Promoting a culture of academic awareness and honesty:

developing an institutional ‘good academic practice’ website and understanding how students can and do make use of it

Arlëne Hunter


Despite our best efforts, plagiarism continues to be of major concern. For many, the response is to intensify disciplinary penalties and enhance the use of detection software and deterrents. Although these can help, they do not address the most common causes of plagiarism, namely poor academic practice. To address this, a different tactic is required in which educational development is promoted as the key to enhancing academic integrity.

In response to this, the UK Open University created the Developing good academic practices website to enable all of its learners (irrespective of prior educational experience, level and/or area of study) to better understand issues around plagiarism and become more confident and competent learners.

Using a constructivist approach, the site emphasises academic skills development rather than focusing on plagiarism, while interactive quizzes integrated throughout the site, allow learners to test their knowledge, understanding and application, in ways that best suit their needs.

This paper considers some of the key logistic and pedagogical difficulties encountered while creating a resource that could operate effectively at the institutional level, while simultaneously addressing discipline-specific needs and maintaining a sense of relevance for all its potential users.

This paper was submitted to the International Integrity & Plagiarism Conference which ran between 2004-2014. The paper was peer reviewed by an independent editorial board and features in the conference proceedings.