student?
As a new student you are now part of UOW's academic, social, and international community. As with any community, there are things you are expected to know, and be able to do.
You can't expect to know everything in the first few weeks, but you can start by getting familiar with your own role and responsibilities as a student. These are listed in the UOW Student Charter which is worth reading as it includes some useful and inspiring tips about your rights and responsibilities, including the need to develop and uphold the values of academic integrity.
You and some of your classmates are sitting near each other in the library and you are panicking about your first essay which is due tomorrow. You see one of your classmates leave their computer to go to the printer. While they are gone, another student, also in your class, leans over and appears to be making a copy of their essay.
What would you do?
The video below shows students responding to this scenario.
What is academic integrity?
Academic integrity involves behaving responsibly, with the principles of honesty, fairness and trust. It means behaving ethically, and being responsible for your own learning.
Having attended the Orientation sessions and read your Subject Outlines, you will realise that UOW takes academic integrity very seriously. It is critical to the learning, teaching and research activities of all students and staff.
It even has its very own policy, the Academic Integrity Policy.
Every Subject Outline has a reminder of academic integrity expectations. You are expected to live up to these expectations.
Why should academic integrity be important to you?
Imagine this: You have finished your degree, you know that you have worked really hard and you have done all of your own work. You have really earned your degree and feel ready to start in your chosen career. It feels good, right?
That's why it is important. Integrity and ethical behaviour extend beyond your academic study, future employers will expect you to be honest, and to be able to demonstrate what you have learned at University.
Isn't academic integrity just about being a good person?
As a student, academic integrity is very much related to how you work and perform in your assessment tasks. However, what is considered 'ethical' or 'honest' can vary in different contexts.
You may come across a situation where you were allowed to act in a certain way at school or in another educational system, but find it is not allowed at UOW. For instance, many students in high school are allowed to copy ideas or words from text books or the internet without referencing, but at university, this is called plagiarism, and is a type of academic misconduct.
Don't assume that behaving with integrity is a simple black and white choice, and that you would never break the rules. Always check with your teacher, or subject coordinator, if you have any doubt at all about what you are doing. It is really important that you work according to UOW's rules of appropriate conduct around the preparation and submission of assessment tasks. Breaking these rules is considered academic misconduct and can have serious consequences.
Acting with academic integrity means that:
- You do your own work in all assessment tasks including group work. Your performance in an assessment task indicates how well you are able to apply your knowledge and skills.
- You are not tempted to use someone else's work, even if a class-mate offers to help you out by sharing their work.
- You are very wary of non-UOW online services that offer to help you with your assessment tasks. Often these will ask you to pay for editing or writing help. These sites can look very attractive and professional, however, they are cheating sites, and students who use these contract cheating sites are breaking the rules. You are cheating if you ask someone else to prepare your assessment task for you, or if you pay a service to do it.
Is this academic integrity?
Not correct. Plagiarism is a type of academic misconduct. Avoiding plagiarism is important, but it is not a definition for academic integrity.
Correct. This is the UOW definition of academic integrity, which you can find in the Academic Integrity Policy.
Not correct. This is good behaviour but relates to general conduct rather than academic integrity or academic misconduct. You can find out more in the Student Conduct Rules.