Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is defined as “a commitment, even in the face of adversity, to six fundamental values; honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility and courage” (Fishman, 2014). The Teaching Enhancement Unit (TEU) has focused on academic integrity as an area of work for some time now, commissioning a literature review into the area, designing a suite of principles for embedding academic integrity in assessment design, developing and launching an Academic Integrity Hub for DCU staff to learn more about the issue, and running various professional development events internally and externally to DCU. The resources were developed primarily as part of an Erasmus+ project and are all available under creative commons license at

Examples of TEU projects to promote academic integrity are outlined in the tabs below:

  • Students as partners in teaching, learning and assessment are getting a lot of traction over the recent years. There is a growing recognition that in order for students' learning and assessment experience to be successful they should have a sense of agency and investment in the process. The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education calls on academics to empower students to become more involved in the assessment process. In light of this focus, the TEU secured some university funding to engage in a Students as Partners in Assessment (SaPiA) project. The work is informed by a scoping review and conversations with students, to design a resource that represents a variety of opportunities to partner students. Examples of both formative and summative assessment, along a continuum of low to high level partnerships, are presented. A small team of DCU academics are currently piloting and researching some of these assessment approaches that partner students to engage and empower them. 

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.

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.



  • In October 2019 the TEU ran an academic integrity awareness campaign over the course of a week, based around the International Center for Academic Integrity’s day of action. It was repeated this year, and with the support of DCU Library, Students Union, and academic staff,  TEU ran an enhanced campaign during 19 - 23 October 2020. This week-long initiative comprised a number of synchronous and asynchronous online events for students and staff to prompt them to think about academic integrity, understand its importance, and learn about how they can uphold it (full programme on TEU website linked here). Some of the highlights of the week include over 1,500 students engaged in both academic integrity and library challenges. Almost 350 students pledged their commitment to academic integrity in the collaborative declaration bank (examples of student declarations can be found on the TEU website linked here). Almost 100 staff and students took part in the spotlight panel webinar to discuss the ethics of academic integrity. DCU looks forward to continuing the conversation around academic integrity throughout the year with all of its stakeholders.