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Policies

1. Academic Honesty

Academic Honesty Policy

Wotton House International School

  1. Aim and Rationale

WHIS strives to encourage and instil a robust culture of academic honesty. It is our aim to nurture personal integrity and to promote an understanding of academic honesty as good practice in learning and assessment. We subscribe to the International Baccalaureate (IB) definition of academic honesty as essentially meaning "making knowledge, understanding and thinking transparent". Understanding the concepts of how knowledge is constructed comes before the technical aspects of academic honesty such as accurate citing. The attributes of the IB Learner Profile help create a learning environment in which students can make visible the development of their own thinking. Academic honesty is part of being "principled", a learner profile attribute where learners strive to 'act with integrity and honesty and take responsibility for their own actions.

 

Having an explicit academic honesty policy ensures that procedures for this practice are transparent, fair and consistent. It describes the rights and responsibilities of all members of the school community so that everyone understands what constitutes good practice, and misconduct (or malpractice), and what actions are to be taken if there are transgressions. The policy is dynamic and will help to ensure that students are taught good practice in all aspects of their work. 

  1. Responsibilities: Academic honesty is taken seriously in secondary school. At the start of each school year, students and parents will be asked to read and sign a document to show they have understood. Details and advice of responsibilities of the main stakeholders are outlined below.

 

  1. Student Responsibilities: A recognition of expectations and responsibilities with regard to producing authentic work. 

  • Confirm understanding of academic honesty with signature on Code of Conduct form each year.

  • Report malpractice violations to a trusted school employee.

  • Work to produce authentic work

  • Understand that putting your name on an assignment certifies it as your own work, cited appropriately.

  • Minimise malpractice temptation by balancing time appropriately.

  • If an incident of malpractice occurs, either intentional or unintentional, complete the reflection process with your instructor.

  • Understand proper citation expectations for assignments, examples of which should be displayed in classrooms and study areas (eg Harvard (most common), MLA or APA where appropriate). See Glossary for details and examples.

  • Ask for guidance when you are unsure.

 

  1. Teacher Responsibilities: Providing opportunities for students to practice and to learn how to use other people’s work in support of their own, including the responsibility to teach awareness of misconduct and procedures. 

  • Communicate appropriate collaboration versus collusion with each assignment. 

  • Teach a recognised citation convention for written and non-written works.

  • Demonstrate and model academic honesty in presentations, etc.

  • Report and record academic dishonesty through a behavioural comment on ManageBac.

  • Ensure students understand that when they submit a task as their own, they are representing that they have not received nor given aid on assignments or assessments. Teachers can opt to ask students to use their signature to explicitly assure this point if needed.

  • Minimise temptation for malpractice in assignments/assessment situations.

  • Communicate with students, parents, counsellors, administrators with concerns and malpractice offenses.

  • Involve students in reflection/discussion in the instance of malpractice.

 

  1. School Responsibilities: Including responsibility for maintaining fairness and consistency, providing a safe environment, providing professional development for teachers, promoting parent awareness, assisting student learning. 

  • Support academic honesty policy and investigate all counsellor/teacher reports of malpractice.

  • Ensure that all staff, students, and parents understand definitions, responsibilities, and repercussions.

  • Ensure the academic honesty policy is applied consistently throughout the school.

  • Provide staff development and guidance on academic writing and referencing systems that are available.

  • Explore available plagiarism detection services.

  • Provide teachers with material to guide students in maintaining academic honesty.

  • Investigate incidents of malpractice.

  • Make parent and student contact to reflect on malpractice incidents. 

 

  1. Parent Responsibilities: How parents can help students; what is helpful and what is not helpful to the student. 

  • Read and sign Acknowledgement form. 

  • Encourage your child to practice academic honesty.

  • Encourage your child to cultivate a culture of academic honesty in school.

  • Address concerns of academic misconduct/malpractice with school personnel if necessary.

  • Monitor any hired tutors to assure authentic student work.

Measures taken to provide education and support

  • We encourage academic honesty through study skills and independent learning. All pupils are encouraged to be principled in their work. However, understanding concepts pertaining to academic honesty such as plagiarism and practical skills such as referencing can be difficult. With this in mind, the school provides support and guidance on these study skills, Moreover, in all school years emphasis is put on independent learning and thinking, to steer pupils away from unattributed reference to the work of others instead of producing their own. Older pupils submitting work for public examinations will become aware of:

  • Intellectual and creative property rights 

  • The difference between collaboration and collusion 

  • The importance of acknowledging sources and how to do this.

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  • Guidance on good practice and malpractice

  • Academic Honesty: this involves positive emphasis on the importance of authenticity of pupil work, of acknowledging the work of others (including referencing websites) and how to do this in order to support one’s own work. Further, academic honesty includes understanding and putting into practice the difference between paraphrasing rather than copying, collaboration rather than collusion and influence instead of plagiarism.

  1. Malpractice: Contraventions of academic honesty include: 

  • Plagiarism is defined as the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the candidate’s own

  • Submitting work that has been completed by someone else as one’s own

  • Submitting work which is the result of a joint effort or collaboration between many people as solely one’s own work. Collaboration is acceptable and encouraged insofar as it involves two or more pupils working on a project, but pupils must then write up their findings separately. 

  • Collusion is defined as supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another.

  • Making up data for coursework or a controlled assessment

  • Duplication of work is presenting the same work for different assessment components and/or JCQ/IB requirements.

  • Bringing in unauthorised material into an exam room

  • Communicating the content of a public exam paper outside the school community within 24 hours of the examination

  1. Regulations for examinations, controlled assessments and coursework: With regard to public examinations which are undertaken with the IB and other examination boards, GIS adheres to regulations provided by bodies pertaining to the qualifications for which the pupils of studying, including JCQ and the IB. Pupils are clearly notified about expectations in relation to these regulations with appropriate frequency.

  1. Age-appropriate Guidance:

 

MYP1-3 The academically honest student: 

DOES 

DOES NOT 

Acknowledge help from parents, older students and friends 

Acknowledge information taken from books, the Internet or persons 

Acknowledge the source of direct quotations 

Acknowledge reference materials in a bibliography 

Knows what constitutes cheating and abides by the rules 

Follow all test/exam rules 

Use notes during a test unless allowed by a teacher 

Copy from another student during a test 

Copy from the homework of another student 

Give another student his/her own work to copy 

Hand in work as his/her own that has been copied 

Do homework for another student 

MYP4 – MY5 The academically honest student: 

DOES 

DOES NOT 

Keep and maintain accurate, personal course notes 

Understand and abides by the school’s expectations concerning academic honesty 

Acknowledge, in an appropriate referencing format, help from another person 

Ask beforehand what kind of external help is permissible 

Acknowledge, in an appropriate referencing format, information taken from a wide variety of sources 

Follow all test/exam rules 

Copy work of another student 

Give another student his/her work to copy 

Do the homework of another student 

Submit work done by another student, a parent or a friend 

Use notes during a test unless allowed to by the teacher or the examination rules 

  1. Procedures and Rights

    1. Reporting, recording and monitoring To ensure consistency and fairness when mistakes are made, it is important that GIS keeps central records of each situation and the consequences; while each incident may be treated on a case-by-case basis by the teachers themselves, or by a senior administrator or panel if serious enough, central records will help ensure consistency, and may also highlight general trends or problems with particular students.

 

  1. Student Rights Again, to ensure consistency and fairness, students’ rights need to be made explicit. For example they must always be given the right to explain themselves; they may have a parent, peer or teacher present in any discussion of a problem or incident, particularly if the consequences are especially heavy. 

 

  1. Sanctions

    1. Pupils found to have been acting academically dishonestly will be dealt with appropriately. Among other sanctions, younger years (MYP 1-3) would have to amend or redo the work and the importance of academic honesty will be reiterated. For older pupils (MYP 4 and above), opportunities will be presented for pupils to resubmit work, but repeat offenses may lead to weightier sanctions and discussions among relevant parties concerning the pupils’ suitability for their chosen course of study. 

    2. For pupils submitting examinations or portfolio work for external qualifications and/or taking public exams, the details of any indiscretion will be forwarded to the appropriate bodies which may result in the pupil being withdrawn from the qualification and disqualified from taking exams for that examination board or body. 

    3. The IB takes issues of academic malpractice very seriously, the following is an extract from the General Regulations which outlines the potentially serious implications of ‘academic misconduct’ (malpractice):

    4.  

    5. 21.7 ‘If the sub-committee decides that a case of academic misconduct has been established, a penalty will be applied in the subject(s) concerned. The penalty will, in the judgment of the sub-committee, be commensurate with the severity of the misconduct. If a case of academic misconduct is considered by the Final Award Committee to be very serious, the Final Award Committee may decide not to issue a grade for a candidate in the subject(s) concerned and additionally prohibit the candidate from being registered in any future examination sessions.’ (IBO, “General Regulations: Diploma Programme 2016,” Cardiff, Wales: IBO, 2015, p. 14)

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