Academic Honesty Policy
ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY
ARIS Core Purpose
“We are a diverse community of learners that is committed to inspire, empower and transform for a better world.”
ARIS Core Values
- Greatness in Everyone
- Learning with Everyone
- Creativity and Innovation by Everyone
- Service to Everyone
- Change for Everyone
- Responsibility and Respect
- Passion and Mindfulness
- Collaboration and Communication
- Reflection and Action
IB Mission Statement
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end, the organization works with schools, governments, and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate, and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
ARIS offers the following programmes:
- The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP)
- The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP)
- The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. (IBDP)
- The International Baccalaureate Career Programme. (IBCP)
TABLE OF CONTENT
IB Learner Profile and Academic Integrity 5
Academic Honesty and Malpractice 8
Definition of terms 8
Academic integrity 8
School maladministration 8
Student academic misconduct 8
Examples of misconduct include: 8
The Consequences of Malpractice 9
Investigative Process 10
Types of Malpractice & Context /Consequences 11
The Detection of Plagiarism 13
Authenticating Candidates' Work 14
Parents’ Responsibilities 15
Teachers’ Responsibilities 15
Bibliographies, References and Citations 16
What is a bibliography? 17
Examples of Works Cited 18
What is a reference? 18
What is a citation? 19
Author’s note 19
Policy Review 20
IB LEARNER PROFILE AND ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
The IB Learner Profile Attributes are a guiding philosophy at ARIS and inform our Academic Integrity Policy as well as our Teaching and Learning Practices. We strive for our students, staff and community members to be:
- Inquirers: we acquire the skills necessary to conduct research and inquiry and also cite resources that have helped us in our inquiry.
- Knowledgeable: we explore concepts, ideas and issues and also acknowledge the people and resources that add to our knowledge.
- Thinkers: we are able to apply critical and creative thinking skills to develop innovative solutions to problems in order to make ethical decisions. We question the credibility, reliability and trustworthiness of the sources that we use for research.
- Communicators: we are able to express ideas, as well as understand and interpret received information, and communicate to others the source of information.
- Principled: we act with integrity and honesty and hold ourselves accountable for our actions and the ideas we take from others.
- Open-minded: we consider and evaluate multiple viewpoints, as well as respect traditions and values from diverse cultures, making everyone’s statement uniquely valuable by mentioning their names.
- Caring: we show empathy and respect towards others by recognizing their hard work, achievements, research efforts and work produced and published.
- Risk-takers: We approach challenges and step out of our comfort zones with confidence, but are diligent and careful about plagiarism and other forms of malpractice.
- Balanced: we understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to achieve personal well-being for ourselves and others. While presenting our work, we will rightfully mention the colleagues and peers who helped us.
- Reflective: we are able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of our learning and experiences and reflect on the various factors that have contributed to this overall experience.
Academic integrity is a core element in the IBO document: Program Standards and Practices (2014), a document which is key to how IB Program must operate in IB World Schools.
ARIS is authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes and is in the process of authorization for the Career Programme.
A fundamental aim of the ARIS mission is to draw on the cultural diversity of the school community as a foundation on which to build universal human values, in a complex and rapidly changing global environment, and prepare its students to be responsible citizens, who exhibit honesty and integrity in all that they do. It is our responsibility to inculcate these values of honesty and integrity in our students from an early age, and to do our best to ensure that these values are long-lasting. Not only should this be done through integration into the curriculum, but also visual campaigns across all years in the Primary as well as the Secondary campuses at ARIS.
This policy document, focused on Academic Integrity, is intended to be concise. It is coherent with the school’s commitment to academic honesty and integrity. Academic Integrity is a fundamental tenet of the ARIS Philosophy, making it integral to the life-long values which ARIS aims to inculcate in its students from Primary Years to the Diploma and Career Programme. A key Attribute of the IB Learner Profile is developing students who are Principled. ARIS is very serious about Honesty and Integrity and uses this trait to inform our expectations of our students.
A prior assumption is that ARIS Community is honest by nature. ARIS teachers have the vital educational aim of reinforcing that innate honesty, enabling students to derive satisfaction from their own accomplishments, secure in the knowledge that their accomplishments are indeed their own.
Academic Integrity and Integrity should be seen as a set of values, reinforced by skills that promote personal integrity and good practice in teaching, learning and assessment. Academic Integrity is influenced and shaped by a variety of factors including peer pressure, culture, parental expectations, role-modeling and taught-skills. Academic Dishonesty may stem from similar origins -- your classmates are getting away with it, why shouldn't you? Your own culture respects the emulation of those recognized as the finest practitioners. Thus, live by and learn through the examples of the best and the honest.
It is argued that, although it is easier to explain to students what constitutes academic dishonesty with direct reference to plagiarism, collusion and cheating in exams, the topic should be treated by teachers in a positive way. It should emphasize the educational benefits which accrue when, for example, academic research is properly conducted, when the temptation to take shortcuts is resisted, and when the borrowing or outright theft of someone else's ideas and presenting them as one's own is deemed reprehensible.
This policy document includes:
- Possible definitions of what constitutes academic dishonesty, malpractice, plagiarism and intellectual property.
- An account of the consequences of academic dishonesty at ARIS and the suggested consequences that will occur if a student is found delinquent.
- Examples of conventions for citing and acknowledging original authorship.
- Guidance on the distinction between legitimate collaboration and unacceptable collusion (different from collaboration) or plagiarism.
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND MALPRACTICE
Note: Students must go through regular orientation, every academic year to refresh their knowledge of Academic Integrity and Malpractice.
Definition of terms
Academic integrity is a guiding principle in education and a choice to act in a responsible way whereby others can have trust in us as individuals. It is the foundation for ethical decision-making and behaviour in the production of legitimate, authentic and honest scholarly work.
The IB defines school maladministration as an action by an IB World School or an individual associated with an IB World School that infringes IB rules and regulations, and potentially threatens the integrity of IB examinations and assessments. It can happen before, during or after the completion of an assessment component or completion of an examination.
Student academic misconduct
The IB defines student academic misconduct as deliberate or inadvertent behaviour that has the potential to result in the student, or anyone else, gaining an unfair advantage (relative to other students) in one or more components of assessment.
Behaviour that may disadvantage another student is also regarded as academic misconduct. It includes any act that potentially threatens the integrity of IB examinations and assessments, and that happens before, during or after the completion of the assessment or examination, whether paper-based or on-screen.
Examples of misconduct include:
- Plagiarism is defined as the representation of the ideas or work of another person as the student's own.
- Collusion is defined as supporting malpractice by another student, as in allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another:
- Collusion is secret cooperation for a dishonest person, and it results in giving one student an unfair advantage over other students.
- Collusion can be distinguished from Collaboration as the latter refers to a working practice where two or more people work together consensually towards a common purpose and shared goal.
- Duplication of work is defined as the presentation of the same work for different subjects, assessment components and/or requirements.
- The taking of unauthorized material into an examination room, or disrupting an examination.
- Any other behaviour that gains an unfair advantage for a student or that affects the results of another student.
It should be noted that malpractice is not confined to offences by students.
The intellectual property of others may also be misused. Intellectual property is a property that is the result of creativity. It does not exist in tangible, legal form, such as patents, copyright, trademarks et cetera, but is nevertheless the product of another person's work. Examples include a variety of sources (photographs, illustrations, artworks, music and data) in addition to journals, books and websites.
Students and teachers must be aware that the requirement to acknowledge sources extends beyond texts taken from the Internet, books, magazines and journals. The concepts of intellectual property and academic integrity include the use of footnotes or endnotes to acknowledge the source of an idea, if that idea emerged as a result of discussion with and/or listening to a fellow student, a teacher or any other person.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF MALPRACTICE
While ARIS does its utmost to develop in students the highest ethical standards in academic work, there may arise occasions when those standards are breached. The table overleaf is intended to provide examples of breaches of academic integrity in various contexts, and their recommended consequences. It is not exhaustive. A basic premise is that academic dishonesty is a gross breach of the educational values which ARIS upholds and attempts to inculcate. Therefore, all proven cases of academic dishonesty should be:
- Followed by the stated disciplinary action (consequence)
- Permanently documented in the student's file.
- Reported in writing to the parents/guardians
In spite of what has stated on the first page of this paper i.e. that malpractice entails a deliberate attempt to gain an academic advantage, it will almost invariably be difficult to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the attempt to gain academic advantage was intentional. Hence, should evidence of ‘intention to deceive’ be uncovered, or should the intention be admitted by the suspect, it should not be held as key to the proof of malpractice, rather, it should be considered as corroboratory. The ‘key to the proof of malpractice’ is the documentary or other evidence.
Investigations of suspicions of academic dishonesty should be conducted in a heuristic, rather than an inquisitorial or confrontational style. The aim of the investigation should be to discover the truth of the matter, rather than to intimidate or threaten the student suspected. The student should be entitled to have a witness or a trusted teacher present if she/he so chooses. The student will not be allowed to have a parent, guardian or lawyer, whose independence of judgment may be compromised When a student is suspected of breaching the Academic Integrity Policy
- The Subject Facilitator questions the student about the authenticity of the work they submitted.
- After the interview, the student will be required to submit his or her statement on the incident.
- The Subject facilitator reports the case to the IB PYP/MYP/DP/CP coordinator through email and copies the Head of Department and the Head of School.
- The IB PYP/MYP/DP/CP coordinator conducts a series of investigations to compare the students’ level of writing in other subjects.
- Where there are discrepancies, the student’s parent is invited for a meeting with the student.
- The intent of the act is considered, and the appropriate sanction is served.
- Where the student is found to have breached the policy, the action, evidence and outcome are then documented on managebac, under the ‘Behaviour’ section of the student.
- The student goes through a counselling section with the school’s Well-being and Emotional Counselor to help them understand the implication of their action as well as possible future actions or repercussions.
In the case of internal assessment and essays, students’ work will be checked for plagiarism through Turnitin.
TYPES OF MALPRACTICE & CONTEXT / SUGGESTED CONSEQUENCES
Disciplinary Action as appropriate; Mark of Zero awarded and Loss of Grade. Recorded on ManageBac and meeting with parents followed by an email.
MYP/IB Internal Assessment assignments/ Career related studies
The student is given ONE day to rewrite the assignment. Recorded on ManageBac and meeting with parents followed by an email.
Extended Essay/ Personal Project /Reflective Project/PYP Exhibition
The student is given TWO days to rewrite the entire essay. Recorded on ManageBac and meeting with parents followed by an email.
Theory of Knowledge/ Personal and Professional Skills
The student is given ONE day to rewrite the essay.
Disciplinary Action as appropriate, Mark of Zero awarded and Loss of Grade. Recorded on ManageBac and meeting with parents followed by an email.
Disciplinary action as appropriate, mark of zero awarded and loss of grade. Letter informing parents copied to student file. ONE day to rewrite the second (duplicated) assignment.
Report to IBO Examining Board3
- Repeated malpractice should result in dismissal.
- The 'examples of context' do not depict any differentiation in the gravity of the offence of malpractice. The context in which malpractice has been proven is not necessarily relevant to the gravity of the offence. Other factors, such the extent to which a piece of work has been plagiarized, the extent to which other students may be complicit in the offence, and the number (if any) of previous proven cases on the part of the offending student should be the main determinants of disciplinary measures.
- The IBO has detailed and stringently applied procedures for dealing with academic malpractice that extend beyond the scope of this document. All cases are considered by the IBO Final Award Committee. Preventive vigilance is the collective responsibility of IBDP/CP teachers. Notification to the IBO of proven instances of malpractice is the responsibility of the IBDP/CP Coordinators.
THE DETECTION OF PLAGIARISM
The ARIS student should be ultimately responsible for ensuring that all work submitted for assessment is authentic, not the teacher or the EE/RP supervisor (though of course, they have a major responsibility). The work or ideas of others must be fully and correctly cited and acknowledged. Students should be expected to review their own work before submission for assessment, to identify any passages, data, graphs, photographs, computer programs and so on that still require acknowledgment.
The IBO Policy document ‘Effective Citing and Referencing’, published in August 2014 and available on the OCC, provides useful guidance as to why, when, what and how to cite source materials. Teachers must familiarize students with the content of this document when appropriate.
When reading students' work, teachers should be vigilant for obvious changes or similarities in the style of writing. Equally significant is if a style of writing seems too mature, too error free and perhaps more characteristic of an experienced academic than a Secondary School student. Evidence of copying and pasting may immediately be obvious from inconsistent fonts and/or kerning.
Over the period of the courses in the Primary and Secondary Schools teachers should be very familiar with the style and quality of each student's work in their classes. It is, therefore, the teachers who are in the best position to identify work that may not be authentic. If the student knows the teacher is vigilant, she/he may be less tempted to resort to plagiarism in times of stress or crisis. If such stress or crises occur, the student should be encouraged to seek the solace of the Counselor. Malpractice, whether detected or not, will only exacerbate emotional stress.
Although in most cases of Plagiarism that come to the attention of the Examining Boards, the candidate has copied passages from a web site, there is still frequent plagiarism from books and journals, in addition to the illicit use of photographs, graphs, data and computer programs from a variety of sources. In many cases, it is likely that the teacher is familiar with the books being used by candidates: they may be standard textbooks for the subject, or books that are readily available in the school library. The author of this paper knows of one instance where even the teacher himself was the author of the work plagiarized.
The teacher must be alert for familiar passages or excerpts that have either been copied and pasted and/or closely paraphrased. In the first instance, a mere chat with the student about the content of the suspect work may reveal that the student has only a superficial understanding of what s/he has written. Teachers and Staff have the responsibility to familiarize their students with a standard of their works and consequences of the Academic Integrity Policy, should they be caught. It should be a part of the school culture for Teachers, Staff and Students to know the Policy and the consequences of Academic Dishonesty.
The Theory of Knowledge Assessment for the May 2015 examination session introduced a requirement that, in the course of the students’ preparation of the essay on a Prescribed Title, teachers conduct several ‘interactions’ with the student author. This measure is to ensure that the essay has been guided by an appropriate level of professional input from the designated teacher and/or class discussions, and not by an internet mentor (a euphemism for someone paid to write the essay on behalf of the student). It could be argued that, had TOK teachers collectively been more vigilant in the prevention of plagiarism, such draconian counter-measures at the strategic level would never have been necessary.
In the IBDP/CP, at least, assessment is an integral element of the curriculum. Academic malpractice at times appears to be driving assessment development regressively, in directions less and less conducive to the optimal teaching and learning context.
With the growth of the Internet and corresponding increase in its use, the abuse of electronic media is now, sadly, prevalent within the academic community. Aside from the immense number of legitimate websites, there are an increasing number of sites that actively encourage students to plagiarize and purchase essays, as mentioned with regards to TOK essays. Little can be done to prevent the emergence of these sites, but, the Internet can also be used for detecting academic dishonesty. Several of the more efficient search engines can be used to detect the source of passages that have been plagiarized. Although, with the exponential growth in the quantity of stored data, this is becoming less feasible.
ARIS uses a software known as Turnitin on a consistent basis to detect Plagiarism. Nevertheless, there is no substitute for the teachers’ vigilance. The discussions among teachers who are new to this type of software often indicate that they themselves have not internalized the ability to differentiate, qualitatively, between examples of plagiarized and authentic student work. They are reliant instead on seemingly authoritative, computer-generated indicators of color-coded ‘percentage copied.’ These said indicators may be based on spurious data. It is important that ARIS teachers develop, over time, the ability to identify atypical work.
AUTHENTICATING CANDIDATES’ WORK
It is the responsibility of teachers to support students in the preparation of their work for assessment, and to ensure that all student work complies with the requirements of the relevant curriculum guidelines. Therefore, teachers (or supervisors, in the case of IB Extended Essays/Reflective Project) are in, by far, the best position to judge whether a candidate’s work is indeed authentic. Ongoing support and guidance will help with the early detection of unintentional plagiarism and will dissuade students from deliberate plagiarism because they know their work is regularly subject to scrutiny. However, what is realistic and what can be achieved within the usual constraints of time and workload must be left to the discretion of teachers and the relevant coordinator.
As previously stated, the candidates are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the final version of any of their work is authentic. Candidates themselves must bear the consequences if they submit any work for assessment that is not their own, regardless of whether the plagiarism was unintentional or deliberate. The same principle applies to collusion.
Should the coordinator and/or a teacher have reasons to believe that part or all of a candidate’s draft work, prior to final submission, might be in violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, actions must be taken. They must draw candidates’ attention to their case of malpractice and let them know of the risks and value of respect of intellectual property.
- Parents and guardians will be required to read, understand and adhere to the ARIS Academic Integrity Policy.
- Ensure that their wards understand the implication of breaching the policy.
- Encourage their wards to complete all homework with very little to no help.
- Encourage their wards to seek assistance from the school librarian or subject teacher when facing difficulty citing a source.
- Remind their wards that when they conduct research or take any assessment, they must demonstrate the IB learner Profile attributes of being Principled, Inquirers, Thinkers, Reflectors and Communicators, among others.
- Remind their wards that Academic Integrity is a culture that must be ingrained in them beyond the walls of ARIS.
- Be present to attend meetings if their ward should be found in breach of the Academic Dishonesty Policy.
The IB Academic Integrity document clearly spells out the role of teachers as follows:
- Ensuring that students have a full understanding of the expectations and guidelines of all subjects.
- Ensuring that students understand what constitutes academic misconduct and its possible consequences.
- Planning a manageable workload so students can allocate time effectively to produce work according to IB expectations.
- Giving feedback and ensuring students are not provided with multiple rounds of editing, which would be contrary to instructions described in the relevant subject guides.
- Ensuring that all student work is appropriately labelled and saved to avoid any error when submitting assessment to the IB.
- Developing a plan to cross-reference work across multiple groups of students when they are preparing to submit final pieces of work for assessment in order to prevent collusion.
- Responding to student academic misconduct and supporting the school’s and IB’s investigations
BIBLIOGRAPHIES, REFERENCES AND CITATIONS
All work submitted for assessment must reflect intellectual integrity in research practices and provide the reader with the exact sources of quotations, ideas and points of view through accurate bibliographies and referencing. The IBO Policy document ‘Effective Citing and Referencing’, (mentioned on page 4) is a useful resource for both students and teachers.
At ARIS, the official formatting style for essays is the MLA (Modern Language Association). Students must be familiarized with these terms and formats before they start their essays, so as to set them up for success.
Producing accurate citations, referencing and a bibliography is a skill that students should be seeking to perfect. Documenting the research in this way is vital as it allows readers to evaluate the evidence, and it shows the student’s understanding of the importance of the sources used.
Failure to comply with this requirement will be viewed as plagiarism and will, therefore, be treated as a case of malpractice.
What is a bibliography?
A bibliography is an alphabetical list of every source used. Sources that are not cited in the body of the piece of work, but were important in informing the approach taken, should be cited in the introduction or in an acknowledgment. The bibliography should list only those sources that are explicitly cited or paraphrased.
Note that examiners will not be impressed by a long and stylish list that bears little or no connection with the text of the piece of work. Rather, such a list may remind the examiner of the extent of the resources spurned by the student.
There are a number of different documentation styles available for use when writing research papers at IBDP/CP level; most are appropriate in some academic disciplines but not others. The IB does not mandate use of a particular style, rather, it is advised that only one is used and presented consistently. Above all, when references are used correctly (see below), it enables the reader (examiner) to trace the source. If the bibliographical item cannot be accessed on the basis of the information provided, or, if it was transient, contain evidence that it once existed, the information might as well not be there.
The teacher should help students decide on a citation style for the particular piece of work set. It is important to remember that, whatever style is chosen, it must be simple to use and must be applied consistently. When choosing the style, the student needs to have a clear understanding of how it is to be used before embarking on the work. The style should be applied at all stages in the production of the piece of work. This is good practice not only for producing a high-quality final product, but also for reducing the opportunities and temptation to plagiarize.
Finding information about citation/documentation styles is not difficult. Entering a string, such as 'academic referencing', into an Internet search engine will bring up lots of useful material. Alternatively, the student can simply copy the style (not the content) shown in the main textbook that is used in researching the topic s/he is writing about. That will not be construed as plagiarism!
Examples of Works Cited Page:
The Works Cited page is in MLA format, in order from the author's last name, alphabetically. Examples include:
Gachman, Dina. “During the Covid-19 Pandemic, Avid Collectors Find Joy in Their Prized Possessions.” Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Nov. 2020, www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/during-covid-19-pandemic-avid-collectors-find-joy-in-their-prized-possessions-180976281/.
Ket. “Visual Arts Toolkit.” PBS LearningMedia, KET. 3 June 2020, www.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/visual-arts-toolkit/.
Saini, Amrinder. Sunset at Lighthouse. United States of America, Apr. 2019.
What is a reference?
A reference is a way of indicating to the reader, in an orderly and systematic form, where information has been obtained from. References must be included as an acknowledgment of the sources used, and should enable the reader to trace and consult the source of the work in order to verify the data that has been presented. A reference is deemed obsolete if it cannot be traced.
References must be given whenever someone else’s work is quoted or summarized. They can come from many different sources, including books, magazines, journals, newspapers, e-mails, Internet sites and interviews. Internet references should include the title of the extract used as well as the web site address, the date it was accessed and, if possible, its author. Teachers must also inform their students about reliable and unreliable sources before they start their work.
Caution should also be exercised with information on web sites that do not give references or that cannot be cross-checked against other sources. The more important a particular point is to the essay, the more the quality of its source needs to be evaluated. If a particular source is referred to, time and time again, its reliability and authenticity is all the more important. As a TOK student will know, frequency of reference, which is one of the factors which propel a website to prominence in a web search, is just one test of truth.
Any references to interviews (transient) should state the name of the interviewer, the name of the interviewee, the date and the place of the interview, in the specific format of the referencing style used.
What is a citation?
A citation is a shorthand method of making a reference in the body of an essay, which is then linked to the full reference at the end of the essay. A citation provides the reader with accurate references so that she/he can locate the source easily. How sources are cited varies with the particular documentation style that has been chosen. Page numbers should normally be given when referencing printed material: in some styles this will be in the citation, in others in the full reference. Once again, it is important to emphasize that there must be consistency of method when citing sources.
This is not important from the point of view of stylistic elegance, but to facilitate traceability of sources by the examiner/moderator.
Examples of In-text citations:
- In-text citation is used when directly quoting someone:
Gachman states that for collectors, due to the volume of antique collectibles showing up online, "the pandemic has made it the time to fill in any holes in their collections" (Gachman).
- In-text citation for paraphrasing information from another source:
Saini loves sunset and took his chances by driving by a lighthouse and using his drone to take a photograph (Saini).
Finally, this policy document was written in connection with and compiled from the publications listed below and, in fulfillment of the advice therein, and the corresponding advice given in this policy, acknowledges extensive use of the IBO material.
It is important to note that as a forward-thinking IB World School, we need to emphasise on Reading for Enjoyment and Comprehension as well, across Primary and Secondary campuses. Furthermore, we must find out what kinds of learners these pupils are, which will ultimately contribute to Academic Integrity of these children, making them life-long learners and ethical professionals.
Academic Honesty: Guidance for Schools (September 2003), IBO
Academic Honesty: Diploma Programme (September 2007), IBO
Academic Honesty in the IB Educational Context (August 2014), IBO
Academic Integrity (October 2019), IB0
Effective Citing and Referencing (August 2014), IBO
Extended Essay: Guide (March 2007), IBO
Trevor Trumper, former ARIS Diploma Programme Coordinator
Barbara Bilgre, MYP Coordinator
Alpana Mukherjee, Head of Secondary
Dorinda Tham, MYP & DP Language & Literature Teacher
Al-Rayan International School, Ghana
This policy is communicated on the school website. At the beginning of each academic year, the Programme coordinators and Head of School communicates the policy to parents, students, and staff during orientation programs.
As an institution, we believe in growth through reflection and continuous improvement, and we recognize our role as life-long learners. We are therefore committed to reviewing this policy on a yearly basis during the months of October - November, with the aim of ensuring that our policies are aligned with that of the International Baccalaureate.