Academic Integrity Policy
Academic integrity is central to the IBO learner profile. Academic pursuits can be extremely challenging, but as with all challenges, accomplishing your goal often yields rewards far greater than the effort put into the work. The creation of authentic work is often an arduous task, but the skills learned in doing so – problem solving, articulating arguments, synthesizing information, rigorous academic research, etc. – will be invaluable as you pursue a university degree and/or a career.
ISNS strives to create a safe and encouraging learning environment for students to explore ideas and support academically honest behaviors, and to help instill the values and principles that lie behind such behaviors. As a continuum school, the attributes of the learner profile and the development of ATL skills are important in helping students of all ages be academically honest in all their studies. ISNS expects that all IB students will strive to be principled and demonstrate academic integrity in all their pursuits. (Academic honesty in the IB educational context, 2016, p.1). This policy will provide the expectations of both students and teachers in the pursuit of academic integrity. Further details can be found in the 2018 IBO publication “Diploma Assessment Procedures”.
Throughout the Primary Years Programme, teachers will aim to instill an understanding and respect of academic integrity. All subject teachers will work with students of all age groups to develop understanding, highlight importance of completing one’s own work, promote best practices and identify skills that need developing. Violations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, primarily between the teacher and student, but when deemed necessary, with the cooperation of administration and parents/guardians. The goal of discussing these violations will be that of providing an opportunity for students to learn more about the importance of academic integrity, and strengthening their foundation for academic integrity best practices.
In the Middle Years and Diploma Programmes, teachers will continue to build on the principles developed in the PYP and incorporate the responsibilities and guidelines contained within this policy. Beginning in MYP1, students will be introduced to formal citation methods and the minimum information required for identifying sources (name of author, date of publication, title of source, and page numbers), and will continue to develop their understanding over the course of the Middle Years and Diploma programmes. ISNS has adopted the MLA citation format for use school-wide, though other citation formats will be introduced in later years to familiarize students with other options (ex. APA for DP science courses, etc.). Candidates to the Diploma Programme will be made aware that IB randomly checks candidates’ work for plagiarism using web-based plagiarism prevention services, and ISNS teachers and students will use such services to ensure academic integrity (ex. Turnitin).
Defining Academic Misconduct
The IBO defines misconduct as “a behavior that results in, or may result in, the student or any other student gaining an unfair advantage (or a behavior that disadvantages other students) in one or more assessment components.” (Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme, 2018, p.2).
Forms of misconduct include:
- Plagiarism – “the representation, intentionally or unwittingly, of the ideas, words, or work of another person without proper, clear and explicit acknowledgement. The use of translated materials, unless dictated and acknowledged, is also considered plagiarism.” (Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme, 2018, p.2)
- Duplication of Work – “the presentation of the same work for different assessment components and/or Diploma Programme requirements.” (Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme, 2018, p.2).
- Collusion – “supporting academic misconduct by another student, for example allowing one’s work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another.” (Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme, 2018, p.2).
- Misconduct During an Examination - “taking unauthorized material into an examination room, disruptive behavior and communicating with others during the examination.” (Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme, 2018, p.2).
- Communication About the Content of an Examination - “24 hours before or after the examination with others outside their school community is also considered a breach to IB regulations.” (Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme, 2018, p.2).
Students are responsible for:
- using correct forms of citations and requesting guidance when they are unsure of how to cite a source;
- ensuring all work that is submitted is their own authentic work;
- ensuring the correct use of citations when the ideas and work of others is used;
- working with teachers to ensure fellow students are working within the definition of academic honesty as set out in this policy;
- not engaging in any form of academic misconduct as defined in this policy;
- ensuring they understand this policy and its rationale.
Teachers are responsible for:
- being familiar with the Academic Honesty in the Diploma Programme, 2018 publication, as well as this policy;
- teaching students what constitutes academic integrity and misconduct in their respective disciplines;
- being aware that IB randomly checks candidates’ work for plagiarism using web-based plagiarism prevention services;
- teaching students how such services will be used to ensure academic integrity (ex. Turnitin);
- being proactive in preventing misconduct by modeling effective citations and referencing, as well as providing examples of academic misconduct in their respective disciplines;
- tracking incidents of academic misconduct using ManageBac behavior notes.
Parents are responsible for:
- being fully aware of the contents of this document and understanding the key role they play in reinforcing the standards listed in this policy at home;
- encouraging students to manage their time effectively and not submit work hastily without checking citations and referencing;
- checking deadlines and ensuring their children are not procrastinating on any upcoming work;
- encouraging students to maintain open lines of communication with their teachers to vocalize any questions or concerns they may have about assessments, well before the due date;
- being aware of the guidelines set by ISNS for handling instances of academic misconduct;
- signing this document and declaring that they understand the Academic Integrity Policy at ISNS.
Librarian Teachers are responsible for:
- teaching effective citation and referencing skills to both teachers and students;
- supporting teachers of all disciplines in using web-based plagiarism prevention services;
- providing resources to support student research;
- providing links to sites which can be used for creating proper citations;
- supporting teachers with their unit planning.
Guidelines for handling instances of Academic Misconduct in Grades 6-8 of the Middle Years Programme
While the Individuals & Societies Department, in conjunction with the MYP/DP Librarian, will form the foundation for teaching MLA citations and formatting, all MYP teachers accept responsibility for teaching and promoting academic integrity in their subject area.
Any minor forms of academic misconduct (ex. Incorrect citation or MLA format, forgotten citation, etc.) will be treated as a teachable moment at the teacher’s discretion.
For more serious and intentional forms of academic misconduct (ex. Intentional plagiarism, lack of works cited page, etc.), the issue will be documented in ManageBac as well as parents contacted, and the following procedures will apply:
First two occurrences in any subject – will be treated as a teachable moment, and the student will be assigned to the next available MLA workshop in the library to receive support in reworking their assessment so there is no longer academic misconduct. Whatever is submitted at the end of the workshop will be graded accordingly by the teacher. If nothing is submitted, the student will receive a grade of 0.
Additional occurrences – student will be assigned a detention the following day and will have until the end of the detention at 12:20pm to resubmit the assignment with no further issues of academic misconduct. The student is responsible for showing the duty teacher the assessment has been uploaded to ManageBac by the end of the detention. Whatever is submitted will be graded, and if nothing is submitted, or the submission still contains issues of misconduct, the student will receive a grade of 0.
Collusion – any instances of intentional collusion will result in an automatic grade of 0 for both students involved and parents contacted.
Cheating – any instances of cheating during a test will result in an automatic grade of 0 and parents contacted.
Any academic malpractice disqualifies a student from receiving scholarships and/or awards for that academic year.
Guidelines for handling instances of Academic Misconduct in Grades 9-10 of the Middle Years Programme
Learning Experiences – at the teacher’s discretion, an incident of unintentional misconduct may be used as a learning experience for the student, with the repercussions being decided by the teacher in collaboration with the Grade Level Lead and MYP Coordinator.
First offense – student will receive a grade of zero for the piece of work, and a meeting between the student, the subject teacher, and the MYP Coordinator or Grade Level Lead will be set to discuss the incident. In addition, the concerned teacher will document the incident in ManageBac and ensure parents are informed.
Second offense – student will receive a grade of zero for the piece of work. A panel consisting of, but not limited to: the student, subject teacher, Grade Level Lead, MYP Coordinator, Principal, and parents/guardians will convene to determine whether the malpractice was intentional. Based on the panel’s findings, the student may be placed on an academic contract which could result in the student’s removal from ISNS, or the student being uninvited back the following year. In addition, the concerned teacher will document the incident in ManageBac.
Third offense– student will receive a grade of zero for the piece of work. A panel consisting of the student, Grade Level Lead, MYP Coordinator, Principal, and parents/guardians will convene to determine whether the malpractice was intentional. Based on the panel’s findings, the student may be dismissed from the school. In addition, the Principal will document the incident in ManageBac.
Guidelines for handling instances of Academic Misconduct in the Diploma Programme
According to Article 20 of the General Regulations: Diploma Programme (2016) document, sub article 21.1 states that “if questions arise about the authenticity of a candidate’s work before submission for assessment, the situation must be resolved within the school. If possible academic misconduct (for example, plagiarism, collusion) is identified after a candidate’s work has been submitted to the IB Organization for assessment, the school’s DP coordinator must inform the IB Organization as soon as possible” (p.13).
All information concerning the incidence of academic misconduct is presented to a sub-committee of the Final Award Committee. Sub-article 21.7 states that if the “sub-committee decides that a case of academic misconduct has been established, a penalty will be applied in the subject(s) concerned. The penalty will, in the judgment of the sub-committee, be proportionate with the severity of the misconduct” (p. 13).
Lastly, sub-article 21.8 states that “if no grade is issued for a subject that contributes to a candidate’s IB Diploma, no IB Diploma will be awarded to the candidate. DP Course Results will be awarded for other subjects in which no academic misconduct has occurred. Except in cases of serious or repeated misconduct, the candidate will be permitted to register for future examination sessions, which may include the session that follows six months later, if the relevant registration deadlines are met” (p. 13).
Therefore, the consequences for submitting work that contains academic misconduct is forfeiture of eligibility for the full Diploma programme.
*** Please note that the following guidelines will be used on a case by case basis. The sanctions for each incident will be reflect the severity of the academic misconduct.
In any case of academic misconduct in the DP, the Secondary Principal, DP Coordinator, HOD, course teacher, and parents must be informed of the incident and a note must be placed in the student’s profile in the behavior notes section of ManageBac. Should universities inquire about any student’s previous issues with academic misconduct, ISNS will be truthful in its response.
IB DP in-class formative and summative assessments
First offense – student will receive a grade of zero for the piece of work, and a meeting between the student, the subject teacher, and the DP Coordinator will be set to discuss the incident. In addition, the concerned teacher will document the incident in ManageBac and ensure parents are informed.
Subsequent offenses – situations where there has been a prior offense or there is a serious and significant instance of academic misconduct.
A panel consisting of, but not limited to: the student, subject teacher, Grade Level Lead, DP Coordinator, Principal, and parents/guardians will convene to determine whether the misconduct was intentional. Based on the panel’s findings, the student could be removed from the Diploma Programme at ISNS. The concerned teacher will document the incident in ManageBac.
Official IB DP internal and external assessments
First offense on a first draft – For minor issues of academic misconduct (ex. partial/or incomplete citation or reference), the teacher could view the situation as an opportunity to reiterate the importance of time management skills, review citation and referencing guidelines, as well as reiterate the consequences for another infraction.
A serious issue of academic misconduct (ex. plagiarizing an entire section of their work) on the first draft would result in the student redoing his/her work in detention hall (during and after school), until his/her assessment is properly cited and referenced. For such an offense, the student would not be removed from the Diploma Programme, but the teacher would need to add a behavior note in Managebac and email the student’s parents about the infraction. The secondary principal and DP Coordinator will meet with the student to discuss the repercussion of a subsequent instance of Academic Misconduct would mean for the student.
Subsequent offenses on a first draft – A panel consisting of, but not limited to: the student, subject teacher, Grade Level Lead, DP Coordinator, Principal, and parents/guardians will convene to determine whether the subsequent misconduct was intentional. Based on the panel’s findings, the student could be removed from the Diploma Programme at ISNS. The concerned teacher will document the incident as a behavior note via ManageBac.
Final submission of Internal and External Assessments– All submissions are final and there are no amendments allowed after a final copy is submitted. This rule is in line with the ISNS Late Submission Policy and follows IB regulations for submission of work. Students all sign a declaration of authenticity that states their work is authentic and that they consent to sending it to the IB Organization for marking. Should academic misconduct be discovered after these steps, the school will not send the work to the IB organization as it will receive a grade of Zero (See article 20, in General Regulations: Diploma Programme). The student will be removed from the Diploma Programme, will become a Diploma Courses Candidate, and will be invited to re-sit the course in the next IB Examination period (November or May) should they want to complete the full Diploma Programme.
This policy will be reviewed bi-annually by the pedagogical leadership team, with input from teaching leads and other staff, beginning in October 2016. Revised January 2020.
Students will be asked to sign a declaration stating that they understand and agree to comply with the ISNS Academic Integrity Policy.
Academic misconduct is when:
- A student is expected to write a book report about a book that his teacher has assigned. The student doesn't want to read the book and is bored with the subject. He visits websites that provide reviews and book reports and he copies from each of the different book reports to create one report of his own.
- A student uses an entire piece of work or part of the work from another student and submits it as his or her own work
- A student is expected to write a research paper on a topic in his history class. The student had a friend who took a similar class five years ago. The student asks his older friend for a copy of his paper and then takes the paper and passes it off as his own, turning it in to the teacher with his name on it.
- A student takes a large block of text from a book, reference materials, or a website and quotes it in his paper word-for-word. The student puts a footnote into the paper indicating where the text came from; but the student does not give any indication in the text that he or she is quoting directly from the paper.
- A student finds an article or piece of work in his or her first language, translates it to English, makes adjustments to grammar or vocabulary but does not summarize or paraphrase.
- A student downloads media that he did not pay for.
- A student uses applications and or programs that are pirated and not paid for.
- A student copies a classmate’s work.
Note: Plagiarism does not have to be word-for-word plagiarism. If you copy someone's ideas, paraphrase or simply change the words of existing text, you must provide proper attribution for the source of the ideas.
Academic misconduct is not when:
are doing group work and the teacher asks them to copy each other’s notes to
make sure they have the same information.
use subject specific words or proper nouns from a piece of work that you are
trying to summarize or paraphrase. Some words cannot change.
- You use information learned from a previous class to complete an assignment in another class.
MLA Formatting and Scaffolding
- You must use Times New Roman Font, size 12.
- Your whole paper must be double spaced.
- You must write from the third person perspective. That means no I's, we's, or you's.
- There is NO cover or title page.
- You must indent 1 inch from the left, right, top, and bottom margins.
- For each new paragraph, you must indent an extra 1/2 an inch.
- Your last name and the page number must be in the upper right hand corner. It must be 1/2 inch from the top border.
- Your full name goes on the left.
- One space below that is your teachers' name.
- One space below that is the class name.
- One space below that is the date that it is handed in.
- One space below that, and centered, is the title of your essay.
- The Works Cited page has been placed on the separate page from the essay
Please note that the levels required for each grade level only define the minimum expectation. If there is an advanced student that needs more of a challenge, students are free to incorporate more MLA into their work.
The following applies to Grades 4, 5, 6 and 7:
- Work cited page in alphabetical order
- Format for books – Author and title - Said, Edward. Culture and imperialism.
- Format for online sources – Author (if available), Title of page, URL. – Author (if available). Title. URL.
- Format for interview – Name of expert, date of interview, and the medium – Family name, first name. Medium (email, Skype call with, conversation with…). Full date.
- Format for images – online – URL, title of page, author (Emerging level by grade 5) Author (if available). Title. URL.
- Format for images – book – author, title and page (Emerging level by grade 5) Said, Edward. Culture and imperialism. p. 15.
*all author statements are written as: family name, first name (if available)
For students in Grades 8-12 full MLA citations are required.
For examples of proper essay and works cited formatting, please see the MLA Style Guide from Owl Purdue: MLA Style Guide