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Avoid a collision with collusion: A course-specific module to develop first year student knowledge of academic integrity

Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 4:15pm – 4:45pm parallel session



Room 1 – 302-G20, Case Room  



Dr Ann Parkinson
University of Sunshine Coast, Australia

Dr Eva Hatje
University of Sunshine Coast, Australia

Dr Anna Kuballa
University of Sunshine Coast, Australia

Dr Rebecca Donkin
University of Sunshine Coast, Australia

Elizabeth Askew
University of Sunshine Coast, Australia

Dr Nicole Reinke
University of Sunshine Coast, Australia



Academic integrity (AI) is important, not just in the university setting but beyond, as students graduate and move into professional fields. Academic dishonesty can take several forms including plagiarism, exam/test cheating and collusion. Whilst academic dishonesty is prevalent, it is possible to deter it with intentionally designed prevention strategies in the early stages of students’ academic careers.

This project aimed to improve students’ understanding of academic integrity. This was achieved by developing three sequential online AI Induction modules and a post-module questionnaire. Each module included scenario-based questions which were integrated into the course activities of a large first-year course, LFS100 Cell Biology.  The modules were designed to help students develop knowledge and skills that will assist them in their first year of study and set the groundwork for continued development and application of these skills throughout their university education and into the workforce.

The impact on LFS100 student knowledge of AI was evaluated by examining responses to module scenario questions. Increased student awareness and understanding of appropriate academic conduct was evaluated by examining questionnaire responses.

A total of 652 students were invited to participate in the prevention strategy, with 48.5% completing all three online modules and 76.4% completing the questionnaire. Participant knowledge of AI improved throughout the semester (mean percentage from each module: Module A (74.8±16.2%), Module B (87±16.2%) and Module C (92.6±14.0%). The most contentious scenario, with only 24.1% students selecting the correct response, highlighted a lack of understanding between collusion and legitimate collaboration.  Following completion of the online modules, almost all participants (92.4%) reported that they have improved their understanding of AI with regard to plagiarism, collusion and cheating. The majority of students felt confident that they could apply their newly acquired knowledge of AI in their future studies (91.8%) and professions (95.2%).


Presentation topic

Students – Wellbeing and Success

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