Academic honesty policy draft


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Academic honesty is imperative for true learning. An international Baccalaureate school, besides teaching and learning processes also focuses on fostering of ethos and values. Academic honesty or integrity and academically ethical behaviour as an essential part of the IB Diploma Program and focus are on self conduction of research and submission of authentic work. It places high value on the concept of intellectual property (IPR) and makes students aware and accountable for the ethical use of the ideas and work of others. It must be seen as a set of values and skills that promote personal integrity and good practice in teaching, learning and assessment.


To value the culture of honesty and integrity in internationally minded people underpinned by the virtues of trustworthiness, respect and responsibility. Authentic work is essential to good academic practice. This policy delineates the expectations for honest academic practice to be considered by students. It sets forth the responsibilities of staff in developing and encouraging academic honesty, and penalising plagiarism, malpractice and other forms of dishonesty.

Key Elements of Academic Honesty

An authentic piece of work is based on the candidate's individual and original ideas with the ideas and work of others fully acknowledged. Therefore, all assignments, whether written or oral, completed by a candidate for assessment must wholly and authentically use that candidate's own language and expression. Where sources are used or referred to, whether in the form of direct quotation or paraphrase, such sources must be fully and appropriately acknowledged.

Candidates must acknowledge:

All ideas and work of other persons.

Rendition of another person's words presented in a new style and integrated grammatically into the writing.

CD ROM, email messages, Web sites.

Electronic media.

Sources of all photographs, maps, illustrations, computer programs, data, and graphs, audio-visual.

Verbatim (word for word) quotes.

Works of art including music, film, dance, theatre arts, and visual arts.



Candidates are required to act in a responsible and ethical manner throughout their participation in the Diploma Program and examinations. In particular candidates must avoid any form of malpractice. The IBO defines malpractice as 'behaviour that results in, or may result in, the candidate or any other candidate gaining an unfair advantage in one or more assessment components.' Malpractice most commonly involves collusion or plagiarism.

Examples of malpractice include but are not confined to:

plagiarism: this is defined as the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the candidate's own

collusion: this is defined as supporting malpractice by another candidate, as in allowing one's work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another

duplication of work: this is defined as the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or diploma requirements

any other behaviour that gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or that affects the results of another candidate (for example, taking unauthorized material into an examination room, misconduct during an examination, falsifying a CAS record).

The following examples of malpractice do not constitute an exhaustive list and refer mainly to the written examinations

taking unauthorized material into an examination room (for example, an electronic device other than a permitted calculator, own rough paper, notes, a mobile phone) regardless of whether this material is used or potentially contains information pertinent to the examination

misconduct during an examination, including any attempt to disrupt the examination or distract another candidate

exchanging or in any way supporting, or attempting to support, the passing on of information that is related to the examination

copying the work of another candidate

failing to comply with the instructions of the invigilator or other member of the school's staff responsible for the conduct of the examination

impersonating another candidate

stealing examination papers

using an unauthorized calculator during an examination

disclosing or discussing the content of an examination paper with a person outside the immediate school community within 24 hours of the end of the examination

fabricating data for an assignment.

Additionally Teachers and Coordinators must not engage in the following actions:

the unauthorized rescheduling of an examination

failing to keep the examination papers secure prior to an examination

opening examination paper packets prior to an examination

providing a candidate with undue assistance in the production of any work (whether written

or oral) that contributes to the assessment requirements of the Diploma Programme leaving candidates unsupervised during an examination

allowing additional time in examinations without authorization from the IBO

releasing an examination paper, or otherwise disclosing information about the content of a paper, within 24 hours of the end of the examination.

Further elaboration is provided regarding collaboration and collusion to provide clarity regarding commonly confused concepts.

Collaboration - Collaboration includes working in groups to achieve a shared goal and is a common form of assessment in which all members of the group are expected to participate equally. Group work may be face to face, in discussion boards, blogs and wikis for example. The protocols of acknowledging sources still apply. Permissible collaboration includes the following:

Discussion with other students regarding issues raised by the assessment item.

Discussion with other students regarding means by which to address the issues raised by the assessment item.

Collaborate in the location of, and sharing, sources of information relevant to the item of assessment. Impermissible collaboration includes the following:

Collaborate with other students or persons in the writing of all or part of the student's submissions for the assessment item.

Collaborate with other students or persons in the writing of all or part of any other student's submissions for the assessment item.

Provide a copy of his or her work in respect of that item of assessment to another student.


Is a form of plagiarism that can occur as a result of inappropriate collaboration during group work.

Occurs when two or more people work secretly for the purpose of deliberately misleading others.

It involves working with someone with the deliberate intention to mislead. This could involve working with someone else to produce work which is presented as your own when, in fact, it was the result of secretly working with someone else.

Can be avoided by taking own personal notes of what is happening during group work sessions.

It is collusion if a student allows another to copy an assignment even if that student changes the words to make it look like his own before submission.

For further examples of malpractice refer to the IB Guidelines for Academic Honesty.

Roles and Responsibilities:

The head of school, or his or her nominee, must ensure that

all candidates:

understand what constitutes academic honesty and an authentic piece of work

understand what constitutes malpractice, particularly plagiarism and collusion

receive guidance on the skills of academic writing and acknowledging sources

know the consequences of being found guilty of malpractice.

Establish a school culture that actively encourages academic honesty.

Support the IBO fully in the prevention, detection and investigation of malpractice.

Understand additional responsibilities in the event of a candidate being investigated for malpractice.


Provide instruction and scaffolding necessary for students to use ethical research practices including opportunities for feedback via the drafting process.

Provide students with consistent advice on good academic practice whenever necessary.

Support the Academic Honesty Policy and complies with the school defined standards for acknowledging sources.

Confirm, to the best of his or her knowledge, all students' work accepted or submitted for assessment is the authentic work of the student.

Provide students clear guidelines on academic writing and referencing styles required in each subject (candidates can preferably use the format provided by the Modern Language Association (MLA), which produces a handbook for writers of research papers, now in its sixth edition (2003). The MLA maintains a web site at

Provide clear information on assessment requirements in each Unit Outline, especially concerning aspects involving individual and/or collective assessment.

Provide clear guidelines on group work, especially concerning assessment and division of tasks among group members and monitoring of group work to ensure fair assessment.

(or supervisors in the case of extended essays) are also required to sign the coversheet for work that is being submitted to an examiner for assessment or for the purpose of moderation in the case of internal assessment. (This does not apply to examination scripts.)

Inform students that school extensively and regularly uses online services and web-based systems such as, and resourced online libraries of books and journals (for example, to detect plagiarism.


Have ultimate responsibility for ensuring that all work submitted for assessment is authentic, with the work or ideas of others fully and correctly acknowledged using school defined reference standards

Should seek clarity from Teachers and Teacher Librarian during assignment process and regarding any aspect of Academic Honesty guidelines.

Must sign a coversheet for all externally assessed components (except examination scripts) and all internal assessment to confirm that his or her work is authentic and to confirm that the work being submitted for assessment constitutes the final version of the work.

Have to sign a declaration stating that all work they submit for assessment will be their own authentic work. This would effectively cover all class assignments, homework assignments and work undertaken for internal assessment. However, this does not negate the need to sign the candidate declaration on coversheets submitted with work for assessment or moderation.

Can preferably use the format provided by the Modern Language Association (MLA), which produces a handbook for writers of research papers, now in its sixth edition (2003). The MLA maintains a web site at

Academy Processes and Procedures

The Academic Honesty Policy has been developed in accordance with the IB Diploma Program general regulations.

All students and teachers will receive a copy and explanation of the policy at the beginning of the course.

All teachers will receive training on implementation and monitoring of the policy.

Students will receive formal training regarding standards for acknowledging sources and referencing styles required in each subject

Students and parents will sign the Assignment Ethical Practice Code attached to each assignment.

Teachers will provide further advice and guidance to students on implementation of the Academic Honesty Policy and the development of good academic research practices.

The school affirms that through proactive guidance as well as with consistent and persistent practices, any behaviour which may lead to malpractice will be identified early and rectified before an incident occurs.

Investigation of Intentional Malpractice:

The Head of school/IB Coordinator will investigate any suspected malpractice.

The teacher will notify the IB Coordinator with supporting documentation if malpractice is suspected. The teacher will not make an open allegation to the student and any suspicion of malpractice will be kept confidential to the process.

The IB Coordinator will determine whether malpractice has taken place based on information gathered through the investigation. The investigation will include interviewing the student and allowing the student to provide explanation.

The IB Coordinator will inform the parents of the process irrespective of the outcome.

If evidence of malpractice is confirmed, the student and parents will be notified in writing and informed of the consequences. Appeal provisions will accompany this correspondence.

An appeal must be submitted within 7 school days of the date of the letter. The Principal will consider the appeal. The Principal's decision will be final and will be communicated to the student and parents in writing.

Copies of all records of investigation, correspondence and the assessment item will be kept on the student's subject file.

Consequences of malpractice:

A. Summative externally assessed assignments

If any part or whole of the student's work is suspected of not being authentic, that work must not be submitted to the IBO. One of the following courses of action may be followed:

If malpractice is identified prior to the formal submission date to the School but prior to IB submission, then the work will be required to be revised and resubmitted in time to meet the formal assessment due date. If the student fails to resubmit by the formal date, an F will be recorded.

If malpractice is detected, once the assessment has been formally submitted on the due date and confirmed following investigation, an F will be recorded on the appropriate mark sheet and no grade will be awarded for the subject concerned. This may seriously impact on the student's eligibility for the Diploma under IB rules.

If teachers detect malpractice after work has been formally submitted and accepted for assessment to the IB, the IBCA must be informed. The IB Diploma or a Certificate may be withdrawn from a candidate at any time if malpractice is subsequently established.

B. Formative assessment

Following investigation of an allegation of malpractice, if on the balance of probabilities a student has committed malpractice then the following consequences will be applied:

Intentional malpractice

If malpractice is identified prior to the formal submission date, then the work will be required to be revised and resubmitted in time to meet the formal assessment due date. If the student fails to resubmit by the formal date, an F will be recorded.

If malpractice is detected, once the assessment has been formally submitted on the due date and confirmed following investigation, an F will be recorded on the appropriate mark sheet and no grade will be awarded for the subject concerned. The end of term/semester report will reflect the student has failed to fulfill the course requirements for the period.

The student will be required to resubmit the assignment which will be marked for diagnostic purposes and in order for the student to complete IB course fulfillment requirements.

Unintentional malpractice

The item will be marked with the result taking into account the malpractice. This result will be used in the term/semester report.

Action to be taken by the school and the IBO if a candidate is found guilty of malpractice

The emphasis of Hogwarts policy is on prevention, and on students learning the appropriate skills of correctly referencing work. As an international college, we are aware that students come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and it may take them time to understand this policy. This is not to say that plagiarism is tolerated. However, it may be that in the first instance the student is handed back work and asked to reference it properly. Repeated offences will mean that more severe action will be taken.

Some work (at present Extended Essays and ToK long essays) will be put through for checking.


A student pastes a paragraph from the internet into an essay that he is writing for homework.

The student will be reprimanded by the teacher, and required to do the work again.

Two students hand in identical or excessively similar homework / practical reports, etc.

The students will be reprimanded by the teacher, and required to do the work again, handing in separate reports.

A student copies a paragraph from a book into an essay that he is writing for internal assessment.

The incident will be reported to the IB Diploma Coordinator and the Dean of Students.

The student will be required to do the work again.

The student's name will be added to a list of students who have brought themselves under suspicion.

A student copies from another during an internal exam.

The incident will be reported to the IB Diploma Coordinator. The student will receive a 'N' grade for that exam, which will go on her or his transcript. (If there is not a second offence, this may not be reported to universities when applications are made.)

The student's name will be added to a list of students who have brought themselves under suspicion.

A student plagiarises some of his or her Extended Essay, perhaps as indicated by

The student to be seen by his or her supervisor and the IB Diploma Coordinator together.

To be reprimanded and told to rewrite the essay within a short time frame.

The student's name will be added to a list of students who have brought themselves under suspicion.

A student is caught on more than one occasion.

The case to be referred to the Director of IB Courses for further action.

Such repeated offences could lead to suspension, or even expulsion from the College.

A student brings unauthorised material (e.g. some notes on a piece of paper) into an IB exam.

The incident will be reported to the IB Diploma Coordinator / Director of Studies.

A report will be made to the IB, following the procedures given in their publication - Academic Honesty - Guidance for Schools.

How do we educate students about academic honesty?

PSHE programme

session on plagiarism associated with the Extended Essay briefing;

session on referencing;

(information on Hogwartsexam rules given out at regular weekly meetings);

information on IB's rules given out at mocks briefing and final exams briefing.

Information on the student intranet:

Academic Expectations

Coursework and Exams

Written References - Style Guide

IB College Regulations for IB Courses

This policy

IB publications

IB Poster - Ethical Practice - (Passworded)

IB publication - Academic Honesty - Guidance for Schools - (Passworded)

For further details refer to International Baccalaureate Organization 2007, 'Diploma Programme Academic honesty, Published September 2007.

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