Top Tip #6 - Understand academic offences - and how to avoid them.
What is an ‘assessment offence’?
An assessment offence means that a student has broken the academic regulations by submitting work that isn’t entirely their own or has been fabricated. Assessment offences are sometimes called an ‘academic breach’ or a ‘breach of the academic regulations’. The usual types of assessment offences are listed below:
Plagiarism is when a student uses someone else’s work to inform their assignment without properly acknowledging the other person. This means that students must not copy, closely follow, paraphrase or present another individual's work as their own without referencing them. This includes not just books and online articles but also images and audio etc. To avoid plagiarism material must be referenced correctly, follwing one of the university's approved referencin styles. More information and guidance can be found on the MyGlos Referencing page.
Unauthorised collusion occurs when student has worked closely with one or more students (either current or from previous years), to produce work that is submitted as the work of one individual. If the assignment is group work based then students must not callaborate with anyone outside of the agreed group. Also a student will be deemed to have colluded when they have provided another student with assessment material that they have produced.
Re-presentation refers to when a student submits parts of a previous piece of work or re-submits the same assignment more than once.
Fabrication is when a student creates false results or information to use in an assessment.
Impersonation occurs when a student completes an assignment on someone else’s behalf or allows someone else to complete an assignment on behalf of the student. Essentially this means pretending to be someone else.
Cheating in exams is when a student attempts to gain an unfair advantage by the use of dishonest means in an invigilated exam or test. This means that students must not communicate with, or copy from, another student, or bring information from written, printed or electronic sources into the exam location unless this approved as part of the exam.
Procedural dishonesty (including the use of essay mills) is the use of falsified or fabricated (i.e. fake) evidence or information submitted in support of any summative assessment activity, such as false requests for extenuating circumstances.
How do I know if there has been an assessment offence?
If you have been involved in an assessment offence, you will receive an ‘SB’ grade for the relevant piece of work. This stands for ‘suspected breach’.
What happens if I receive an ‘SB’ grade?
If you receive an SB grade for a piece of work, you will be contacted via email by firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be informed of the reason for the suspected breach and given the opportunity to provide a written response.An Academic Conduct Officer (ACO) will determine if an assessment offence has actually taken place. Click here for full details of the process.
Does an SB grade mean I have to leave uni?
Probably not, but it does depend on how many times you have been found to have breached the academic regulations.
If your suspected breach is not upheld, no further action is taken and your work is marked as usual. If your suspected breach is upheld there are 3 possible outcomes:
If it is your first assessment offence your work will still be marked but with all the material deemed to have breached the academic regulations will not be considered for marking. A formal caution will be logged on your student record but this will not appear on your transcript of results.
If it is your second assessment offence you will receive a BR grade for the module which will remain on your transcript of results. This means you will lose all marks for the module and it will be counted as a fail. You may get the opportunity to retake this module, but this will be at an additional cost.
If it is your third assessment offence you will receive a BR grade for the module which will remain on your transcript of results. This means you will lose all marks for the module and it will be counted as a fail. You will also be required to withdraw from the course and university.
However, in the case of procedural dishonesty even a first offence will receive a BR grade for the module which will remain on your transcript of results. This means you will lose all marks for the module and it will be counted as a fail.
If you are studying a professional programme, the university may be required to notify the appropriate Professional, Statutory & regulating bodies (PSRB) or accrediting body immediately when a suspected breach has taken place.
More information about assessment offences use this guide, but if you’ve still got questions, feel free to email email@example.com or Imitchell4@glos.ac.uk