AIM – Academic Integrity Monthly: Accused of AI?
If you find yourself being investigated for breaching the Academic Integrity policy, don’t panic! Here’s a short guide on what will happen next, and the steps you will need to take.
- The department discover possible AI: You receive an email to your student account letting you know they are investigating a breach of the Academic Integrity Policy. You will be provided with a copy of the assignment with Turnitin Report (if relevant), invited to an investigatory meeting, and asked to confirm you can attend. You can send a written response by replying to this first email.
- Before the initial meeting: You should confirm attendance at the initial meeting, and draft a written response to the allegations*. If you would like representation, this is the point that you should get in touch with the SU Advice team. We will need to know date, time and location of the meeting; additional information such as your level of study, whether this is the first time this has happened, and what type of AI they are investigating, can be helpful to enable us to advise you accurately. We can also read through the draft you have written and suggest amendments before you send it to your department.
- During the initial meeting: You will be given the opportunity to verbally respond to the allegations, and provide an explanation if you believe you have any further information on what has happened. The tutor holding the meeting will discuss with you whether they feel you have breached the academic integrity policy and what will happen next; they may recommend applying a standard penalty for first offences, or recommend that the case goes to a panel if it is a second offence or malpractice (see below for more information on standard penalties). You and the tutor will complete an AI-2 form, on which you can choose to accept the decision, or reject it. Rejecting the decision will result in the case being looked at by a panel, which you will be invited to attend.
- Following the meeting: Depending on the outcome of the initial meeting, you will either have a standard penalty applied which will be communicated to you by email, you will be invited to a panel hearing, or you will have no outcome if the academic integrity is not proven. If you are invited to a panel, you can again request representation from the SU Advice team, even if you did not have us attend the initial meeting.
- At the panel hearing: If your AI case goes to a panel, it is usually because this is a 2nd or more offense, you have disputed the decision from the initial meeting, or your circumstances fall under malpractice rather than poor academic judgement. You can find a list of the types of academic integrity [here]. The panel will discuss the issues with you, and will decide as a panel what the outcome should be. These are usually more serious than the standard penalty, and may be communicated to you on the day of the panel, or in writing shortly after.
A written response is an opportunity for you to give your response to the allegation. The letter you have received will usually include some details of what you have allegedly done. We would advise that you read through this and draft a written response to send back to the department. One of our advice team can read through this for you. You can include information such as your reaction to the allegations, what study skills support you have been given or anything else you feel is relevant.
Standard penalties are applied generally if this is the first time you have had an academic integrity issue. The online course reference is a resource available on Moodle at any time, however if used within the penalty includes an assessed portion which needs to be passed.
- Level 3 and 4 – The work is remarked with the section/s of the work that contains breaches of the Academic integrity policy removed. You will then receive the new mark, this could be substantially lower than the initial mark
- Level 5 and above – A standard penalty will be imposed. This will involve you sitting an additional online course which will enhance your awareness of Academic Integrity. If you pass this test you will then the work is remarked with the section/s of the work that contains breaches of the Academic integrity policy removed. You will then receive the new mark, this could be substantially lower than the initial mark
After the Investigation
Once you have been interviewed, and a penalty has been decided as necessary, the process is complete. If your work is marked as a fail, this may have implications on your course which you would need to check with your department. The standard penalty is designed to demonstrate that a first offence is very much a learning curve, and we would encourage you to take full advantage of the study skills support available across the University in order to avoid it happening again.