Plagiarism and what RMIT is doing about this
Plagiarism is a form of cheating which Unversities take really seriously. But how seriously does RMIT take it and how do they manage this? This is explored below.
There are hearings for this at a very serious level.
What happened in 2008-2009 which caused the Ombudsman to investigate this case?
This case involved the lecturer and a few of his students, most of them were international and most of them had failed prerequisites.
The lecturer had “inappropriately assisted” these students to cheat by providing them with the answers to the exam papers amoung other things. These students had preivously failed a subject and to get them to pass the lecturer had inappropriately assisted them as well as other things. The lecturer did not follow RMIT University policy.
This person also gambled quite a bit and he had personal mail sent to his university address rather than his home. The ombudsman also said that he called the students mobiles many times just before the exam. He also helped an International student who was on an Endevour scholarship and who had gotten involved with the police 39 times during his stay.
Another staff member had suspicions about this lecturer and she raised them with the Head of School and they raised it with People and Culture who did nothing to assist them.
Also ISIS had inappropriately assisted this student by finding out about their financial status and other things which is not what ISIS does at RMIT.
In 2009 the four students were called to a disciplinary hearing but the case was dismissed. Why? It is because there was not enough evidence available at the time to support the schools case.
The case can be read here
What has RMIT learnt about this?
Not much has been done about it so far, but RMIT will implement a new policy on plagiarism and the use of ghost writers.
According to the academic registrar they are creating a new “Instruction” policy for all staff to follow.
For now there is still the issue of ghost writers and the like. What is RMIT doing about these?
It has already implemented a new Enrolment online system.
What I think RMIT can do to improve this situation.
Better communication between students and staff
Better communication about their plagiarism policies, not just say that you can read it yourself in the course guide, but also a tutorial or two for the first year and second year students in Orientation week for this
More friendlier policies for special consideration is neccessary.
I along with RMIT student union are campaigning for all of these things and will continue to do so in 2013