Finding the thread: a practical guide to contract cheating


Hosted by the National Academic Integrity Network, co-ordinated by QQI and part-funded by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Finding the thread was a series of academic integrity masterclasses delivered in early May 2022.

As part of these classes, Mr Kane Murdoch shared the Australian experience in detecting and tackling contract cheating, and set a context for the development of guidance and procedures in relation to academic integrity:

  • Why is Australia the leader in this field? What happened and how did they respond?
  • What UNSW did initially and the evolution of their approach
  • ‘Courageous conversations’
  • Plagiarism as an academic skill/time management deficit
  • Digital forensics - point to potential of metadata in submissions and in VLE/LMS use

Kane also threw light on the development of UNSW’s ‘constructive conversations’ approach to investigating and sanctioning misconduct with its focus on rehabilitation or redemption, rather than expulsion.

The masterclasses equipped higher education practitioners with a practical toolkit to help staff to explore, consider and manage the investigation, including the detection, of academic misconduct.

You can watch Kane's presentation of the Australian experience below and access his presentation slides. You can also listen to him in conversation with Aisling Reast for the NAIN Podcast series as they look back at the week, consider how it went, and discuss what was learned by all involved.