Online examinations

Appropriate scholarly conduct and practices in online assessment

It is important for all students to understand their responsibilities for ethical scholarly practices.

The academic integrity declaration on exam and assessment tools

When it comes to online exams and assessment tools specifically, Academic integrity refers to students submitting scholarly work for assessment that represents their own original ideas and original work. The University of Melbourne expects the highest scholarly standards from students in all areas of their learning and assessment, as outlined in the Student Academic Integrity Policy.

By commencing and/or submitting this assessment I agree that I have read and understood the University’s policy on academic integrity.

I also agree that:

  • Unless paragraph 2 applies, the work I submit will be original and solely my own work. A breach of this principle constitutes cheating.
  • I will not seek or receive any assistance from any other person. A breach of this principle is collusion. The exception is where the work is for a designated collaborative task, in which case the individual contributions will be indicated.
  • I will not use any sources without proper acknowledgement or referencing. Failure to do so is considered plagiarism.
  • Where the work I submit is a computer program or code, I will ensure that:
    • Any code I have copied is clearly noted by identifying the source of that code at the start of the program or in a header file or, that comments inline identify the start and end of the copied code
    • Any modifications to code sourced from elsewhere will be commented upon to show the nature of the modification.

As a student of the University, you affirm and declare your understanding and compliance with academic integrity principles and requirements every time you attempt an online examination or assessment by agreeing to this declaration.

The University has a range of systems and processes in place to detect and investigate academic misconduct, such as plagiarism (including contract cheating) and collusion.  For more information about academic misconduct and the range of penalties that may apply, please refer to penalties for academic misconduct - information for students.

Principles of good scholarship

  • Adopt good note-taking practices

    When taking notes during semester and SWOTVAC, remember to:

    • Record the source of the information to which you have referred. This will allow you to reference your source – including lecture slides and other resources provided by your subject coordinator –  if you use those notes during your exam.
    • Put the information in your own words or clearly mark if your notes are a direct quote from a source. Putting the information in your own words will help you develop and demonstrate your understanding of the material, and avoid inadvertent plagiarism.
  • Know what resources you may use in your exam

    Most exams will be open-book, though the type and volume of resources – including prepared notes, the internet and communication technologies – you may refer to will differ from subject to subject. To ensure good scholarly practice in the exams, make sure you’re very clear on which resources you may and may not refer to before the day of each exam.

  • Only submit work that is your own

    A common breach of academic integrity is collusion, which occurs when two or more students jointly develop answers to quiz questions, essays or other forms of assessment. This includes communicating with peers via online messaging platforms during an exam to discuss the exam questions and how to respond to them. Alternatively, collusion may occur inadvertently through preparing study notes with your peers and copying them in exams. Unless you are undertaking ‘take home exams’ for which group work is expected or required, remember to always submit work that is entirely your own and if a peer asks to share or collaborate on answers with you during an exam, say no.

    Another common breach of academic integrity is plagiarism. This may occur accidentally by forgetting to attribute a source to an idea that is not your own e.g. forgetting to reference information copied from lecture slides or other resources provided by your subject coordinator. Plagiarism may also occur intentionally through, for instance, purchasing a ready-made essay from an online “tutoring" site. Both examples can be detected and are academic misconduct, so remember that all work submitted for assessment must be your own, and any ideas and information in your assessment that is not your own must be correctly referenced.

Resources to help you

To help you understand and apply the principles and practices of academic integrity, the following training and resources are available:

  • Academic Integrity Module (AIM) - an online module in the LMS that takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. The module Includes a self-assessment quiz on your understanding of your responsibility for ethical academic conduct
  • The Academic Skills website offers a range of resources and programs to help you refine your academic skills.