These guidelines have been endorsed by the Assessment Subcommittee and are designed to help academics enact the recommendations of the Assessment for Academic Integrity White Paper (2022).

The guidelines were accepted by Academic Board on 25 November 2022, and are now referenced in the updated Assessment Procedures, Academic Integrity policy, section 3.1.4 Assessment Integrity. 

Designing assessment for academic integrity

1.0 Purpose and scope 

The following outlines approaches for assessment design that offer assurance that assessment tasks are completed by the student who receives credit for them as required in PPL 3.10.02 Assessment–Procedures. 

2.0 Process and key controls  

The integrity of assessment is critical for learning and certification of learning.  

Security of assessment will be evaluated on a program and/or plan basis, recognising that prioritising goals other than security is necessary for some assessment items.  

3.0 Key requirements  

In designing and conducting assessment, teaching staff must give due regard to assessment integrity and security to minimise the possibility of academic misconduct. Assessment design should therefore incorporate the elements above the purple line where possible in the following diagram. Further detail is given below the diagram.

Infographic illustrating the elements of assessment design. Described in text below.

Meaningful assessment - make the assessment relevant

Make your assessment meaningful by ensuring it is relevant, engaging, and challenging. When students perceive an assessment as meaningful, they are more likely to be intrinsically motivated to complete the task honestly. Conversely, if students see an assessment as pointless or disconnected from their learning goals, they may be more inclined to engage in academic misconduct as they don't recognise the value of the task.

Clear expectations - ensure students understand requirements 

Put class-time aside to discuss assessment and ensure that aspects such as genre, scope, time required, formatting, and cognitive demand are understood. Clear expectations help students to understand what is required of them, both in terms of academic expectations and ethical behaviour and thereby reduce confusion and anxiety which are often triggers for academic dishonesty.
Look at the resources from UQ’s Critical Thinking project to support discussions about assessment with students. Using criteria such as clarity, depth, breadth, accuracy, precision, relevance, significance, and cogency can better articulate your expectations.  
Provide annotated exemplars that show good and bad practice if possible.

Timely and valuable feedback 

Have a plan for feedback and share this plan with students. When students receive constructive, timely feedback, they have a better understanding of their mistakes and learn from them, which enhances the perceived value of the assessment.  
Use the feedback process to encourage dialogue between students and the teaching team. This inculcates a sense of engagement and connection which can further reduce the risk of dishonest behaviour occuring.

Reduced cheating opportunities

Assessment can never be totally impervious to academic misconduct, however the opportunities for cheating can be reduced in a few different ways including:

  • using strategies and technology to observe and record student progress with tasks
  • observing students undertaking the task or part thereof; and/or  
  • designing unique assessment tasks for each student to reduce collusion. 

Identifiable cheating - know how to detect cheating (and let students know you know)

  • Use technological tools and expert knowledge to detect plagiarism and other forms of cheating.
  • Work with your teaching team: share experiences and develop plans for identification of misconduct. 
  • Have conversations with students and let them know that their work will be scrutinised. Talk about cheating (de-identified) when it occurs to reinforce the importance of academic integrity and risks of misconduct.

Complement the above with the following strategies that are detailed in the Guideline: Supporting Students with Assessment:  

  • supporting students to learn how to engage with integrity,  
  • managing pressure on students; and  
  • helping students see the value of assessment in the course, program, and their future work.

Further assessment design guidance is available from the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation. 

4.0 Roles, responsibilities and accountabilities  

Course coordinators are responsible for including academic integrity principles in assessment design. 

Teaching staff must give due regard to assessment integrity and security and support students to engage in their assessment with integrity by:

  1. identifying situations where academic misconduct is likely to occur;  

  2. implementing approaches to minimise the risk of academic misconduct; and 

  3. implementing strategies to support students who may find themselves under pressure.

All teaching staff are responsible for detection of integrity issues as they arise. 

5.0 Monitoring, review and assurance

Assessment subcommittee will review this guideline through monitoring misconduct cases, feedback from staff and students, and changes in the higher education sector. 


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Reducing academic misconduct triggers

1.0 Purpose and scope

This document outlines approaches to identify and address, through the provision of support for students, situations where academic misconduct is more likely to occur per PPL 3.10.02 Assessment–Procedures

2.0 Process and key controls  

The integrity of assessment is critical for learning and certification of learning.  

Identifying and addressing situations where students are more likely to be tempted to engage in academic misconduct can increase the integrity of assessment.  

3.0 Key requirements  

Help students learn how to complete assessment with integrity 

  1. Use the Academic integrity slides for class discussion deck to open early conversations with students and thus ensure that they understand academic integrity expectations. 

  1. Discuss integrity considerations for specific assessment tasks and include guidance about support, use of source materials, and use of generative AI and machine translation.  

  1. Regularly check-in with students and ask about concerns that may have arisen particularly about the use of generative AI. 

  1. Complete the Staff Academic Integrity Module, which complements the student modules, and engage with the additional resources.

  2. Remind students of expected progress on assessment and help available at critical times throughout the semester.

Model academic integrity through teaching practices

Students learn how to engage with academic integrity through both explicit instructions and through seeing how their teachers act.

  1. Use explicit referencing in learning resources (e.g., slides, online materials, and readings) which help students see what is expected. 

  1. Discuss the value of recognising and building on the work of others.   

  1. Discuss the way you select and reference the work of others.

Explain the rationale for the assessment 

  1. Help students understand the assessment design to promote engagement and relevance. For assessment to be effective, it's crucial that the purpose of the task and what is expected of the learner are clear.   

  1. Provide exemplars of varying quality or past work, that have been marked using the assessment rubric, to reduce anxiety as well as presenting opportunities for discussion about the requirements.   

  1. When introducing assessment in class, provide the following information to decrease the appeal of academic misconduct: 

  • how the assessment is important to the discipline area, how it offers benefits beyond the achievement of a particular grade, and/or how the knowledge and skills will be used in subsequent courses or in a student’s career; 
  • the opportunities for queries regarding assessment requirements (i.e., when and how should students discuss and/or air concerns); 
  • how students can take ownership of and engage early with the task (e.g., a staged submission, a draft etc.); and 
  • the plan for constructive, timely, and meaningful feedback.

Implement strategies to support students

Academic misconduct becomes more appealing when students are under pressure (Bretag et al., 2019) which can arise due to personal circumstances or institutional stressors such as multiple assessments due at the same time, high-stakes assessment, and/or limited time for completion. The key here is to identify the stressors and then to provide support to alleviate these stressors.

  • Ask current and past students what stressors they have. 
  • Start assessment in class to help with both task understanding and time management. 
  • Provide drop-in sessions if you perceive students to be struggling. 
  • Identify and reach out to students you believe to be struggling. 
  • Establish a routine of discussing available student resources (e.g., English language courses, academic skills such as referencing and paraphrasing guides, and Student Services' study skills and counselling). 
  • Regularly check in with students and provide assessment trouble-shooting sessions in class.


Bretag, T., Harper, R., Burton, M., Ellis, C., Newton, P., Rozenberg, P., Saddiqui, S., & van Haeringen, K., (2019) Contract cheating: a survey of Australian university students, Studies in Higher Education, 44:11, 1837-1856, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2018.1462788 

4.0 Roles, responsibilities and accountabilities

Course coordinators are responsible for guiding course staff in the identification of academic integrity.

Teaching staff are responsible for supporting students to engage with integrity, connecting students with support when needed, and reducing pressure on students where feasible. 

5.0 Monitoring, review and assurance

Assessment subcommittee will review this guidance on assessment security through monitoring misconduct cases, feedback from staff and students, and changes in the higher education sector. 

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Assessing the academic integrity security of courses or programs

1.0 Purpose and scope

This guideline outlines the approach for assessing academic integrity and associated assessment security risk on a program and/or plan basis as specified in PPL 3.10.02 Assessment–Procedures.   

2.0 Process and key controls  

The integrity of assessment is critical for learning and certification of learning.  

Security in terms of academic integrity will be assessed on a program and/or plan basis to ensure that graduating students have genuinely completed the program of study.  

Program or plan security is determined by mapping the security of each course’s assessment through analysis of individual tasks.  

3.0 Key requirements

The security of a program should be considered as part of an academic program review and/ or if necessitated by changing technology or curriculum. 

Assign security levels

Security levels should be decided at faculty-level with input from the Associate Dean (Academic), Heads of School, and program and plan convenors. They will be reported to the Teaching and Learning and Student Experience Committee for noting purposes, and subject to faculty review on an annual basis.  

The following is guidance for these faculty-level decisions, and initial recommendations for the settings shown in [square brackets]. 

Program/plan considerations
  • A minimum of [75%] of core courses are secure; AND
  • A minimum of [67%] of flexible core courses are secure.  
  • For programs and plans with [<50%] of core/ flexible core courses: a minimum of [50%] of high enrolment electives are secure.  
Course considerations
  • A minimum of [30% by weighting] of course assessment has a high security rating and is also a hurdle; OR
  • A minimum of [50% by weighting] of course assessment has a high security rating; OR  
  • A minimum of [70% by weighting] of course assessment has a medium security rating. 

Determine courses to be evaluated

It is recommended that more than 50% of courses should be assessed. 

Assess the security of courses

Allocate each assessment task a level of security: 

  • Low: Assessment that has minimal control on the conditions for students completing the assessment task, uses tasks that may allow for misconduct, and/ or where misconduct detection is difficult.
  • Medium: Assessment that implements controls to reduce the opportunity for academic misconduct and/ or raises the likelihood of detection of misconduct, but not to the level of high security. 
  • High: Assessment that provides confidence that the student completed the work, the opportunities to cheat were minimal, and detection of misconduct is highly likely.

Table 1 categorises typical assessment types. 

Table 1: typical assessment types

Observed/ invigilated live assessment:  

  • written or oral response to questions/ stimuli that have not been seen in advance, 

  • task demonstration (e.g. clinical procedure, role-play, performance), or 

  • substantiation of work in an oral presentation. 

For online assessment:  

  • live invigilation of written or practical work, 

  • record and review invigilation of written or practical work or 

  • online viva-style interactive assessment.  

Works against all major forms of cheating (i.e. plagiarism, collusion, contract cheating, and impersonation) limiting options for misconduct and providing evidence if it does occur.  

Secure against generative AI input. 


Observation of part of assessment:  

  • fieldwork/work placement, 

  • portfolio/ ePortfolio with multiple educator touchpoints, 

  • research that requires laboratory presence, 

  • participation in an experience on which assessment is based, or 

  • draft or part submission completed in class.  

For online assessment:  

  • video evidence1 situating the student in the fieldwork/ work placement,  

  • video evidence of participation in an experience on which assessment is based, or 

  • draft or part submission completed synchronously online.  

Works against all major forms of cheating for the part that is observed.  

Observed work can provide a point of comparison to infer authorship of non-observed work enabling the identification of misconduct. 

Live observation is secure against generative AI input. 


Assessment completed by a team with: 

  • peer assessment,  

  • evaluation of group processes, and/ or  

  • individual marks employed to ascertain individual student input.

Individual accountability works towards academic integrity, but this cannot be guaranteed.  

This approach provides similar confidence with Generative AI use. 


Staged assessment with intermittent integrated formative feedback and/ or summative marking (e.g., iterative project tasks, tutorial reflections, submissions of evidence of progress, interim check-in/meeting with tutor).  

Consider orals or observed check-ins to increase security. 

Staged assessment makes academic misconduct easier to identify but does not preclude the use of generative AI or other forms of academic misconduct.

Assessment based on an experience unique to the student or the course cohort. 

Consider an oral follow up to increase security. 

Personalised assessment and assessment based on unique experiences do not preclude the use of generative AI but may make detection easier.

Assessment that could be completed by another or in collusion with another:  

  • generic take-home assignment/essay  

  • non-invigilated quiz/exam  

  • pre-prepared presentation.  

Misconduct is difficult to identify.  

Open to use of generative AI. 

An overall level of security for a course will be based on the weighting of tasks and level of security for individual tasks. For example both of the following courses could be considered to be secure: 

  • 1 task with 30% weight identified as low security, and
  • 2 tasks totalling 70% weight identified as medium security.
  • 1 task with 30% weight identified as high security that is also a hurdle, and
  • 3 tasks totalling 70% weight identified as low security. 

Assess the security of the program or plan

The security of a program or plan is judged by considering the security of courses in that program or plan. The example in Table 2 is for a 3-year program where electives were not needed to be included as the core and flexible core make up the majority of courses.

Courses with low security have been indicated as such. The remaining courses are secure courses. 

Table 2: program assessment
SemesterCourse code
1CORE1001CORE1002 CORE1003 (low security)FLEX1200 (low security)
2CORE1004 CORE1005 (low security)FLEX1300 (low security) FLEX1201 (low security)
4CORE2003 CORE2004 (low security)FLEX2002 ELECTIVE 
5CORE3001CORE3002 FLEX2003 FLEX3001 (low security)

In general terms, an assurance that 58% (14 of 24) of the courses in a program have a secure rating would allay any reputational risk in that students would not be able to complete the program without demonstrating the required outcomes themselves. On a granular level, 77% (10 of 13) of the core courses are secure and 50% (4 of 8) of the flexible core courses are secure. 

If the security level was not acceptable, assessment tasks would need to be redesigned. 

4.0 Roles, responsibilities and accountabilities

Associate Deans (Academic) are responsible for ensuring security levels are specified for their faculty and reviewed annually.

Program and plan convenors are responsible for incorporating a review of assessment security in Academic Program Reviews, and maintaining program or plan level assessment security between reviews.

Course coordinators are responsible for: 

  1. considering the impact of assessment design on student integrity; and 
  2. ensuring changes to assessment are considered with their impact to assessment security for relevant programs and/or plans.

5.0 Monitoring, review and assurance

Assessment subcommittee will review this guidance on assessment security through monitoring misconduct cases, feedback from staff and students, and changes in the higher education sector. 

6.0 Definitions, terms, acronyms

Security levels – specified thresholds to consider a course and program or plan secure with respect to academic integrity. These levels are set at the faculty level. 

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