QAA has published this week guidance setting out best practice around promoting academic integrity in higher education, through tackling students’ use of third parties’ services in order to cheat. It covers the use of essay mills and other forms of contract cheating. It describes the issues, and sets out the steps providers can take to deal with these.
The new guidance recommends:
- clear information for students on the risks of cheating, including academic misconduct being reported to relevant professional bodies
- support for students to develop independent study skills, including academic writing
- using a range of assessment methods to limit opportunities for cheating
- blocking essay mill sites and taking action against essay mill advertising on campus
- smarter detection, including new software and greater familiarity with students’ personal styles and capabilities
- appropriate support for whistle blowing – to protect accuser as well as accused
- student involvement on academic misconduct policies and panels.
We will of course be considering the guidance in more detail, and what we can do to implement best practice.