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What is Unauthorised Collaboration?

Clocktower at night

Unauthorised collaboration is a type of dishonest practice which occurs when students work together on an assessment which is designed as a task for individuals and in which individual answers are required.

Unauthorised collaboration may involve:

  • Working with others (telling or asking others for information) to develop an approach to fulfil the requirements of the assessment
  • Working on and writing up answers to an assessment so that the work submitted is very similar
  • Sharing the answer to an assessment by either making it available to others or receiving it from others

In all of these examples, the thoughts and opinions presented for assessment are those of two or more students as opposed to that of the individual.

While it can be useful to discuss ideas with other students in your class to help you better understand, make sure you write up your answers individually in your own time and own words.

Some assessment tasks formally require you to work in groups and present the results of your collaborative work. This is not unauthorised collaboration, nor is working with other students in research or study for assignments, tests or examinations. However it is important that you indicate quite clearly the boundaries between the work of the group and your own work (your own thoughts and ideas).

If you are not sure about collaboration in a particular assignment, check with your lecturer.