Academic integrity

Policy Change (effective May 2017)

Senate has approved changes to the Policy on Academic Integrity in the academic calendar to clarify that, “the unauthorized use of an Editor is prohibited, unless the instructor grants explicit written authorization”.

Instructor's are asked to review the policy changes:

Students are responsible for the entire content and form of their work. Nothing in this policy is intended to prohibit students from developing their academic skills through the exchange of ideas and the utilization of resources available at the university to support learning (e.g., Centre for Academic Communication, Learning and Teaching Centre).

Students who are in doubt as to what constitutes a violation of academic integrity in a particular instance should consult their course instructor.

Academic integrity requires commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility. It is expected that students, faculty members and staff at the University of Victoria, as members of an intellectual community, will adhere to these ethical values in all activities related to learning, teaching, research and service."

Academic integrity upholds the values of fairness and quality in teaching, learning and research. Instructors can model and promote this by educating themselves, by clearly communicating to students what is meant by academic integrity and by demonstrating some strategies that can be used to achieve it.

Below are resources for creating awareness about academic integrity and preventing academic misconduct, such as:

  • information sheets you can give to your students
  • guidelines for redesigning your assignments
  • examples of assignments from other instructors that teach students about academic integrity

Educate your students

  • Remind your students what forms it can take and its possible consequences by sharing the Library’s overview or handout on plagiarism.
  • The students’ section of this website makes it clear what are the rights and responsibilities of the student; find out what they are expected to know, some examples of plagiarism, and so on.
  • Be sure to indicate on your syllabus whether or not students can hire a professional editor for their written assignments.
  • Margaret Proctor, University of Toronto Coordinator of Writing Support, has developed resources to help instructors educate students about plagiarism.
  • Under Dr. Geri Van Gyn, the LTC produced a report on academic integrity and an article on how students perceive plagiarism.

Redesign assignments

Communicate clearly about policies

  • Know the policies, procedures and consquences: these are stated on your departmental website.
  • Instructors are encouraged to include a statement on the course syllabus outlining the policy regarding academic integrity.
  • As well, a strong program policy could be posted online or simply linked to the calendar statement on academic integrity.

Model integrity in teaching

  • Discuss academic integrity with your students, put a statement regarding academic integrity on your syllabus, and refer students to resources to avoid plagiarism. This is particularly crucial in introductory and foundational courses where students are being introduced to the university context.
  • Student samples are fine to use if you have the student’s permission to use it and you have been clear about its intended use.
  • The UVic Copyright Office provides up-tp-date information about what you can use in your courses, Moodle shell and course pack.
  • Retention of materials - keeping copies of the feedback you give on student work can be very helpful in the appeals process. This can be done in a variety of ways, including the use of a rubric or a typed compilation of your feedback on students’ work.

Working with TAs

  • Discuss academic integrity as part of the roles and responsibilities document with your teaching assistants.
  • Be clear about what the departmental policies are.
  • Reassure teaching assistants that their concerns about academic integrity will be taken seriously and be clear with them that they will not have to handle these issues themselves. Instead, they should refer any suspected incidents of student plagiarism in the course directly to you, the instructor.

Further resources