London Institute of Business & Technology takes academic malpractice and misconduct seriously. This policy is applicable to the summative assessment of all students, including those assessed in the workplace. It covers teacher-assessed work and examinations and is derived from regulatory body requirements.
Academic malpractice, also known as academic misconduct, can involve both students and members of staff. Any activity, conducted willfully or unknowingly, can be considered Academic Malpractice if that activity results in the loss of integrity of the processes of teaching, learning, and research.
The institute shall:
- ensure all staff members know and follow the malpractice policy and guidance;
- deal with cases of malpractice through the student or staff disciplinary procedures;
- inform students about the malpractice policy, making clear that plagiarism is regarded as malpractice and is dealt with via the student disciplinary procedure;
- include statements on malpractice in the student handbook and in each course handbook, ensuring consistency throughout the programme;
- teach students what plagiarism and collusion are, during the induction or at the start of each course teach students how to avoid plagiarism, for example, citation, referencing, etc.
- require teachers to prevent opportunities for plagiarism;
- ensure staff make clear the extent to which students can collaborate on assessed work;
- use electronic aids (for example Google and Turnitin) for the detection of plagiarism.
Academic Malpractice includes, but is not restricted to, the following activities:
- Cheating, or helping to cheat, in assignments, and exams;
- Colluding to achieve a grade to which you are not entitled from your own efforts;
- Not following instructions as given in the Assignment instruction sheet;
- Fabrication or falsification of data, results, and outputs in research and coursework;
- Tampering with answer sheets of exams, checked assignments, and reports;
- Forging documents such as letters of recommendation, transcripts, and certificates;
- Misrepresentation of facts on resumes.
Plagiarism can be described as using someone else’s work and changing words but retaining the structure and meaning without acknowledging the source or ownership of the originator of the work.
There are many reasons why plagiarism occurs but often the reason is simply because the learner did not realise that the method of gathering and preparing their evidence was not an acceptable practice. Another common reason is poor planning which results in pressure for a learner to complete work when time is at a premium.
Therefore, the purpose of this section is to provide examples of what constitutes plagiarism and centres should ensure that their staff and learners have access to this policy, and this supports our preventative approach to reducing unintended breaches of plagiarism that had in the past been due to a lack of understanding.
Learners will generally know what method, activity or approach to research is considered to be plagiarism, however, there are examples where plagiarism is less obvious to the learner.
It is assumed that most learners will know when they are cheating, and a list of common examples is below:
- getting somebody else to do the work for the learner;
- giving false information about a source used;
- copying information from the internet .
The following list provides some less obvious examples:
- copying all or some of another person’s work;
- getting a friend or family member to help often including dictation of responses;
- copying and pasting from the internet;
- Copying word-for-word or extracts from a text without providing a reference to the source;
- copying from another learner’s portfolio with or without their consent;
- borrowing or taking another learner’s work.
Collusion is considered to be a type of plagiarism if two or more people knowingly and with planned intent work together and submit work that is not solely theirs.
- two or more learners sharing information leading to the production and submission of the work by both learners;
- passing off the work of another learner with their consent;
- a learner knowingly provides an opportunity for other learners to see their work, an example could be to reveal to the learner sitting next to another learner during the taking of an examination.
Cheating is the planned intention to pass off work of others, claiming it to be their own. We ensure that adequate safeguards are in place to prevent staff from assisting learners to improve achievement during the taking of examinations.
We ensure that safeguards are in place to protect staff against any accusation from others that could lead to an adverse effect. For example, a learner claims that the invigilator provides some answers, and this is why the learner failed the examination.
If another person is present the invigilator will have some protection against potential claims of unfairness by the learner(s).
- having access to examination prior to the examination taking place;
- assessors, tutors and or invigilators helping learners when preparing and submitting information for assessment and or marking;
- impersonating another learner with the purpose of giving an unfair advantage;
- encouraging or accepting help from others;
- copying or reading another person’s work;
- accessing a mobile phone during the taking of an examination.
The standard adopted by the Institute is the Harvard method, in the style used by the British Journal of Management (BJM). It is strongly recommended that learners use only this style standard. However, if learners use another style of Harvard referencing correctly and consistently, they will not be penalised. They must not mix styles.
In the Harvard/BJM system, bibliographies of works consulted are not to be used. Learners should list only the sources directly referred to in the work in the references. The page(s) where they show these references should be entitled References, not Reference List or References Section.
In the Harvard/ BJM system, direct quotations are only rarely used. Learners should instead summarise the author’s ideas in their own words and provide the appropriate reference in the body of work, followed by the full references in the list of References.
Summary of Harvard/BJM style details:
- Show sources in brief in the body of your work. Instructions on how to do this follow.
- Direct quotations should only be used rarely. Instead, summarise the ideas in your own words (paraphrasing) and show the source by indicating the author’s/authors’ name(s), the year of publication and the page number(s) on which the reference occurs.
- Show full details of sources as References at the end of your work, but before appendices.
- In the References section, show sources only for articles/books/etc. directly referred to in the body of your work.
- Do not use footnotes to reference sources or number the references in the References list.
- In the References section, list the works in alphabetical order by the author’s surname.
- Put all references in the same list. Do not list books, articles, websites etc. separately.
There is a standard order for listing publishing details in the References list. For individual references, the order is:
- author(s)’ surname
- author(s)’ initials
- year of publication
- title of the work (book, journal article, chapter in a book, name of the scholarly paper, etc.)
- name of the journal or magazine (if not a book)
- publishing details. The publishing details will vary depending on whether it is a book, a journal or magazine, a conference paper or a website.
Learners may encounter confidential information whilst on work placements or through their research for assignments.
Learners are reminded that there are ethical and legal responsibilities to respect confidentiality and maintain the anonymity of individuals and organisations within their assignments. If learners are unclear of their responsibilities, they must contact their course tutor for further guidance.
3. Procedure of handling academic malpractice
The Institute shall ensure that
- individual faculty members are given a say in dealing with cases in their courses, and an opportunity to counsel and correct their students;
- every case is centrally recorded so that repeat violators are detected and treated accordingly;
- student’s rights are protected while the hearings are being conducted.
3.1 Director Board Procedures
The Director Board has the following members:
- Director (Chair)
- Registrar (Non-member Secretary)
- Two nominees of the Director
The Director Board initiates action regarding academic Malpractice when it receives the Form for Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice from a faculty or staff member.
The Form for Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice can be filed when a student has accepted malpractice within a course and the penalty proposed by the course instructor or coordinator. The penalty can range from a marks deduction to an F grade in the course.
The Form for Reporting Academic Malpractice can be filed by a faculty or staff member to bring a case directly to the Director Board.
- When a Form for Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice is received, the Board checks whether the concerned student has been previously found guilty of a violation, or whether there is a previous filing of the Form for Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice for that student. If not, the filed form is recorded but no further action is taken. If there is a record of a previous violation, the Board conducts a hearing within 10 working days. Notices are sent to the accused student and the course instructor.
- When a Form for Reporting Academic Malpractice is received, the Board conducts a hearing within 10 working days. Notices are sent to the accused student and the accusing party.
- It is the instructor’s choice whether to meet the student and offer to work out a reasonable course-related penalty, or to send the case directly to the Director Board.
- If the student signs the Form for Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice, his or her acceptance of the malpractice and the penalty will be taken as final and no further appeal will be possible.
- When members of the Director Board are themselves party to a case, they may not participate in any way in the hearing process related to it.
- When two or more students are involved in the same case of alleged academic malpractice, the Director Board may deal with the case against the whole group at a single hearing.
- Both parties shall have an opportunity to present their cases during the hearing, and to examine the evidence.
- The Chair of the Director Board may summon any witness to the event under the scrutiny of the Board.
- The decision of the Director Board shall be announced within 3 working days of the hearing. A notice of the decision shall be sent to the student.
- The student may appeal the decision of the Director Board to the Board of Directors within 10 days of the announcement of the decision. The decision of the Director Board is final and binding on all concerned, and there can be no further appeal or review.
- Once the appeal process is complete, the outcome is announced by the Registrar and notices are sent to the student, the accusing party, and the Head of the department in which the student is enrolled.
- The Registrar maintains the records of the actions taken by the Director Board, including minutes of meetings and notices of judgements.
- A student who has been found guilty of a violation in a course may not withdraw from that course. A student who withdraws prior to the final judgement may still become liable for penalties including a Fail Grade in that course.
3.2 Instructions to Faculty
- A student suspected of cheating in an exam should be allowed to complete the exam, but the evidence should be collected. In a written exam, the answer book should be confiscated and a fresh one issued.
- In a case of cheating or plagiarism in a course, the instructor may impose a penalty within the course that can range from a marks deduction to a Fail Grade in the course. If the student accepts the malpractice and the penalty, the event should be reported to the institute using the Form for Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice.
- The instructor may also elect not to discuss the matter directly with the student, or the student may not accept the penalty suggested by the instructor. In either case, the event should be reported to the institute using the Form for Reporting Academic Malpractice.
- The instructor may consult with the Director while taking the above steps.
- All cases of cheating in a final exam (or its equivalent) must be reported to the Director and should not be disposed of by the instructor.
- The filing of the Form for Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice or the Form for Reporting Academic Malpractice, should occur within 5 working days (excluding Saturdays and Sundays) of the detection of the malpractice.
- The student may appeal the decision of the Director Board. In the event of such an appeal, the action recommended will be kept on hold.
- Until the final decision is announced, the student’s participation in the course should not be restricted nor any marks penalised.
- In case of a repeat violation, the Director Board may take up the case even if a Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice has been filed and may increase the penalty.
- If the Director Board does not convey its decision before the grade submission deadline, the complete records of the student’s performance in the course should be submitted, and the R (‘Result Withheld’) grade allotted. This will be converted to a standard grade once the Board announces a final judgement.
The sanctions imposed by an instructor must be confined to the concerned course only. They include but are not confined to resubmission of work, retest, reduced marks on an evaluation component, reduced grade for the course, and an F grade for the course.
The Director Board may impose any sanction from reduced marks to expulsion from the institute. Other possible sanctions include, but are not restricted to, an F grade in a course, loss of financial aid, probation or suspension, or a combination of these.
A penalty of probation or suspension must specify starting and ending dates. In case of copied work, the copier and the willing provider are equally culpable. The minimum sanction for cheating in a final exam (or equivalent) is an F grade in the course.
5. Instructor Policy
The policy include:
- Providing guidelines for faculty on penalties commensurate with the student’s malpractice, for cases where a Faculty Reporting of Academic Malpractice form is filed.
- Expanding and clarifying the definitions of academic malpractice such as plagiarism within the context of the department’s practice. The instructor of a course may also announce a course-specific policy on academic malpractice such as plagiarism. This policy should be part of the course description distributed to students at the start of the course.
6. Staff Malpractice
Non-compliance, for example:
- failure to follow Awarding Body assessment regulations;
- failure to deal with issues identified by Awarding Bodies;
- misuse of the conditions for special student requirements.
Maladministration, for example:
- failure to keep assessment papers or mark schemes secure prior to assessment;
- failure to maintain appropriate records;
- failure to keep student computer files secure
Professional misconduct, for example:
- deliberate falsification of records, witness statements, certificates, etc.;
- fraudulent certificate claims, for example, claiming for a certificate prior to the student completing all the requirements of assessment;
- allowing evidence, known by the staff member not to be the student’s own, to be included in a student’s assignment/task/portfolio/coursework
- alteration of mark schemes or assessment and grading criteria;
- helping students to complete assessments;
- giving students access to test papers, supplying answers, etc.;
- giving information on formal assessment outcomes before the official release of such information by the Awarding Body.
Note: Students may choose to utilise Whistleblowing Policy to directly report any suspected malpractice to the relevant awarding or accrediting bodies. Any case of suspected malpractice will be reported immediately to the relevant awarding or accrediting bodies.
Last updated on May 22, 2023 by LIBT Policy Committee
Approved by: Sesiri Pathirane – Board of Directors
Company Name: London Institute of Business & Technology Limited
Company Address: The Nunnery, Old Castletown Road, Douglas, IM2 1QB, Isle of Man, British Isles.
Date for the subsequent policy review: May 22, 2024