Policy - 05 Academic Honesty


Pamoja Education IB DP Online Courses

As an IB Diploma Programme school, we value honesty and academic integrity. We encourage all students to conduct themselves in a responsible way and expect all students to avoid academic malpractice.

Instruction in academic and personal honesty is a fundamental part of a student’s education. Honesty and integrity are basic, desirable character traits. Academic malpractice is generally defined as cheating or creating a false impression of a student’s performance. It is expected that Pamoja Education online students will demonstrate academic honesty at all times.


The school and the International Baccalaureate Organisation define malpractice as behaviour that results in, or may result in, a student gaining an unfair advantage in assessment. Malpractice includes, but is not limited to:

  1. COLLUSION: This involves supporting malpractice by another student, as in deliberately allowing your own work to be copied or submitted for assessment by another student. Examples of collusion:
    • Letting someone copy your work or assisting in their cheating in any way. Both parties are at fault.
    • Letting your partner do all of the work on a project and then putting your name on the project as if you had done an equal share of the work. You are at fault.
  2. DUPLICATION of WORK: This is defined as the presentation of the same work by the same student for different assessment components and/or diploma and/or school requirements, when it is contrary to the regulations of either the school or the external body assessing the work.
    • Turning in an old project done by you or someone else.
    • Using the same piece of work for two assessments.
  3. PLAGIARISM: Presenting another person’s intellectual property or work as your own work (i.e. written words, ideas, visual images, auditory expressions or any material that comes from another source, including the Internet, CD-ROM-based resources and text-based reference materials), without crediting the source of that material. Even material that has been paraphrased in the student’s own words is considered plagiarised material unless proper credit or explicit reference is given.

Students should not:

  • Copy another person’s work;
  • Look at another person’s paper and copy their answers;
  • Reword someone else’s words and not give them credit for the ideas, and thereby pass someone’s ideas off as their own;
  • Copy directly from a printed source, by taking someone else’s work and presenting it as their own;
  • Copy directly from the Internet, by cutting and pasting someone else’s work and presenting it as their own;
  • Use a foreign language translator to change from one language to another and then use that translation as if it were in their own words;
  • Have someone do their work for them or purchase work done by another person or company and pass it off as their own
  1. UNFAIR PRACTICE: Any other behaviour which gains an unfair advantage for a candidate or which affects the assessment results of another candidate (for example, taking unauthorized material into an examination room, misconduct during an examination, disclosure or receipt of confidential information about examinations, obtaining unauthorized access to examination material, the use of a calculator or other means of arriving at an answer when this is precluded in the syllabus/component, disruptive behaviour in the examination room, failure to abide by the instructions of an invigilator, impersonation of another person or forgery of their signature, failure to abide by the conditions of supervision designed to maintain the security of the examinations, the inclusion of offensive or obscene material in scripts or coursework) also constitutes malpractice.

        (Adapted from the IB Handbook of Procedures) Page 2

Internal Assessment: All assignments completed for Internal Assessment for the IB Diploma must be independent work. Even though data or other research may be shared, any written report, essay, project or portfolio work based on the data must be carried out by an individual student, independently of anyone else.

Tests & Examinations: All Pamoja subject examinations should be held under IB school examination conditions. Breaches of examination regulations will incur a mark of zero for a test or end of year or trial examination. Furthermore, during external IB DP examinations, the IB will be informed of any unfair practice and may take further action, which may include failure of the subject and/or diploma.

How does academic dishonesty show up?

  • Computer technology makes it very easy to determine if you have copied something directly from the Internet. All major pieces of work done for Pamoja Education online courses are run through to detect plagiarism.
  • Teachers know your style of writing. They can almost always recognize what was actually written by you and what was probably written by someone else.
  • Teachers remember work that was turned in by other students. When correcting papers and exams, they do not forget what other students have written.

How can you avoid academic dishonesty?

  • Write in your own voice, not just in your own words. Make your work personal and uniquely yours. Express the ideas you have. Try to make as much of your work as original as possible.
  • Most of the time it is permissible to use ideas from someone else, provided you give that person credit for those ideas. You must always credit where you found the information you are using, both in the body of your written work and in the bibliography at the end. List all of your sources of information (Internet web page URL, journal, books, magazine articles etc…). It is advised that you use the same citation system used in your face to face. If you are not sure about this talk to your IB coordinator.
  • Be organized and give yourself time to do the work properly. Last minute work often lends itself to cutting corners which can lead to academic malpractice.
  • When you do research, keep good records of where you have found your information. For example, record the URL and date of webpages you access in case they disappear later.

Teacher Support

Teachers will assist students by demonstrating good practice in order to help students avoid academic dishonesty. Teachers will reinforce concepts of intellectual property and the need to credit outside sources of information and ideas within the written work, as well as on the Bibliography page. You are always free to consult your teacher for assistance whenever needed.

However, if a teacher recognizes or suspects cheating or plagiarism they will take immediate steps to deal with it. Initially, the teacher will report their concerns to the student’s SBC and to School Services at Pamoja Education.

Possible Consequences of Academic Malpractice in Online Courses

There are very serious consequences levied by the International Baccalaureate Organization for academic malpractice. Students found to have submitted plagiarized or dishonestly produced academic work assessed by IB will fail to receive a grade in the subject concerned, and will fail to receive an IB diploma as a result. Other consequences may also apply based on your internal school regulations.

At Pamoja Education, we take this matter very seriously as well.

We recognise that students come to Pamoja Education courses with different backgrounds and experience of referencing work and, consequently, the teacher may show some leniency in deciding individual cases in the early part of Year 1. For example, failure to include appropriate references may be an oversight rather than a case of malpractice and thus the teacher may decide not to pursue this as a case of malpractice. However, the teacher will discuss the issue with the student so that they do not repeat their mistake. In cases where there is a clear intent by the student to commit academic malpractice then the following sanctions apply:

First Instance:

Any work produced through malpractice will be penalized and will receive a mark of zero for the work as a whole. The teacher will provide notification in a malpractice report form [LINK] of the violation to the student’s SBC and to the School Services Manager at Pamoja Education. The student will be expected to meet with their SBC. The SBC will enforce their school academic honesty regulations. The Pamoja Education School Services Manager (SSM) will issue an official warning letter. A record of the incident will be kept on the student’s SIS file until graduation.

Second Instance:

Any work produced through malpractice will be penalized and will receive a mark of zero for the work as a whole. The teacher will provide notification in a malpractice report form [LINK] of the violation to the student’s SBC and to the School Service Manager at Pamoja Education. The student will be expected to meet with the IB Diploma Coordinator or Principal of their school, and be subject to the appropriate school academic honesty policy for a second instance. The Pamoja Education School Services Manager will issue a second official warning letter. A record of the incident will be kept on the student’s SIS file until graduation. Any Pamoja Education course teacher writing references for colleges or universities, to which the student is applying, will note the malpractice in their reference.

Third Instance:

The student will be required to withdraw from the online course with the associated consequences. A record of the incident and conditions of withdrawal will be kept on file.

Malpractice and IB Internal Assessment

If a piece of work that forms an element of a student’s IB Internal Assessment (IA) is completed through malpractice then the above-mentioned actions will be taken and the student will be required to submit a new piece of work with no assistance given by the teacher.

If student IA work which has already been submitted with the IA cover sheet signed by the student is determined to have been completed through malpractice, this incident must be reported directly to the IB Curriculum and Assessment department as a breach of the IB’s Academic Honesty Policy.


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    Tim Knight

    This is great Andrea and Dani ..... this is really exciting!

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