Academic Integrity at VU: Getting started

Academic Integrity Modules

Study with Academic Integrity. As you start or continue your studies at Victoria University, complete the academic integrity modules. Understand what academic integrity means and why it is important to present authentic work and acknowledge the work of others.

To access these interactive modules you must be enrolled as a VU student.

You can choose to validate completion of each module in the Victoria University App by following the steps in this guide.

Academic Integrity values

"Academic integrity and honesty are integral to maintaining the academic standards and reputation of VU and its graduates. VU is committed to upholding high standards of academic integrity."
(Academic Integrity Policy https://policy.vu.edu.au/view.current.php?id=27)

Studying and working ethically is part of who we are at Victoria University. The VU Value statements are:

  • always Welcoming,
  • always Ethical,
  • always Shaping the future, and
  • always Together.

'Always Ethical' includes being fair and unbiased in the decisions we make, communicating openly and honestly, and being conscious of the impact we make. Part of academic integrity is thinking about the impact your decisions can have on others, even small things like returning books on time and honouring your library PC and space bookings are part of these values.

Each page of this guide has links out to the student Academic Integrity Modules. Work through them to gain a full understanding of how you can be ethical and work with academic integrity at Victoria University.

Fundamental Values

Research Findings

Contract cheating - Some research findings
A recent extensive survey of more than 14,000 Australian university students (Bretag et al., 2019) found that: 

  • 15.3% of students reported engaging in buying, trading or selling notes
  • 27.2% reported providing completed assignments to other students

These 2 activities are classified as ‘sharing behaviours’

  • 5.78% of all student respondents reported engaging in one or more of the five behaviours classified as ‘contract cheating’- these include paying money to obtain an assignment for submission and providing or receiving exam assistance. 
  • The use of professional online services by students still occurs considerably less often then engaging in outsourcing behaviours with people they know such as fellow students.

There are ways to avoid falling into the trap of contract cheating

  • Learning and Support services have a significant role to play in making sure students receive the help and assistance they require. Students are less likely to cheat when they feel capable of achieving successful academic outcomes.
  • The study also suggests that when strong and supportive relationships are built between students and academics, this gives students the best chance of achieving success.
  • Important factors identified which can significantly help students achieve better outcomes are the degree to which students understand what is required in assignments, and that they receive and make use of sufficient and constructive feedback.

References

Bretag, T., Harper, R., Burton, M., Ellis, C., Newton, P., & Rozenberg, P. (2019). Contract cheating: A survey of Australian university students. Studies in Higher Education, 44(11), 1837-1856. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2018.1462788

Other resources
Pens for hire (The Feed)

  • SBS program which presents an undercover investigation into the underground world of academic cheaters.