Plagiarism Information for Teachers

Definition

Plagiarism is the copying, paraphrasing or summarising of work, in any form, without acknowledgement of sources, and presenting this as your own work.

Plagiarism – what it means to you as a teacher

Students must be prepared to submit work that is a true reflection of their ability in each subject so that:

  • The student can develop an appreciation of their own strengths and weaknesses, can learn effectively and honestly and grow intellectually
  • The integrity of the ACT Senior Secondary Certificate, which is based on continuous assessment, can be maintained

College Responsibilities

  • Inform students about plagiarism and the appropriate ways of acknowledging sources. Positive advice should be offered about how students can avoid plagiarism.
  • Inform students that any incident of plagiarism will be treated as a serious breach of discipline in assessment.
  • Inform students of the penalties that may be imposed and the processes to be followed, (including the Appeal process), if an incident of plagiarism is indicated.
  • Institute practices that will assist in the verification of student work that is completed outside the classroom.
  • Institute a process whereby work submitted includes a statement from the student, on each assessment item completed outside class time, to the effect that work presented is his or her own.
  • Ensure that all new students have advice on how to avoid plagiarism well before their first assessment item is due.
  • Give advice to teachers on the following aspects, which will complement the Board Policy on Plagiarism:
    1. how to support students so that they do not engage in plagiarism (including teaching referencing skills and being aware of cultural differences)
    2. how to detect plagiarism (including the possible use of plagiarism detection software) and to determine reasonable grounds on which  accusations of plagiarism might be made (remembering the principle of innocent until proven guilty)
    3. how to discuss the issue with students, for example by giving them the opportunity to provide evidence of authorship
    4. issues involved in determining appropriate penalties (according to the seriousness of the offence and whether the student has offended previously).
  • Develop proper recording mechanisms for incidents of plagiarism.

Positive Actions for Teachers

  • Ensure all students understand the principles of academic honesty.
  • Be aware of why students might plagiarise.
  • Ensure all students understand all aspects of both the school and BSSS plagiarism policy.
  • Investigate strategies that will make responses to assessment tasks difficult to plagiarise.
  • Try to detect plagiarism in the interests of equity for all students.
  • Require a cover sheet on all student work, signed by the student, stating that the student understands plagiarism issues and has not engaged in plagiarism.

Principles behind the imposition of penalties:

  • Any work that is found to be plagiarised will incur a penalty ranging from a reprimand and warning, in writing, through to the cancellation of all assessment results for Years 11 and 12.
  • Students who unintentionally plagiarise must be given appropriate counselling and guidance so that they do not repeat the offence.
  • The impact on unit scores of the penalties imposed for serious and repeated instances of plagiarism will be managed in accordance with the Board of Senior Secondary Studies policies.

Procedures for situations involving plagiarism:

  1. Any suspected case of plagiarism must be investigated at the school level.
  2. The principles of natural justice must be applied at all stages in the process.
  3. Any student suspected of plagiarising work must be given a fair hearing and the opportunity to provide evidence of authorship.
  4. If there is evidence of plagiarism the student must be interviewed by the teacher and the head of faculty and given the opportunity to explain his/her case before a penalty is determined.
  5. If plagiarism is shown to have occurred, then the teacher, in conjunction with the head of faculty, Principal or Delegate as appropriate, should determine the penalty, taking into account the principles and the penalty schedule listed.
  6. The student must be advised, in writing, of the penalty and informed that s/he has the right to appeal the penalty under the Breach of Discipline procedures of the Board.
  7. Details of any case of plagiarism must be recorded and the record kept centrally at the school.

Penalties

First incident

One or more of the following penalties to be imposed subject to the degree of the infringement: (a) to (f)

Subsequent breach(es) of discipline

One of the following penalties to be imposed subject to the breach(es) degree of the infringement and previous of discipline: (b) to (g)

Penalties to be applied

Any one or more of the following actions could be taken for a breach of discipline in relation to assessment:

  1. reprimand, except in cases where benefit would have been derived from such breaches
  2. the making of alternative arrangements for the assessment (e.g. through a reassessment)
  3. the assessment marked without the material subject to the breach being considered
  4. imposition of a mark penalty appropriate to the extent of the breach
  5. cancellation of the result in the particular component of the college assessment concerned
  6. cancellation of the total college assessment result in the unit/course concerned
  7. cancellation of all results for years 11 and 12 in assessments conducted.

These penalties apply irrespective of the unit/subject/course in which the incident(s) occur.

Right of Appeal

Students have the right to appeal against the application and/or the outcomes of the above procedures. Refer to Board Policy on Breaches of Discipline in relation to school-based assessment and Your Rights to Appeal

What's Plagiarism? Advice for Teachers pdf icon (339 KB)