What is Academic Misconduct? The question most students aren’t asking until they accidentally commit an offence.

“You need to come in to discuss a suspected case of academic misconduct in your recent assignment” are the words no students wants to read. All programme handbooks provide a link to the academic misconduct policy, but at 12 pages long its hardly the thing most motivating thing for students to read. When you start university you are expected to read the policy along with what feels like the 1000 other things, so it’s easy to understand why the average student wouldn’t have any clue where to find this policy, let alone what was in it.

Every year students therefore are accidently breaking this policy and being pulled into disciplinary procedures after committing offences they didn’t even know they were committing. Of course there are cases of deliberate academic misconduct, but the majority of cases have been identified through investigation to have arisen due to the student’s ignorance. As you can imagine the disciplinary process is a highly stressful situation for students, especially when consequences can include getting a mark of 0 for an assignment they’ve poured hours into, or even having their studies terminated.

Here at DUSA we have heard this feedback and we have tried to develop a solution that doesn’t require half an hour of reading a document that includes some very inaccessible language like draconian (what does that even mean?!). This solution is a 3 minute animated video developed by the wonderful team at the Centre for Technology and Innovation in Learning. This explains all the types of academic misconduct and how to avoid them. It’s short, sweet and I guarantee it’s a lot easier to watch than going through a disciplinary procedure! It even has panda’s as the main characters!

If you feel you have committed one of these crimes, or are being taken through a student disciplinary as you are accused of committing one of these crimes please contact your students association, DUSA The Union, as they can support you. 

If you want more information read the full UoD policy.