MALPRACTICE AND PLAGIARISM POLICY
Malpractice consists of those acts which undermine the integrity and validity of assessment, the certification of qualifications and/or damage the authority of those responsible for conducting the assessment and certification. University ensures that the highest standards are maintained in the conduct of all assessments. The proper core and precaution is essential to safeguard the legitimate interests of both the students and the faculty. Malpractice is taken very seriously in MMYVV and action is taken against any student who contravenes the policy through negligence, poor judgment or by deliberate intent. MMYVV does not tolerate actions of malpractice by either learners or staff.
Guidance to prevent or reduce learner malpractice
MMYVV aim is to take positive steps to prevent or reduce the occurrence of learner malpractices. Following are the examples of such practice:-
- Using the induction period and the student handbook to inform learners of this policy and the penalties for attempted and actual incidents of malpractice.
- Showing learners the appropriate formats to record cited texts and other materials or information sources including websites. Learners are not discouraged from conducting research however, it is ensured that the submitted work shows evidence that the learner has interpreted and extracted/rephrased key information as well as acknowledging the sources used.
- Following procedures have been introduced for assessing work in a way that reduces or identifies malpractice,
This procedure includes:
- Supervised sessions during which evidence is produced by the learner altering assessment tasks regularly
- Assessing work for a single assignment for the same learner cohort within a time limit.
- Oral questions are used with learners to check their understanding and knowledge prior to marking work.
- Consistent assessors are preferred, who become familiar with their learner's styles and skills.
Learner malpractice to be avoided
Attempting to or actually carrying out any malpractice activity is strictly prohibited. The following malpractices must be avoided by learners.
- Plagiarism by copying and passing off, as the learner's own, the whole or part(s) of another person's work, including artwork, images, words, computer generated work (including Internet sources), thoughts, inventions and/or discoveries whether published or not, with or without the originator's permission and without appropriately acknowledging the source
- Collusion by working collaboratively with other learners to produce work that is submitted as an individual learners work. Learners are not discouraged however from teamwork, as this is an essential skill for many sectors and subject areas.
- Impersonation by pretending to be someone else in order to produce the work for another or arranging for another to take one's place in an assessment/ examination/ test
- Fabrication of results and/or evidence
- Failing to abide by the instructions or advice of an assessor, a supervisor, an invigilator, or qualification conditions in relation to the assessment/ examination/test rules, regulations and security
- Misuse of assessment/examination material
- Introduction and/or use of unauthorized material contra to the requirements of supervised assessment/examination/test conditions, for example: notes, study guides, personal organizers, calculators, personal stereos, mobile phones
- Obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information which could be assessment/examination/test related (or the attempt to) by means of talking or written papers/notes during supervised assessment/examination/test conditions
- Behaving in a way as to undermine the integrity of the assessment/examination /test
- The alteration of any results document, including certificates
- Cheating to gain an unfair advantage.
Staff malpractice to be avoided
The following are examples of malpractice by staff.
- Producing falsified witness statements, for example for evidence the learner has not generated
- Allowing evidence, which is known by the staff member not to be the learner's own, to be included in a learner's assignment/task/portfolio /coursework.
- Misusing the conditions for special learner requirements, for example where learners are permitted support, such as an amanuensis, this is permissible up to the point where the support has the potential to influence the outcome of the assessment
- Failing to keep learner computer files secure
- Falsifying records/certificates, for example by alteration, substitution, or by fraud
- Fraudulent certificate claims, that is claiming for a certificate prior to the learner completing all the requirements of assessment
- Failing to keep assessment/examination/test papers secure prior to the assessment/ examination/test
Dealing with Malpractice
The overall responsibility of dealing with malpractice lies with the Registrar of the University. It could also under some circumstances be dealt by a person nominated by the Registrar. As a part of procedure the alleged malpractice incident has to be reported to the awarding body in the case where the awarding body is external. Once the alleged malpractice is suspected, the alleged person involved in the activity has to be informed in writing of:
- The nature of alleged malpractice.
- The possible consequences if malpractice is proven.
- If any how it is proved that malpractices have been done the strict action has been taken by the University.
- As a second step the individual is given a chance of explaining their point of view and also explained the appeals procedure where the decision is against them.
- The investigation is to be conducted in a fair and appropriate manner.
- Appropriate sanctions have to be levied according to the nature of incident.
- Malpractice has to be dealt through disciplinary procedures.
MMYVV conducts investigation into the alleged incidents of malpractice according to policy in a timely and structured way. The structure of the investigation is as follows:
- The report of alleged incident is documented.
- The alleged individual is informed about the allegation of the malpractice in writing. (This individual may be learner or staff)
- The alleged individual has their rights and the procedures regarding appeal in case the incident is proven to be true explained to them.
- The individual is given time and opportunity to respond to in writing.
- The response of the individual is considered thoroughly.
- The investigation is completed and the decision is then passed on to the individual in writing.
- All stages of this investigation are documented and the records are kept for 3 years after the decision.
There is a variety of sanctions and/or penalties that could be applied upon learners and/or staff. These sanctions totally depend upon the seriousness of the incident and therefore vary in outcome. Some consequences include:
- The staff or learner is issued with a written warning about future assessment conduct.
- If a learner is involved in the malpractice for a second time, the assessor could refuse to assess their course work.
- The learner may have to resubmit their course work in order to meet the pass criteria.
- In the case where there is repetitive conduct of malpractice by the learner they may be refused a pass with that particular unit and therefore not receive the award.
- In the case where malpractice is proven against a member of staff they will be subject to an immediate decline in their access to records and authority to assess or certify.
- The staff may also be barred from the use of certain administrative tools depending upon the nature of malpractice and may be reprimanded or terminated from the job.