4.7 Plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct
The Colleges Academic Misconduct: Policy and Procedures outlines how the College deals with cases of suspected academic misconduct in detail. Academic misconduct is defined in the policy as plagiarism, collusion, use of misleading materials, cheating, bribery or use of paid services or sabotage.
The College seeks to ensure that all students understand the nature and implications of academic misconduct. Therefore, the first written assessment at Level 4 is essentially diagnostic. This allows students to explore good academic practice (in written work) and for tutors to offer feedback where work falls short of expected standards, particularly in regard to plagiarism, without imposing penalties.
Academic misconduct is rare in the College, but as a visiting tutor you may occasionally suspect students of plagiarism, particularly in written work. Sometimes this is simply poor academic practice where students either hurriedly or badly prepare a piece of work for assessment. It often involves bad referencing where the work may be referenced and cited, but not using the correct format or system. It may include a paraphrase which only slightly alters the original source or incorporate so many reference texts that there is very little evidence that the student has engaged with the topic in question. Whilst such scenarios might not reflect plagiarism they do show a lack of individual thinking based on the teaching a student has received and should therefore be penalised by using the normal assessment criteria.
Academic misconduct is taken very seriously by the College and carries substantial penalties. Therefore, if you suspect that a case is more than just bad academic practice, you should discuss the matter with your Programme Director, who will advise you on the appropriate procedure.