Statement on use of Machine Learning/AI based-tools

Tools substantially similar in purpose or function to ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot, and Codex are not permitted for use in this subject. We acknowledge that these tools may be useful for some students, but we are concerned that their use may lead to a lack of understanding of the underlying concepts and techniques, and a lack of ability to apply them in new situations.

Your instructors do use these tools in professional settings, but you are short-changing yourself if you use them as a substitute for learning the underlying concepts and techniques.

We will be undertaking efforts to detect the use of these tools in your assessments, and will take appropriate action if we find that you have used them, the consequences of which could include failing the subject.

There are no consequences for using these tools in your own time, but that are strictly forbidden in all assessments.

Detecting Academic Misconduct

We will be using a variety of tools to detect academic misconduct in your assessments, which can often detect if you have inappropriately shared your work with other students, or if you have copied from other students—even if you have subsequently made modifications to the code.

Every semester we refer a significant number of students to the University’s formal processes for further investigation, from which students have had their assignments zeroed, their class failed, or even their enrolment terminated.

Our goals are to ensure that you learn the material, and that you are able to apply it in new situations. We are not interested in punishing you for making mistakes, but we are interested in ensuring that you learn. The biggest harm that can come from academic misconduct is that you learn to copy and paste, rather than to learn and apply.

Academic Integrity Expectations and Information

The following is taken from official University of Melbourne guidelines with respect to academic integrity.


All University of Melbourne students are expected to uphold academic integrity in all aspects of every piece of work that they submit for assessment. This page has some guidelines and links to resources to help you learn about and demonstrate academic integrity.

While there is a lot of detail below, the fundamental issue you have to confront is whether you value the University’s position on academic integrity and whether you are willing to uphold this value in every piece of work you do. If you align your values to “learning with integrity”, implementation of the following is easy and becomes second nature. If you don’t value academic integrity, you can still implement the mechanics of the requirements below, but at some stage you may “forget”, or take some short-cuts in your assessment, which will probably turn out badly for you either while as a student, or as a professional after graduation.


Start by becoming familiar with the University of Melbourne Academic Integrity website.

Be sure to make clear which ideas are yours and which ideas are from other sources. When you submit work, your assessor needs to be able to discriminate between what is your original work, what is your interpretation of the work of others, and what is completely other authors’ work.

Presenting only what is other peoples’ work, even if correctly attributed, is unlikely to achieve a good mark.

For computer programs, any sections of code copied from other sources must be clearly delineated and referenced in comments. Your final code should include:

  • a detailed comment stating which part of it, if any, is copied, stating who originally wrote the copied part, how it was accessed (for example, by providing a URL), all included in a comment at the start of the program or in a header file;

  • clear comments in the body of the program marking the start and end of all sections of copied material. Give the name of the original author in the comments;

  • if code has been obtained from elsewhere, then modified by the student, the modifications must be explained in a prominent component of the submission. For example, a comment might have the wording “The original code obtained from John Smith was modified to print more detailed error messages”. Each adaptation of the original code must be documented, both in a prominent location and in each part of the code that was modified;

Code should never be solicited or commissioned from any source, including classmates, past students, and pay-for-service tutors and on-line sources.

Our expectations

The University of Melbourne expects that all students will study all the above resources and ensure that they adopt these best-practice approaches. For individual assignments, you are expected to learn first, then communicate what you have learned as you work on your assignment. This means you may discuss the topics in question with other students while you are learning, but you must write all of your assignment yourself. This includes: Choosing which resources you decide to reference; Creating the overall structure of your communication and argument; and Preparing your own figures, calculations and analysis.

For team assignments the University of Melbourne expects you to: discuss and decide as a team how you are going to complete the assignment, and document this agreement via meeting minutes that include the names of people who attended each meeting, what periods they were present for, and what the agreed assignment of duties was; learn first (perhaps an aspect allocated by your group); teach others in your team what you have learnt; collaboratively decide how to communicate your learning and who will write what, and again document that via meeting minutes that are circulated to all group members shortly after the end of the meeting; check the work of your team mates before submission, using plagiarism checkers if possible; inform your subject coordinator on submission if you have concerns about a team member’s contribution acknowledge that the assignment upholds the principles of academic integrity by way of an assignment coversheet or as part of the electronic submission process (e.g. LMS).

Note that not (or minimally) contributing to a team assignment, but still putting your name on the submission and claiming credit for it is another form of academic misconduct. Group members concerned about the imbalance of contributions to the group project should raise the issue with the subject coordinator as soon as the behaviour in question is noted, and again (preferably via formal work-share statements) again when the project is submitted.

Common ways that students fail to show academic integrity.

  • Copying and pasting material from the internet without using quotation marks and/or without providing a reference/URL and proper acknowledgement. This usually results from poor research practice. Use the Academic Skills service and these resources to improve.
  • Incorrectly paraphrasing by simply swapping some words for synonyms, but leaving the structure of a sentence the same.
  • Failing to acknowledge the source of figures and/or images.
  • Copying the text, analysis, calculations, and/or program code of another student
  • Copying from the lecture and or assignment notes of your subject, or from the textbook or other similar resources used in the subject. These are the intellectual property of your lecturer or other authors and should be acknowledged just like any other piece of writing. You must paraphrase these to demonstrate you understand the ideas you are learning, or using quotation marks where you have copied material exactly. If you are copying assignment instructions make sure to distinguish these, for example by using a different font style.
  • Explicitly giving your work to another student, or in any way allowing you work to be “borrowed” by another student, even if by carelessness (for example, by allowing them to have access to a memory stick on which you have a copy of your program or work, even though you didn’t tell them the program was on it).

In connection with the last of these points, note that allowing other students to see your assessment work, “just so that I can take a look and get some ideas, I won’t copy, honest”, is also inappropriate. If another student asks to see your work then they have already violated the friendship that you have with them, and your best answer is a firm “no”. Any other response is a breach of academic integrity on your part as well as their part, and is likely to irrevocably damage your friendship with that person.

You can avoid these mistakes through careful note-taking practices and being sure to acknowledge all ideas that are not your own. To learn more about referencing and academic integrity, join the Academic Integrity Module and/or the Library Research Skills for Engineering in the “Communities” area on your LMS home page.

Penalties for not following the principles of academic integrity

The process for investigating plagiarism and possible penalties are outlined here.

The Academic Board has also published guidelines for common forms of breaches of academic integrity. Scroll down to the lower half of this page to the section PENALTIES FOR ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT - INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS.

As an example of the many types of penalties from the above document:

Issue a reprimand and caution to the student Require the student to undertake a course of corrective action Prohibit or deny access to or use of University premises, University facilities and services or University activities for up to two weeks Impose conditions on the student’s attendance at University premises, participation in University activities or use of University facilities and services Require the student to resubmit, or revise and resubmit, the whole or part of the assessment, examination or research Disallow or amend a mark or grade for the whole or part of the assessment, examination or research Fail the student Recommend to the Vice-Chancellor that the student’s enrolment be suspended for any period and on such terms and conditions as the committee considers necessary or appropriate Recommend to the Vice-Chancellor that the student be expelled from the University