Academic Integrity Policy and Protocol

Academic integrity is the act of commitment by institute and students, even in the face of adversity. All admitted members of Support Services Training Institute (SSTI) undertake five pivotal values: honesty, equity, responsibility, trust and respect.

Academic integrity is fostered in SSTI’s environment as it is essential to the success of the academic institution and community.

This policy is applied to all SSTI’s institute, staff, and students during all times regardless whether they are on full-time, part-time, conditional or probationary period.

Among the forms of violations of academic integrity are cheating and impersonation using texts and other resources made by others without mentioning the type of intellectual property and giving the creator of the text his right, and this includes all forms of reuse of intellectual and creative expression by members.

Among the mechanisms used to prevent fraud:

  • Safe Exam Browser (SEB)

This program turns any device into a secure workstation with a browser that prevents the trainee from moving or controlling his/her device, including opening files or browsers, or even disconnecting the internet feature from the trainee's device. Only when the test is delivered, he/she is able to use their device normally as the test displays a screen and is not allowed to be changed until after the test is submitted. Moreover, it disables features such as copy, paste and screen sharing.

Using the test questions from the question bank and issuing multiple forms through the "random questions" feature. Displaying one question on the screen Preventing moving between questions at random

As for the prevention of impersonation:

  • 2-Step Verification
  • Linking the institute's email registration to the platform

A. ِInstitute and Trainees’ Responsibilities

I. Institute

The institute is expected to educate students on the importance of academic integrity. Members of the institute are instrumental in implementing and promoting academic integrity on campus by making reasonable efforts to minimize academic dishonesty and responding accordingly to any academic misconduct or violations. Thus, as education leaders, institute members must model and practice SSTI’s five fundamental values:

  • Develop clear guidelines regarding course requirements, expectations, grading scales, resources, services, and academic integrity within the course syllabi.
  • Promote academic integrity by providing your own lectures and citing any sources.
  • Compose a learning centered assessment and provide clear reasons underlying the evaluation.
  • Address all forms of academic misconduct and their disciplinary consequences.
  • Evaluate trainees work free of bias and with honesty based on academic merit.
  • Provide trainees with clear and timely feedback.
  • Promote a classroom environment where trainees are discouraged from academic dishonesty.
  • Hold trainees accountable if breaches of academic integrity occur.
  • Foster a classroom environment where trainees are treated equally and respectfully.
  • Encourage support office hours to trainees to discuss academic matters and offer assistance.
II. Trainess

Trainees are expected to abide by the principles of academic integrity and educate fellow students on its importance. Students are responsible to bring attention to any alleged violations they may encounter to the appropriate authorities. They must demonstrate ethical behavior including:

  • Abiding SSTI’s Academic Integrity Policy.
  • Following the instructor’s rules and processes as directed in the course syllabus.
  • Inquiring the instructor for clarification if the standards of academic performance, grading policies, assignment, etc. are not clear.
  • Treating peers, staff, and institute with the utmost respect and courtesy.

B. Procedures for adjudicating violations of academic integrity

Based on the aforementioned, the institution takes strict measures against those who violate academic integrity, depending on the case of violation.

The case of the trainee caught cheating at the time of the test

Strict action is taken by the participants in the case of

  • Plagiarism in academic work and the use of resources including texts, digital, creative or intellectual resources, including videos, images, analytical projects, graphs, and other resources without mentioning the originating source or presenting them as the trainee’s work
    1. Producing a detailed record of all the content used with mentioning the evidence
    2. Deduction from the degree of work according to the amount of theft/impersonation
    3. Maintain confidentiality of the case
    4. Informing the student of the disciplinary action and submitting the report before taking the action
  • In the event that identity theft is caught by someone else solving the test or doing the homework
    1. Producing a detailed record of the case with evidence
    2. Calculating the degree of the test or assignment as a failure and it is possible according to what the higher authorities see, based on the trainee’s behavior, the status of his evaluation may be calculated in the failed course
    3. Maintain confidentiality of the case
    4. Informing the student of the situation and the disciplinary action and submitting the report before taking the action

C. Types of Academic Integrity Violations

I. Plagiarism

It is the act of using, copying, reproducing, or paraphrasing someone else’s published or unpublished material without acknowledgement and presenting it as their own. Material is not limited to just text, but also consists of all other intellectual property such as: music, drawings, designs, photographs, and other technical and artistic works. Students are expected to be attentive to their instructors’ instructions on the appropriate methods of acknowledgement and conventions of documentation. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Submitting an exam, paper, homework assignment, projects (laboratory report, computer programs, etc.) as one’s own work but was created entirely or partially by someone else.
  • Failure to use quotation marks to indicate the usage of another person’s words even if it was brief phrases.
  • Creating an academically dishonest paraphrase by simply inserting synonyms or tweaking some words of the source’s sentence structure.
  • Failure to identify the source of quotations and paraphrases. Sources include books, articles, material found on the internet, television programs, and people including other peers, friends, instructors, relatives, etc.
II. Cheating

Cheating is the act or attempted act of deception where a student misrepresents that he/she has mastered the needed information on any academic exercise. Cheating is also the use or attempted use of unauthorized assistance in a homework assignment, examination, paper, and other projects. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Copying answers from another student.
  • Communicating with another student or third party during an examination without the permission of the instructor.
  • Using unauthorized materials or devices including notes, calculators, textbooks, mobile phones, etc. during an examination without the permission of the instructor.
  • Obtaining or reading a copy of an examination before its administration.
  • Collaborating with other students on take-home examination, paper, homework assignment or other projects without the permission of the instructor.
III. Fabrication

Fabrication is the falsification or invention of sources, citations, results or data and recording or reporting them in any academic exercise. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Citing sources that don’t exist.
  • Falsifying or making up evidence, data, or other source materials.
  • Selectively omitting, limiting information, or altering data to complement one’s own conclusions or claimed experimental precision.
IV. Contribution of Academic Dishonesty

It is the act of knowingly or negligently allowing one’s work to be used by others without the prior approval of the instructor. A student who intentionally aids committing violations of academic integrity may be considered to be as culpable as the student who receives the assistance. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Allowing another student to copy from one’s paper, homework, examination, or other project.
  • Assisting another student on a take-home assignment, examination, paper, or other projects without the permission of the instructor.
  • Writing a paper or other project for another student.
  • Distributing an examination paper from an unauthorized source prior to the examination.
  • Submitting the same material in more than one course without prior approval of the institute member.
V. Other Forms of Academic Misconduct

Other forms of dishonest academic misconduct include any actions by which the student seeks an unfair academic advantage over others. Example include, but are not limited to:

  • Destroying or altering another student’s academic work.
  • Bribing any other person to obtain an unadministered test or information about the test.
  • Continuing to work on an examination or project past the deadline specified.
  • Purchasing, selling or giving away all or part of an unadministered test including answers.
  • Stealing, defacing or damaging academic facilities or materials.
  • Requesting an academic benefit based on false information or deception.
  • Sitting for another person’s examination.
  • Changing or being an accessory to the changing of a grade in a grade book, test, electronic record or other official academic record.
  • Engaging in any other form of academic misconduct not covered here.