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Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism Policy for Learners 

 What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is attempting to pass off other people’s work and ideas as your own and can include:

  • Copying from another learner
  • Copying from books or the internet
  • Paraphrasing
  • Subcontracting the work to someone else
  • Submitting the same piece of work for two different purposes

Why is plagiarism wrong?

  • It is fundamentally dishonest.
  • Learners who commit plagiarism are seeking an unfair advantage over other learners.
  • Learners who commit plagiarism are devaluating the value of the qualification they seek.
  • It is disrespectful to their assessors/tutors, and a betrayal of their trust.

What are the consequences of plagiarism?

  • Learners who commit plagiarism learn far less than those who do not.
  • Assessment procedures are compromised if the work submitted is not the learners own.
  • Assessors/tutors are unable to form correct decisions on the progress of individual learners.
  • It may result in legal action due to infringement of copyright laws.
  • It may be penalised by failure in one or more components of a course.
  • It could be unfairly interpreted as professional incompetence on the part of the assessor/tutor.

How do we identify plagiarism?

The expertise of individual assessors/tutors is the best safeguard against plagiarism. We check learners work for:

  • the use of unfamiliar words
  • grammar and syntax of a standard far higher than that demonstrated previously.
  • a discontinuous rise in the quality and accuracy of the learner’s work
  • the use of texts familiar to the assessors/tutors, but without appropriate referencing
  • the use of American spellings and unfamiliar product names
  • type a few selected phrases into a search engine such as Google.
  • share concerns with colleagues: if everyone has the same suspicions about a particular learner, it would seem appropriate to apply rigorous checks to all of his or her work.

Use Of Artificial Intelligence

Resolve recognises that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool that can have benefits, for example to help to overcome linguistic barriers. However as the usage of AI tools increases (eg. ChatGPT, Google Bard),this may result in the use of AI generated text in assignments and assessments that are submitted towards achievement of qualifications.

When A1 is used to generate the bulk of an assignment or assessment, this is a form of plagiarism and is subject to the same sanctions as standard suspected plagiarism.  In the event that it is suspected that a learner has used AI to complete a written assignment, they may be asked questions about the work they have submitted to check their understanding of the assignment / assessment subject(s).

If there are still concerns that work has been subject to malpractice or plagiarism, this will be subject to investigation and possible action as detailed below.

If a tutor suspects a learner’s work has been plagiarised:

They will speak with the leaner informally to identify whether this is a referencing error, and if appropriate provide additional revision on how to quote and reference correctly when writing assignments.

  • If it is identified that a learner has plagiarised their work, then this will be escalated to the Apprenticeship Programme Lead (APL) for investigation. (If the APL is not available or is involved in the learner’s assessment, then this should be escalated to the Head of Learning & Development)
  • Where the APL suspects plagiarism, s/he will gather the necessary student evidence (original source that may have been used inappropriately) and review this for evidence of plagiarism. If after initial investigation the APL determines that there is no case to answer, they may dismiss the case.
  • If there is evidence of plagiarism the APL will write to the student, presenting the evidence assembled, and provide them with an opportunity to make a written response to the allegation (s) of plagiarism and/or collusion, including any information which s/he considers should be taken into account as mitigating factors for their actions. Information relating to any mitigating circumstances should wherever possible be supported by documentary evidence. A deadline will be set for the submission of the written response which shall not be fewer than five working days from the date of notification of this request.
  • When writing to the student to present him or her with evidence, they may require the student, in addition to providing a written submission, to attend a meeting to discuss matters relating to the allegations. For distance learning courses a recorded telephone call or online meeting will be used. The student shall be given at least five working days written notice of a meeting or phone call.
  • If having been served due notice, a student does not submit a written response to the allegations/ attend a meeting or take part in the telephone call, the APL may proceed to determine an outcome to the case without offering any further opportunity to the student to make representations.
  • Having reviewed the evidence assembled and the response received from the student, the APL shall determine one of the following regarding the allegation:
  1. That there is no case to answer and dismiss the case
  1. That plagiarism or collusion are not proved, but that there is evidence of poor academic practice, the student should be warned, directed to academic support within the department and require to undertake the Resolve plagiarism tutorial.
  1. That there is evidence of plagiarism and impose a departmental-level penalty as permitted under these regulations.
  • The APL shall notify the student concerned of the outcome of the case, including reasons for the judgement, normally no more than 10 working days following the deadline for the student’s written response.

Four categories of plagiarism have been identified and a penalty will be applied for each of these.  A lesser category of poor academic practice is also recognised, which will not attract a penalty.

Category

Characteristics

Action

Poor academic practice (PAP)

First offences occurring in the first term of a student’s course should normally be treated as poor academic practice

This is not a disciplinary offence and does not count as a first offence.  PAP involves collaboration or poor citation where there is evidence that the student did not appreciate the rules of academic writing or where the extent of copied material can be considered so slight that it does not justify disciplinary proceedings or a penalty.  The work in question includes:

·       A limited amount of material or copied text expressing ideas or concepts taken from the work of others in the students’ own words but without appropriate citation.

·       A limited amount of material or copied text which is referenced in the bibliography but is not properly cited.

·       A limited amount of material or copied text that has been subjected to minor linguistic changes with or without citation.

·       A limited amount of material or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks

A formal warning but no penalty is issued by the Apprenticeship Programme Lead and the student is directed to academic support within the department.  The student is required to undertake Resolve’s plagiarism tutorial.  In cases of poor academic practice, the mark will reflect the academic merit of the work; the mark is likely to be low.

Category 1

plagiarism and/or collusion

The work breaches the rules of academic integrity by presenting the material of others as the student’s original material.  Category 1 plagiarism includes:

·       Short blocks of materials or copied text expressing ideas or concepts taken from the work of others without appropriate citation, or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks.

·       Short blocks of material or copied text which is referenced in the bibliography but is not properly cited.

·       Short blocks of material or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks.

·       Collaboration between students as evidenced by structure, sources or short blocks of copied text or similar bibliographies.  A short block of text may be as small as two continuing lines

A mark of zero (0) should be awarded for the assessment in which the plagiarism was found to occur.  The module mark is calculated on the basis of the zero mark for the plagiarised assessment.  If this results in failure of the module, where resubmission is available the student may resubmit the assessment for a capped module mark.  The cap should be set at the pass mark for the programme.

Category 2

plagiarism and/or collusion

A category 2 offence will be committed when the copied material represents a significant proportion of the work.  The line between Category 1 and Category 2 offence will be determined by the level of similarity between the work and the source material on a case-by-case basis. Category 2 plagiarism includes:

·       Significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text expressing ideas or concepts taken from the work of others without appropriate citation.

·       Significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text which is referenced in the bibliography but is not properly cited.

·       Significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text that have been subjected to minor linguistic changes and presented as the students own, with or without citation.

·       Significant or numerous blocks of material or copied text that is cited but not in quotation marks.  Significant blocks of text may be a small as several continuing lines.

·       Collaboration between students as evidenced by structure, sources, significant or numerous blocks of copied text.

A mark of zero (0) should be awarded for the assessment in which the plagiarism was found to occur.

The module mark is calculated on the basis of the zero mark for the plagiarised assessment.  If this results in failure of the module, the student should be required to re submit the assessment in order to fulfil the learning outcomes and obtain the module credits where this is required for progression purposes.  

Category 3

Plagiarism and/or collusion – ‘repeat offence’

A category 3 offence will be committed if a category 1 or 2 penalty has been applied to a students work on a previous occasion (i.e., a repeat offence).  Contemporaneous offences or offences in which a student has had no opportunity to act upon advice arising from an earlier offence due to close submission dates etc. are not treated as repeat offences but may attract PAP, Category 1 or Category 2 penalties in the normal way.

If both offences are Category 1 then the penalty on the second offence is a Category 2 penalty.  If either of the two offences is a Category 2 offence, then the penalty on the second offence is a Category 3 penalty.  The Category 3 penalty is as follows:

A mark of zero (0) should be awarded for the assessment in which the plagiarism was found to occur.

The module mark is calculated on the basis of the zero mark for the plagiarised assessment.  If this results in failure of the module, the student should be required to resubmit the assessment in order to fulfil the learning outcomes and obtain the module credits where this is required for progression.

Category 4

plagiarism and/or collusion

A Category 4 offence is the most severe plagiarism where the departmental processes do not provide a sufficient penalty.  It may be appropriate to refer to a disciplinary panel for a case which is complex and where the department is unable to establish the facts.  A disciplinary panel has the power to impose penalties up to and including expulsion from the course and from Resolve.

Refer to panel

 Monitoring

 The policy will be reviewed a year after development and then every two years, or in the following circumstances:

  • changes in legislation and/or government guidance
  • as a result of any other significant change or event.