ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY OTR

OTR INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL

ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

MIDDLE YEARS PROGRAMME

Next Policy Review: September 2022

 

Our Mission

OTR International School provides quality education to pre-school, primary and lower secondary level pupils within an inspiring, challenging, multilingual and international environment by ensuring individual follow-up and the well-being of each student. Our students are encouraged to become active and lifelong learners who show empathy, compassion and respect and help to create a better world.

Our Vision

OTR International School seeks to create a community of lifelong learners who are confident, balanced, caring and inspired to thrive in their life and workplace. Our school accepts children from the age of three offering a multilingual education. Pupils develop their bilingualism every day with qualified teachers whose mother tongue corresponds to the language chosen. Our school puts more emphasis on students’ personal development by encouraging them to be more creative and prepare them for life by making practical connections between their studies and the real world. We aim to further incorporate in our school’s mission and vision and cultivate as many of the properties and values outlined in the IB learner profile. 

Purpose of the Academic Honesty Policy 

This document has been created in order to make clear the school’s philosophy related to academic honesty and describe the rights and responsibilities of all members of the school community. It aims to offer guidance to all members of school community ad answer all questions related to academic honesty.

The policy has been based on OTR International School Mission Statement, on the IB Learner Profile and on the Standards B1.5d and C3:4 of the International Baccalaureate Document Programme Standards and Practices (2014) for the Middle Years Programme.  

Standard B1:5d – The school has developed and implements an academic honesty policy that is consiste nt with IB expectations.

Standard C3:4 – Teaching and learning promotes the understanding and practice of academic honesty.  

Students following any IB program are expected to be principled and act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness and justice, and with respect for the dignity and rights of people everywhere. Students are expected to take responsibility for their actions and their consequences. *  

Academic Honesty Philosophy

Academic honesty is an essential aspect of teaching and learning in IB programmes where action is based on inquiry and reflection. However, we live in an age where access to information has increased enormously due to technological progress, and it is essential for our students to be taught to act with integrity and honesty in their education and in their lives. Students are encouraged to take pride in their own achievements and, in addition, recognize and respect the work of others. 

Our main objective is to ensure that all students understand the importance of academic honesty and are made fully aware of the consequences and the disciplinary actions the school may take in case this policy is not respected. We consider it is the school’s role and responsibility to inform students, teachers and parents about the seriousness of academic misconduct in all its forms. Teachers are expected to be role models and ensure that their work fully complies with this policy. Students should be made aware that there is no form of academic dishonesty which could be accepted while they are supported to feel confident and proud of their own work.

The Academic Honesty Policy is made available to all members of the school community. The school will use any appropriate and effective system in order to identify academic misconduct and the students will be encouraged to use this system to check their work. 

Academic Misconduct

The International Baccalaureate organization defines academic misconduct as a behavior (whether deliberate or inadvertent) that results in, or may result in, the student or any other student gaining an unfair advantage in one or more assessment components.

There are many forms of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, collusion, duplication of works and any other form of malpractice (including misconduct during exams and unauthorized disclosure of information, among others). The actions listed below consist expressions of academic dishonesty and the school will take disciplinary actions once identified.

Plagiarism: Presenting a research paper or homework assignment prepared by another person; cutting and pasting from any sources which are not used as references in one’s work; using the work of another person without making any reference to the person.

Collusion: Copying from or allowing another student to copy from a test, homework or any other material in order to gain academic credit; working with another person on a assumptive assessment in which a student is expected to prepare individually. 

Duplication of work: Presenting the same research paper or homework for assessment in different subjects or components.

Misconduct during an exam: Using material not authorized by the teacher during a test or homework assignment; having a private conversation with other classmates during a test. 

In general, any behavior or act in order to deceive the school or the teacher and create an unfair academic advantage or disadvantage for a member of the school community is considered academic misconduct and any failure to comply with the school’s Academic Honesty Policy will result in disciplinary actions.

Student responsibilities

OTR International School expects students to be honest in their academic work. All students are asked to agree on the Academic Honesty Policy when enrolling in our school. It is made clear to students and parents that any failure to comply with the policy may result in disciplinary action. Students are strongly encouraged to support each other in respecting the policy. The students are expected to respect their work and the work of others.

When students use another person’s work, they are expected to acknowledge the source of information by using quotation marks and /or bibliographic citations for the material they have used and list the author in the references of their assignment.

Students should strive to create original work after processing sources. Work copied on the whole from other sources, even when cited in the references, will not be accepted.  

Teachers Responsibilities

Teachers will ensure that students fully understand the meaning of academic misconduct and the Academic Honesty policy. Students will be encouraged to feel confident in presenting their own work and avoid any form of academic misconduct. Teachers should help their students in developing effective studying strategies and avoid studying or working in the last-just before exams or assignments. A common problem that occasionally leads to academic misconduct is the overload of students with several extracurricular activities. Teachers should ensure that students are aware how to prioritize their work. It is essential that teachers discuss with their students and explain about all forms of academic dishonesty.

In general, the teachers and the school management will aim at helping students develop their study skills, prioritize their work and use effective strategies to avoid any academic misconduct.

In order to promote academic honesty, teachers need to agree on their expectations and teaching strategies within and across subject groups. They must be supported by other school staff, such as librarians.

Additionally, teachers are expected to be role models for the students and refer to any documents or to the origin of their work in case they use material or resources of another person, respecting the intellectual property rights of others.

In collaboration with the school management, the teachers will ensure that they identify any act of academic dishonesty and they implement the discipline measures as described in the policy.  

School responsibilities

The school has the obligation to provide a safe learning environment for all students while encouraging integrity and honesty. The school will teach students how to use other people’s work. The procedures to follow in case of academic misconduct will be made clear to all members of the school community.  

Towards this purpose, the school has established procedures and has taken actions towards guiding students and parents on expected behaviors and examples of good referencing.

Among others, these actions include:

  • Information sessions with parents and presentations on good academic practice and proper citing and referencing;
  • In-school presentations with parents and presentations on good academic practice and proper citing and referencing;
  • Use of plagiarism detector software for all essays and documents submitted in or via OTR School;
  • Unified and consistent approach by all teachers in OTR School towards preventing malpractice cases and instances of academic misconduct;
  • Teachers at OTR School devote time during lessons for students to practice referencing and citations formats;
  • Zero-tolerance policy in case of proven and deliberate academic misconduct;
  • All teachers acting as role models in terms of avoiding academic malpractice and misconduct.

Parents responsibilities

Parents need to be aware of the academic honesty policy and support their children in its implementation. Parents should pay attention to the amount of extracurricular activities of their children as an overload might lead to academic dishonesty strategies due to lack of time.

It is the parents’ responsibility to make sure that their children know how to prioritize their work and always have sufficient time for studying for their exams and assignments.  

Investigating academic misconduct

In OTR School, an investigation of possible academic misconduct may be initiated if a teacher suspects that the work that a student has submitted as his/her own work is in fact not the authentic work of the student. Furthermore, academic malpractice may take place if there is evidence that there has been misconduct or breach of academic honesty in a formal assessment or during an examination. 

If the above happens, then the MYP Coordinator in OTR School will ask all people involved (students, teachers, invigilators etc.) to put down in writing their perspective on the sequence or events in question. Sometimes, when there are conflicting perspectives, it could be the case that a short interview is conducted by two other members of the OTR staff with the student involved in the suspected case of malpractice.

In OTR School, all rights of students suspected for academic malpractice are fully respected. In this context, in the case of such an investigation, a student is entitled to be fully heard and stand up for himself/herself, either in person or by submitted an official letter to the Director of Secondary School and to the MYP Coordinator. Parents or legal guardians are also informed and they can accompany the student in question if he/she is invited to submit a formal account of events regarding the suspecting malpractice.

Consequences in case of academic misconduct

The school’s disciplinary council will decide on the discipline measures to be taken and these will be based on the nature and severity of the infraction and the number of previous infractions.

A students’ involvement to any act of academic misconduct may lead to the one or more of the following disciplinary actions:

 

  • The student shall receive a written warning;
  • The student’s work shall not receive a grade for his or her work;  
  • The student may be asked to redo the assignment;
  • The student may be excluded from school trips and other activities organized by the school;
  • Major academic honesty infractions shall be included in the student’s personal file;
  • The student may be temporarily or permanently excluded from OTR International School.

 

The school will keep records of each situation related to academic misconduct. The records will be made available to the disciplinary council before coming to a decision on the disciplinary action to take.

 

According to the internal school rules, if a student is sent to a disciplinary council because of a breach of academic honesty, he/she shall be accompanied by his/her parents/guardians (Internal Rules, Disciplinary Councils, page…) 

Review of the policy

The policy will be reviewed collaboratively with all MYP staff in 2022  

Resources

IBO. IB Learner Profile. Print. <https://www.ibo.org/contentassets/fd82f70643ef4086b7d3f292cc214962/learner-profile-en.pdf>

IBO. Academic Honesty brochure. Print. <https://ibo.org/globalassets/digital-tookit/brochures/academic-honesty-ib-en.pdf>

IBO. Middle Years Programme: Assessment Procedures 2020. Web, 19 December 2020: <https://resources.ibo.org/myp/works/myp_11162-56751?lang=en>

IBO. Academic Honesty. Breaches to regulations:scenarios for malpractice cases, 2011. Print.

IBO. Effective Citing and Referencing. 2014. Print.

IBO. MYP: From Principles into Practice. 2014. Print.

APPENDIX 1: Examples of conventions for citing and acknowledging original authorship

In all works prepared and submitted for assessment, a references section should exist.

The reference section should start with the heading REFERENCE LIST (bold SMALL CAPS), centered, 12-pt font size.

In this section, all sources that have been used should be cited (including books, journals, internet resources etc.) and the references should be formatted as follows:

 

(for books):

Author’s last and first name, Title in italics. Translation: Translator’s name, Publication

place: Publisher, Year of publication. Medium of Publication

Example:  Smith, John. R. The Title of the Book: The best book ever. Luxembourg: University of Luxembourg Editions, 2019. Print.

Note: In case the book has three or more authors, then you cite the first two authors as usual and then you add after the second author’s name the words “et al.”

 

(for book sections):

Author’s last and first name. “Title in quotation marks”. Book Title in italics. Ed. Editor’s full name. Translation: Translator’s name, Publication place: Publisher, Year. Page numbers. Medium of Publication

Example:  Smith, John. R. “The Title of the Chapter”. The best book ever. Ed. George Blacksmith. Luxembourg: University of Luxembourg Editions, 2019. Pp. 85-99. Print.

 

(for journal or magazine articles):

Author’s last and first name, “Title in quotation marks”. Journal/Magazine title in Italics. Issue number. (Year:Volume): page numbers

Example: Smith, John. R. “The Title of the Chapter”. The best journal. 2019:3, 85-99. Print.

 

(for internet resources)

Author’s Name. “Title of Page”. Title of Website in Italics. Date of publication. Medium. Date of access. URL

Example: Smith, John. R. “The Title”. The best journal. 15 December 2019. Web. 22 January 2020.  <http://www.awebpage.com>

 

(for internet resources)

Author’s Name. “Title of Page”. Title of Website in Italics. Date of publication. Medium. Date of access. URL

Example: Smith, John. R. “The Title”. The best journal. 15 December 2019. Web. 22 January 2020.  <http://www.awebpage.com>

APPENDIX 2: SCENARIOS FOR MALPRACTICE CASES [1]

In OTR School, we follow IB regulations and practices when treating alleged cases of malpractice. The following scenarios are intended as examples of malpractice. Each of these scenarios are followed by an explanation of the principles that apply in the specific case and the penalty that may apply in the specific case. All scenarios, principles and respective penalties outlined below have been adapted by the IBO publication “Academic Honesty” (2011).

 

Plagiarism:

Scenario 1 —There is clear evidence in the form of source material to support a decision that the student has plagiarized text without any attempt to acknowledge the source(s). This includes the use of unacknowledged text in written and/or oral examinations and the use of other media, such as graphs, illustrations and data.

Principle—If there is clear evidence of plagiarism with no acknowledgment of the source(s), the student will be found guilty of malpractice without regard for any alleged lack of intent to plagiarize. A statement from the student or teacher stating that the copying was the result of an oversight or mistake by the student will not be considered as a mitigating factor.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded.

 

Scenario 2—A student takes text from the Internet and translates it into another language for use in his/her work without acknowledging the source.

Principle—Regardless of whether text has been translated by the student, the ideas or work of another person must be acknowledged. This is still plagiarism.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded.

 

Scenario 3—A student copies a work of art without acknowledging the source.

Principle—Plagiarism as a breach of regulations includes all media and is not confined to text.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded.

 

Scenario 4—A student’s work is very similar to source material, such as text on a web site, and the source has been paraphrased by the student. The source has not been cited by the student.

Principle—Paraphrasing may be interpreted as plagiarism if the source material is not cited because this still constitutes representing the ideas or work of another person as the student’s own.

Penalty—If the student is found guilty of plagiarism, no grade will be awarded in the subject concerned.

 

Collusion:

Scenario—A student allows another student to copy all or part of his/her work. The student who copies the work then submits that work as his/her own.

Principle—A student who allows his/her work to be copied constitutes behavior that results in, or may result in, another student gaining an unfair advantage, which constitutes malpractice.

Penalty—Both students will be found guilty of malpractice and no grade will be awarded for the subject concerned.

 

Duplication of work:

Scenario—A student hands in work that is the same or substantially similar for two different assessment components.

Principle—Depending on the specific requirements of a subject, a student may use the same topic for different assessment components, but that topic must be researched, written or otherwise presented using an entirely different approach. Using work that is the same or substantially similar for two different components is not acceptable.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded in the subjects concerned.

 

Misconduct during an examination:

Scenario 1—The student is found to be in possession of unauthorized material during a written or oral examination (for example, a cell/mobile phone or a textbook).

Principle—Possession of unauthorized material is sufficient reason to find a student guilty of malpractice. Whether or not a student did gain, could have gained, or intended to gain, an advantage by using the unauthorized material will not be taken into account.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded in the subject concerned.

 

Scenario 2—A student disobeys the instructions of the invigilator. The instructions are in compliance with the IB regulations for the conduct of examinations.

Principle—If the conduct of the student is such that he/she gains an unfair advantage (for example, continuing to write answers to questions when told to stop) or may affect the results of another student (for example, behavior that is a distraction to other students), this will constitute malpractice.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded in the subject concerned.

 

Scenario 3—A student communicates or tries to communicate with another student during an examination.

Principle—If the conduct of the student is such that he/she may gain an unfair advantage or the conduct may affect the results of another student, this will constitute malpractice.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded in the subject concerned.

 

Scenario 4—A student (or students) leaves notes, a textbook, cell/mobile phone, calculator or other unauthorized material in a bathroom that is accessed, or could be accessed, during an examination. Alternatively, a student may access or endeavor to access unauthorized material left by another student.

Principle—If the conduct of the student is such that he/she may gain an unfair advantage or the conduct may affect the results of another student, this will constitute malpractice.

Penalty—No grade will be awarded in the subject concerned.

 

Scenario 5—There is clear evidence that a student (or students) has copied the work of another student during an examination. It is not clear which student is guilty of malpractice, or whether some form of collusion has taken place.

Principle—If the conduct of the student is such that he/she may gain an unfair advantage this will constitute malpractice; this includes communicating with another student during the period of the examination. If the evidence and statements are insufficient to identify which student (or students) is guilty of malpractice the school will undertake further investigation.

Penalty— No grade will be awarded in the subject concerned to the guilty student or both students, as appropriate.

 

Miscellaneous:

Scenario 1—A student acts in an irresponsible or unethical manner in breach of the IB guidelines for ethical conduct or animal experimentation. For example, producing work which includes offensive or obscene material, conducting experiments without the consent of participants, conducting experiments that inflict pain on humans or animals.

Principle—Students are required to act in a responsible and ethical manner throughout their participation in the Diploma Programme and assessment. The IB is entitled to refuse to mark or moderate assessment material if a student has acted in an irresponsible or unethical manner in connection with that part of assessment for the Diploma Programme. For example, if a student includes offensive or obscene material that is unrelated to the content of assessment. In such cases the final award committee is entitled to award a mark of zero for the component or part(s) of the component that are not assessed due to such irresponsible or unethical behavior.

Penalty—Depending on the circumstances of the case, the school may refuse to mark the work or award zero marks for the assessment component concerned.

 

Scenario 2—Malpractice by a student becomes evident after a grade has been issued for the subject concerned and there is clear evidence to support the case. For example, plagiarism is identified during a re-mark or moderation of a student’s work.

Principle—The school is entitled to withdraw a grade from a student if malpractice is subsequently established after the issue of results.

Penalty—The grade awarded to the student in the subject concerned will be withdrawn and new results will be issued.

 

Scenario 3—A student falsifies his/her record for personal project or community project.

Principle—Malpractice includes any behavior that gains an unfair advantage for a student or that affects the results of another student. This includes all requirements for the IB MYP diploma.

Penalty—The student will need to complete the project requirements in order to be eligible for new results to be issued.

 

Scenario 4—Suspected malpractice by more than one student in an examination.

Principle—The school reserves the right, if not satisfied that an assessment has been conducted in accordance with the regulations, according to the seriousness of the violation, to declare the assessment null and void, to disqualify any or all students involved. The grades for all students in the subject concerned will be withheld until the case has been fully investigated and resolved.

Penalty—Whether or not a penalty is applied to all students, or individual students, would depend on the outcome of the investigation.

 

[1]-Source: IBO. Academic Honesty. Breaches to regulations: scenarios for malpractice cases, 2011. pp.18-22. Print. <http://www.aisv.lt/uploads/Academic%20Honesty%20(1).pdf>