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The definition of academic integrity

integrity, n. \in-te-gr-t\

1. the quality of being honest and fair, and

2. the state of being complete or whole. (Integrity,
How do these definitions of integrity relate to what we mean by academic
integrity? In terms of the first definition, academic integrity means being
honest and fair with regard to all scholarly activity from completing
assignments to sitting exams.
But the second definition of integrity is also relevant. You shouldnt be honest
and fair just because youve been told to do so or because you are afraid of
the consequences of not doing so. Rather, its important for you to understand
and value academic integrity as an expression of your own beliefs about what
is good and right. In other words, by conducting your study and research with
integrity, you make complete or whole the relationship between your own
judgement and action. This means that you achieve with integrity, according
to both definitions given above.
Tell us what you think:

Think about the concept of academic integrity. What

behaviours and actions do you associate with it?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

0:22Skip to 0 minutes and 22 secondsWhat does the phrase "academic

integrity" mean to you? What values do you think this phrase invokes? Let's
hear what it means to some of our students. Honesty. I guess it means
fairness. And you can show honesty and fairness by acknowledging ideas of
others when you've used them. Like in groups, everyone has to contribute
equally instead of someone taking over the whole group project. Trust. Doing
your own work. My teachers trust me to create my own work. Yeah, not
cheating. Respect. And that means taking responsibility for my own work.
Great. These are all values that underpin what we mean by academic
integrity. To that list, you might add one more, courage.
1:05Skip to 1 minute and 5 secondsWe need courage, mental and moral
strength, to stand up and do the right thing, especially when doing so might be
unpopular and costly. All of the values mentioned here are part of the
Fundamental Values project. Fundamental values, like what we've just been
talking about. Sounds kind of serious. Just like what we were saying, fairness
and stuff. But what is the Fundamental Values project? Good question. The
Fundamental Values project was created to define a set of values for
academic integrity and to identify and describe policies and practises that
promoted those values. Specifically, the set of fundamental values defined
included six values, honesty, respect, trust, fairness, responsibility, and
1:51Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsThey're fundamental because they serve
as the foundation upon which all healthy academic communities are built and
sustained. Like me, you are now part of an academic community. And like me,
you too are now obliged to act in accord with these values in all your
academic endeavours. OK. You've seen earlier what these values mean to
our students. Now you have a think. What do they mean to you? How might
they serve to guide and ground your behaviour as a student?

Test your knowledge



Milans final year project involves working in a small

team to prepare a comprehensive business plan. He
shares responsibility for presenting:
A proposal.
Board meetings and progress reports.
The completed business plan.
The professional presentation.
How might Milan demonstrate academic integrity in
this assignment?

By contributing the expected, or more than expected,

amount of time and effort.

By letting the best students do most of the work to get the

best result.

By persuading the others to abandon their ideas in favour

of his own standards.

Jason Stephens (Lead Educator)

Correct. Milan shows integrity by committing himself to

shared responsibility for this task. Perhaps one student
could create the perfect final result, but the process of
working together is part of the learning experience.
Students feel disrespected if they are given too much work
and if they have little opportunity to contribute.


Jenna, Mei Ling and Grant are all enrolled in a course

in English Literature. Jenna is a talented runner and is
training seriously for an upcoming marathon. With
such a heavy training schedule she cant do her best
work for the next essay by the deadline. Mei Ling and
Grant want to help her. Which of the following
solutions allows all three students to demonstrate
integrity and ensures Jenna learns by doing her own
Grant and Mei Ling:

Recommend useful course readings

Lend Jenna the notes from their references

Lend Jenna an electronic copy of their own assignments


Jason Stephens (Lead Educator)

Correct. If Jenna starts her assignment by reading
recommended texts, she can form her own
understandings of these texts and refer to them in ways
that support the points she wants to make in her own
original writing.


When Melissa sees the topics for the next History

essay she is excited because she wrote about one of
the topics in a History of Education course last year.
Which course of action below shows that Melissa is
researching with integrity?

Melissa picks a new topic to research and write about.

Melissa saves time by changing the title of her previous

Education essay and handing it in.

Melissa revises roughly half of her Education essay and

hands it in as a new assessment.

Jason Stephens (Lead Educator)

Correct. This is consistent with the values underpinning
academic integrity such as fairness, honesty and trust.
Melissas actions are aligned with her desire to conduct
her research with integrity.


Which of the following is NOT one of the fundamental

values of academic integrity?







Jason Stephens (Lead Educator)

Although it is good to strive for excellence in your

academic work, it is not one of the six fundamental values
of academic integrity. The six fundamental values are:
Respect, Courage, Responsibility, Trust, Fairness,

Transition from different environments to university

Different environments give rise to different interpretations of academic
integrity. The concept of ownership of words and ideas may vary
according to the environment you find yourself in. Expectations of
academic behaviour may vary between school, university and your work
For example, in a work situation a team may work together on a project and
produce a co-authored piece of written work, and this is perfectly acceptable.
However, in a school or university situation, the expectation may be that
students produce their own individual work, unless they are explicitly directed
to work on a group project. If you are expected to produce your own work but
submit a co-authored piece of work, it could be considered plagiarism.
As you move from your original environment - be it school, a different country,
or a workplace - to university, you need to understand the academic
environment you are moving into.
Understanding the academic culture you are working in is important to
achieving with integrity.
Watch the video above. While you are watching, reflect on your own
ideas about what is appropriate academic behaviour.

1. What is your current understanding of what is, and

isnt acceptable? Note: This is a broad topic, so you
may want to focus on one aspect of academic

2. Do you think your views might change as you

transition from your original environment, eg your
school or home country, to university? If so, how?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Academic integrity in the university environment

When you start university, you join an academic community. Everyone in
this community is engaged in learning, teaching and research activities
that are intended to benefit society.
In order to achieve this, the academic community must conduct itself with
integrity. This means that certain values or standards are expected of
In this first week we have looked at the six fundamental values that underpin
academic integrity. A healthy academic environment will always demonstrate a
commitment to these values.
Through the eyes of different students we also explored the experience
ofmoving from our original environment into university and how this changed
our expectations.
As a student working within this environment, you have freedom and
independence in the creation of your academic work. You are trusted to
present work that truly reflects your own learning. This means creating work
that is original. Being original does not mean you need to come up with ideas
that no one else has ever thought of: it simply means you need to produce
your own work, in your own words.
Your work may borrow words or ideas that other people have already
expressed. That is expected, but you need to clearly acknowledge (or
reference) where those ideas or words came from. We will look at how to do
this in Week 3.
When you present the work of others, even if you reference their ideas, you
still need to include your own reflection or understanding of their words or
ideas. This will show your lecturer that you have understood what others are
saying and how their ideas support your own work.

Why should you care?

This week we have looked at the values which form the foundation of
academic integrity. Next week we will be looking at academic
dishonesty. In preparation for this wed like you to think about the

Do you think that acting dishonestly or cheating at

university can impact other areas of your life? If so,

Heres an article to get you thinking (Cascio, 2014).

Share your opinions in the discussion, as well as any useful links you find
which support your argument. Remember, if you see any discussion postings
you agree with, you can Like them.
This is the end of Week 1.
The University of Auckland