Student Handbook

9. ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND MISCONDUCT

9.1 ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

With the opportunity to study at AFTRS comes the responsibility to work at a high level of academic integrity at all times. You are responsible for ensuring the academic integrity of your academic and creative work in the following ways:

  • Engage in all educational activities with honesty and fairness;
  • Collaborate respectfully;
  • Produce and submit original work specifically for a particular assessment;
  • Acknowledge the work of others in your assignments;
  • Seek permission to use the work of others where appropriate;
  • Take reasonable steps to prevent your work from being used by others without credit;
  • Inform yourself about the expectations of your course, subjects and all assignments and the tools which you are required to use (Moodle - learning management system, Turnitin, etc.);
  • Take advantage of the support offered to develop a comprehensive understanding of appropriate referencing, citation and copyright;
  • Proactively seek assistance as required.
9.2 ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT

AFTRS expects you to engage in your studies to the highest standard, based upon the principles of academic integrity, honesty, and a respect for knowledge and ethical practices.

This requires acknowledging the ideas, materials, concepts, processes and practices of others that have been used, borrowed or developed through the use of appropriate citation and referencing conventions. When this is not practised it is plagiarism, i.e. The presentation of another’s ideas or work as one’s own. If you are unsure about what constitutes plagiarism, or if you need advice on how to correctly cite sources you have referenced, contact the Library or Education Unit for assistance.

Plagiarism is a form of misconduct with distinct penalties.

Plagiarism includes:

  • Submitting, as one’s own, an assignment that another person has completed.
  • Downloading information, text, computer code, artwork, graphics or other material from the internet and presenting it as one’s own without acknowledgement.
  • Quoting or paraphrasing material from a source without acknowledgement.
  • Using visual material without permission or acknowledgement.
  • Preparing a correctly cited and referenced assessment from individual research and then handing part or all of that work in twice for separate subjects/marks.
  • The outsourcing of production work to others and submitting it as one’s own without acknowledgement.

Plagiarism and copyright infringement are separate offences: while some acts of plagiarism also constitute copyright infringement plagiarism is an offence against the rights of an author and a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, whereas copyright infringement is a crime. You cannot avoid infringing copyright by crediting the author or owner of the material.

Other forms of prohibited academic misconduct include: deception, including the falsification of attendance records; exam misconduct, such as copying and the use of prohibited materials; the fabrication or undisclosed manipulation of research results; and sabotage. Some types of academic dishonesty, such as collusion, may not be offences in other contexts, but constitute misconduct when they occur during the completion of assessment tasks and penalties will apply.

If you are unsure about how to acknowledge the work of others, what tasks you are permitted to complete collaboratively, or what constitutes academic misconduct, please contact your lecturer or the Head of Teaching and Learning.

9.2.1 Investigation of Academic Misconduct

You are required to confirm that all assignments are your work upon submission. The school uses Turnitin to help with checking the originality of submissions.

AFTRS has adopted an educative approach to academic misconduct. If the offence is minor, you will be issued with a verbal warning by the Course Leader/Lecturer, and given support to understand what constitutes academic misconduct and how to prevent it in future. Minor penalties may apply – see Section 9.2.2 below.

When a Course Leader/Lecturer suspects an instance of academic misconduct they will report the matter to the Head of Teaching and Learning, identifying the grounds of the allegation. The Course Leader/Lecturer will discuss the matter with the Head of Teaching and Learning to determine the level of the alleged conduct (not a violation, minor, moderate or serious).

If the conduct is found to be moderate or serious, the Head of Teaching and Learning or their delegate, will write to you outlining the allegations and ask you to respond to the allegations in writing. You may be required to attend a meeting with your Course Leader/Lecturer. You will also be placed on the At Risk Register.

If the response indicates that the plagiarism is serious, the matter will be directed to the Director of Award Courses, who will either call for further investigation through the Misconduct Policy or determine the penalty.

The results of this process will be recorded and kept on file.

9.2.2 Penalties for Academic Misconduct

The level of intent to deceive and the extent of the academic misconduct will be the principal criteria for determining penalties. Minor infractions may arise from a failure to understand academic referencing techniques and similar issues. In these cases, you will be given the chance to learn and be supported in that learning. A deliberate intention to deceive and gain unwarranted advantage will attract severe penalties.

The following penalties may be imposed if you are found guilty of academic misconduct:

  • A reduced mark for the assessment task
  • A requirement to undertake specific workshops and obtain academic support in order to learn more about plagiarism prevention
  • Placement on academic probation through registration on the At Risk register
  • A requirement to undertake an additional assessment task in that subject that will be capped 50% mark *A mark of 0% for the assessment task
  • A ‘fail’ grade for the subject
  • Exclusion
9.3 MISCONDUCT

Any behaviour that violates the Student Code of Conduct is taken seriously. If you are found in breach of the Student Code of Conduct, or of other applicable AFTRS’ policies or rules, you may have committed misconduct.

AFTRS may terminate your enrolment at any time for misconduct.

Misconduct includes (but is not restricted to) conduct involving:

  • Wilful behaviour leading to harm, or potential harm, to person(s) including bullying, discrimination or harassment, or to property within AFTRS’ premises or during an activity which forms part of an AFTRS’ course of study;
  • Theft or vandalism within AFTRS’ premises or during an activity which forms part of an AFTRS’ course of study;
  • Disorderly conduct within AFTRS’ premises or during an activity which forms part of an AFTRS’ course of study;
  • Online behaviour involving staff or students that breaches the Student Code of Conduct, even if it occurs on communication platforms that are not administered by AFTRS;
  • Violence or threatened violence within AFTRS’ premises or during an activity which forms part of an AFTRS’ course of study;
  • Being found guilty of criminal offences affecting AFTRS;
  • Plagiarism.

Should an issue of misconduct arise, you will be given the opportunity to discuss the matter informally in the first instance with your Course Leader or the Head of Teaching and Learning.

9.3.1 Misconduct Investigation

Where it is believed you have committed misconduct and the matter is not resolved in your initial discussion with your Course Leader or the Head of Teaching and Learning, the allegation may be referred to the Director of Award Courses. The Director may convene a Misconduct Committee, depending on the nature and seriousness of the allegation. The committee will include the Director of Award Courses (Chair), the relevant Lecturer and the Head of Teaching and Learning, or their delegates as necessary.

The committee’s function is to investigate allegations of a student’s misconduct and make recommendations to the CEO, or delegate. The person who has initiated the misconduct process will not be a member of the committee.

If you are required to appear before the committee in relation to your alleged misconduct, you are entitled to have a support person at the hearing. You must advise the Chair if a support person will be attending.

The Head of Teaching and Learning will provide the Secretariat function for the committee.

The Chair will provide a written report including recommendations to the CEO, or delegate within five working days of the committee meeting. The report will identify those responsible for implementing the recommendations. The CEO, or delegate, may request further discussion or information before making a decision. The CEO, or delegate, will convey their decision to the Chair of the Committee and to you within five working days of receipt of the report. The decision will be in writing and will be sent to your AFTRS’ email address.

9.3.2 Misconduct Appeals

You may appeal against a decision made by the CEO, or their delegate, arising from a misconduct investigation, but only on the basis that due process was not carried out. Appeals must be lodged in writing with the CEO or their delegate within 10 working days of you receiving notice of their decision.

The Misconduct Appeals Committee will consist of the CEO or their Delegate, a member of the AFTRS’ Council, a Course Leader, and the student member of Council. The Appeals Committee will elect its own Chair.

The Secretariat function for this committee will be the same as for the Misconduct Committee that is, the Head of Teaching and Learning.

A person directly involved in the situation relating to the misconduct may not sit on the committee.

The committee will determine whether due process was carried out. The committee will make its decision within 20 working days of the lodgement of the appeal.

The Chair will inform you of the committee’s decision in writing within 10 working days of the decision being reached. The decision will be sent to your AFTRS email address.

9.3.3 Misconduct Outcomes

If misconduct is proven a penalty may be imposed. These may include (and are not limited to) the following:

  • A ban from accessing school resources for a set period of time (Tech store / Library etc)
  • Suspension from program
  • A mark of 0% for the assessment task
  • A ‘fail’ grade for the subject
  • Exclusion

When considering the penalty the following may be considered:

  • Any previous findings of misconduct and the penalty/ies imposed
  • The year or level of study of the student
  • Any intention behind the conduct, and the level and effect of that intention
  • Any external circumstances that may have contributed to the conducted
  • The impact a potential penalty will have on your ability to complete your program of study

For penalties relating to plagiarism see Section 9.2.2 for more details.

Acknowledgement

The Australian Film Television Radio and School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.