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CCCU introduces new Academic Integrity Policy ahead of International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating

CCCU has introduced a new Academic Integrity Policy. This new policy has set the tone ahead of International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating on October 20th.

What is International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating?

Taking place on the 20th of October, International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating is a day where we can pledge to stand against contract cheating. Contract cheating is best described as the “outsourcing of student work to third parties” (Lancaster & Clarke, 2016, p. 639) In a nutshell, university students pledge to never hire someone to do their work for them.

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Contract cheating can happen through:

  • Family and friends; academic custom writing sites; legitimate learning sites (eg. file sharing, discussion and micro-tutoring sites)
  • Legitimate non-learning sites (eg. freelancing sites and online auction sites)
  • Paid exam takers; and pre-written essay banks (Ellis, Zucker, & Randall, 2018, p. 2)

The act of contract cheating, and its associated behaviors: undermines learning; erodes learning environments; damages learning relationships; places the student, the faculty/teacher, the educational organization, and society at risk from students who will graduate with knowledge gaps; undeserved academic awards; and a propensity to engage in dishonest behaviors in their professional careers

Guerroro-Dib, Portales, & Heredia-Escorza, 2020; Harding, Carpenter, Finelli, & Passow, 2004; Lancaster, 2020) via

Most commonly, students will turn to online to cheat. Here’s how they might do it:

  • Students look to internet sites for the exact question/problem/scenario given to them by their instructors.
  • If the student is unable to find the question/problem/scenario, they post the exact (or very similar) question(s) online for someone to answer.
  • Students copy the provided answer directly from the online source without spending time to understand it or check it for errors.
  • Students attempt to hide their online activities from institutional authorities by not making their name visible or by logging into “help” sites in a way that cannot be tied to their educational institution ID.
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CCCU’s Academic Integrity Policy

CCCU’s new Academic Integrity Policy is coming into force this year:

“Academic Integrity is a set of values that we must apply to our academic work. It helps us learn how to use other people’s ideas when creating our own work.

The values are: 

  • Honesty – being clear about what is your work and where your ideas come from other sources. 
  • Trust – others can have faith in you being open about your work and acknowledging others’ work. 
  • Fairness – you do not try to gain an unfair advantage in using others’ work. 
  • Responsibility – you take an active role in applying the principle of Academic Integrity to your work. 
  • Respect – you show respect for the work of others  

This is what will govern acts of academic misconduct of which contract cheating is just one of many.” – CCCU

What’s going on this year for the event?

This year there is a meme contest which all students can participate in to pledge against contract cheating.

The International Center of Academic Integrity (ICAI) is sponsoring the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating Student Meme Contest.

The purpose of the contest is to generate works that may be used either this year or in future years to promote the event and provide students the opportunity to share their opinions about the threat contract cheating poses to the higher education experience and the overall importance of academic integrity.

Submissions must be received by 4 p.m. EST on Friday, Oct 15, 2021. The top three will be announced and will receive a cash prize on Oct. 20.

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