Academic Integrity

A small group of DCU academics across all five faculties are using interactive oral assessments as a viable alternative to traditional assessments. This short 2 min. video provides a quick introduction to the approach through the voices of both students and academics involved in the initiative.

Several other TEU projects fall under the umbrella of assessment and academic integrity - the largest of which is the IUA led project “Enhancing Digital Teaching and Learning (EDTL)” where the main focus for DCU is assessment. This project builds on work of the “Y1Feedback” project led in DCU by the Open Education Unit and “Integrity” project led by the TEU. “Students as Partners in Assessment” is an area of current focus and aligns with national initiatives such as NSTeP. We have also formed a community of practice around the use of Interactive Orals as an approach to improve academic integrity. This selection of case studies illustrate examples of impact of the various projects relating to assessment where they led to change in teaching practices and publications for the staff involved. Another example of impact would be the for the last two years we have, with the support of the Student’s Union, run Academic Integrity week, a suite of activities and events to promote academic integrity with staff and students. 

DCU is engaging in a unique University-wide Academic Integrity Awareness Campaign. This project is influenced by the work of NAIN (National Academic Integrity Network), and builds on existing DCU TEU projects and initiatives. It is a year-long (March 2021-February 2022) SATLE National Forum funded research project. This two-phased project will act as a tool for more focused conversations around academic integrity. It is envisaged that this work will build capacity and raise awareness of academic integrity with all DCU stakeholder groups.  This, in turn, will we hope, influence both cultural and ethical changes across the university, through a renewed sharing of responsibility for the promotion of academic integrity. Watch out for invitations to surveys, focus groups and dissemination workshops. For any information on this project please contact the principal investigators, Dr Fiona O’Riordan [] and Dr Gillian Lake [].


DCU promote shared responsibility and a holistic approach to promoting academic integrity. This shared approach is evident in our annual ‘promoting academic integrity week’.

As part of our initiatives for Promoting Academic Integrity Week 2021, we are working with colleagues in MU to collate some examples or insights of assessment practices that promote academic integrity. If you are interested in being involved in this project please include your details at and we will reach out to you to see how best to support you doing this.

Proposed Programme 18th-22nd October

Rise to the Challenge
All week long

Test your knowledge with two exciting challenges and be in with a chance to win a prize!

— Academic Integrity Challenge

— ‘exCITING’ Library Referencing Challenge

Access the challenges from the Loop top menu

Four €50 One4All vouchers up for grabs

Explore and Learn
All week long

Explore the resources at the My Own Work website to support your own academic integrity


Explore and Learn
All Week long

Explore the Academic Integrity Hub to get inspired about assessment design and other ideas to promote academic integrity with your students

Access from the Loop top menu, under ‘Support’

Share a practical insight into your assessment practice with the learning and teaching community

Monday 18th October, 12:30-13:30
#IUADigEd Webinar

Join us for a lunchtime webinar to explore the features of our Academic Integrity Hub on Loop.

This webinar will explore a partnership approach to supporting academic integrity initiatives


Shared Commitment to Academic Integrity
All week long

Declare your support for academic integrity by making a pledge or express what academic integrity means to you and add your contribution to the shared student and staff declaration bank on Loop

Students are in with a chance to win a €50 One4All voucher

Access the declaration bank from the Loop top menu

Online Seminar: Building a shared culture of academic integrity
Wednesday 20th October, 13:00-14:30

This National Forum seminar will explore ideas to build a shared culture of academic integrity with learners and those who teach/support teaching in partnership, drawing on some practical strategies and examples

A keynote will be delivered by Dr Sarah Eaton, University of Calgary


Academic Integrity Shared Conversation and Introduction to National Guidelines & Lexicon
Thursday 21st October, 16:00-17:00

Billy Kelly will introduce the recently launched National Academic Integrity Guidelines and National Principles & Lexicon of Common Terms

Followed by an online conversation, facilitated by Dr Gillian Lake and Dr Fiona O’Riordan, which aims to to build shared awareness and capacity of academic integrity through introducing some preliminary findings of a DCU-wide research study in this area.


Explore other events listed on the National Academic Integrity Network website

Part of International Day of Action against Contract Cheating

Visit our student and staff declarations webpage to see an excerpt of declarations and pledges made by DCU students and staff during Promoting Academic Integrity Week 2021.



DCU TEU developed a suite of twelve principles for academics to help them design assessments that promotes academic integrity. These principles are informed by an extensive scoping review.

<< Introductory Video

The TEU is collaborating with Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, to pilot interactive orals as a viable alternative assessment to the traditional end of semester exams. An Interactive Oral Assessment is a two-way conversation using an authentic scenario, usually a work-based or professional type scenario. Using the scenario with prompts, free-flowing, two-way conversation develops in a more real and stress-free manner. It is designed to be a curious type of conversation where the prompts allow students to showcase their learning in a natural type environment.  In this way is it different from an oral exam or a Viva where a question and answer format is used within strict exam conditions that can be sometimes stressful for the student.

There is a small group of about 8 DCU academics piloting this approach, led by the TEU in collaboration with Griffith University. Griffith University has extensive experience, and a body of evidence-based research to show that interactive orals are an authentic assessment approach that effectively helps prepare students for employment, and when used as part of strategically designed integrated assessment, promotes academic integrity. Whilst being an effective alternative assessment tool to end of semester exams, it is also proven to be efficient and scalable. A TEU Interactive Oral User Guide is available to support academics wishing to use this approach.  

An exciting extension to the DCU Interactive Oral CoP is a shared Interactive Oral CoP with Griffith University and Charles Sturt University in Australia. The first meeting was held on 24th November 2021, hosted by the TEU. At a two hour meeting over twenty academics (eight from DCU) presented vignettes of their use of interactive oral across all disciplines. This shared CoP will continue to meet twice a year to collaborate and share experience and research in this space.

Building a culture of academic integrity in our institution involves bringing students and staff together to consider the full spectrum of academic integrity issues, and to co-construct an appreciation of academic integrity as ethical behaviour that should infuse all our teaching, learning, assessment and research approaches.

Dr Sarah Elaine Eaton from University of Calgary delivered a keynote at a National Forum seminar at DCU in October 2021 on this topic.

Slides from seminar: "Building a shared culture of academic integrity"

Abstract of Dr Eaton's keynote

Licensed under CC BY 4.0

DCU Teaching Enhancement Unit (TEU) worked with partner universities on the INTEGRITY project, funded under the KA2 strand, aimed at enhancing the quality of teaching and learning processes that are based on the principles of academic integrity, supported by policies, mechanisms, and tools that help prevent and detect cases of plagiarism in higher education. As part of this collaboration, TEU developed a resource toolkit for academics to support them in designing assessments that actively encourage academic integrity. The suite of resources advanced for the toolkit includes a literature review publication; a set of twelve principles and related explanations; interactive glossary; self and team checklists; animated scenarios; and a collection of case studies. All resources can be accessed under a Creative Commons license at Work on resources and learnings from this project is being expanded through the IUA EDTL work and other smaller projects.