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What is integrity? Ultimately it is about acting in a way that represents your ideas, opinions or work and being honest and respectful of the Codes of Ethics and Conduct you might be referring to. How can you demonstrate it in your academic education, in your work and, in general, in your entire life?

Course description

This course will give you an understanding of the meaning of academic integrity and integrity broadly. You will understand what integrity means and how it is applied in your studies, personal life, professional life, and work. We will show you examples of negative practices when it comes to collaborating with others and working together, as well as examples of good practices in studying and working with others. The course will demonstrate what paraphrasing and referencing mean and how to do this. We will explore different types of assignment styles and academic writing methods. The definition and meaning of the Author's right will be presented. Finally, we will consider the definitions of types of misconduct, giving examples of these types of cheating and explaining the meaning and purpose of the Codes of Ethics and Conduct. We will explain how you can develop your skills by knowing how, where and when to get help, giving you the power to take responsibility for your learning journey.

The MOOC will include different activities for you to read and watch, as well as things for you to do to test your knowledge of the concepts as you move through the lessons. Examples and case studies will allow you to taste how integrity is part of everyday life in the academic context, increase awareness of how you can benefit from staff and institutional support, and walk your learning path accordingly.

Total workload of the course: 25 hours

This MOOC is provided by Politecnico di Milano.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By actively participating in this MOOC, you will achieve different intended learning outcomes (ILOs).

Week 1

  1. Define integrity in the context of their life and define academic integrity in relation to their studies and academic work (Remember and Understand)
    ESCO: morality
  2. Understand how to apply integrity to other areas of their life, such as their professional and personal life (Understand, Apply and Analyse)
    ESCO: demonstrate trustworthiness
  3. Develop and expand study skills through understanding new and appropriate methods for collaboration, individual and group work and knowing how to apply those through communication and research (Understand, Analyse, Apply and Evaluate)
    ESCO: working in teams ESCO: use communication techniques ESCO: conduct scholarly research

Week 2

  1. Learn how to summarise and paraphrase and be able to demonstrate this through generating new phrases from original works (Understand, Apply and Create)
    ESCO: condense information ESCO: presenting information
  2. Learn and compare key referencing styles suitable for different disciplines, and demonstrate how to employ this in different types of work (Understand, Apply and Create)
  3. Learn how to recognise different assignment expectations from key words and assessment styles (Understand and Remember)
  4. Understand what Copyright is, learn what information can be used, identify different types of licences, and how to correctly attribute resources from open licences if used and changed. (Understand, Remember and Apply)
    ESCO: copyright legislation ESCO: copyright and licenses related to digital content

Week 3

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of when/where to seek help and understand the contexts for asking for help. (Apply and Evaluate)
  2. Reflect on the responsibility everyone has for their own learning and needs to take action accordingly to support their learning journey (Apply and Evaluate)
    ESCO: apply research ethics and scientific integrity principles in research activities
  3. Define instances of misconduct, including plagiarism, collusion, outsourcing, fabrication, falsification and impersonation and distinguish differences between them (Remember and Understand)
    ESCO: ethics
  4. Learn about expected standards of ethics and integrity in your local context, and what outcomes might apply to misconduct, justify why these are appropriate when students act dishonestly (Remember and Evaluate)
    ESCO: following ethical code of conduct


No prerequisite knowledge is required for this course.


By reviewing the content in the form of videos and other web-based resources, you will have the opportunity to discuss course topics and share ideas with your peers in the Forum of this MOOC.

During this MOOC you will find some activities for self-reflection. They are not evaluated and not compulsory, and they are just a stimulus for reflection.

We will also give you links to extra resources if you would like to do any more reading on or around the topic.

Topic outline

  • Week 0 - Introduction to the course

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 1 - What is integrity?

    Week 1 will define integrity in the context of learning, highlight its importance for professional life, and stress its role at the personal level.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 2 - Developing academic skills for integrity

    Week 2 will analyse how to develop academic skills for integrity, such as summarising, paraphrasing and referencing; we will look closely at academic writing skills and assessment styles, and we will see why it is important to understand Copyright and Open Licences.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 3 - Defining misconduct, study skills and seeking help

    Week 3 is devoted to defining misconduct, studying skills and how to seek help; we will dive into Polimi’s Code of Ethics and Conduct as an example of the internal norms to support integrity.

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Week 4 - Summary of course

    Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Additional Resources


The final grade for the course is based on your results from your responses to the graded quizzes. You will successfully complete the course if you reach 60% (or more) of the total score. The maximum score possible for each quiz is given at the top of the quiz. You can see your score in the quiz on your last attempt or on the 'Grades' page.

Certificate of accomplishment

You must be registered in POK through Politecnico di Milano personal account to obtain the Certificate of Accomplishment. It will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by achieving at least 60% of the total score in the graded quizzes and filling the final survey

You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly from Politecnico di Milano web services.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree

Information about fees and access to materials

You can access the course completely online and absolutely free of charge.

Course faculty

Rebecca Awdry

Rebecca Awdry


Dr Rebecca Awdry is an Honorary Fellow with the Centre for Research in Assessment and Digital Learning at Deakin University. Her research focus is on academic integrity and the behaviours that threaten integrity. She explores criminological theories to understand student study behaviours. Rebecca is based in Melbourne, Australia.

Viola Schiaffonati

Viola Schiaffonati


Viola Schiaffonati is associate professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria. She holds a PhD in Philosophy of Science from Università di Genova. Her research interests are in the philosophy of AI and robotics, the epistemology and methodology of experiments in computer engineering and autonomous robotics, the ethical issues of intelligent and autonomous systems.

Paola Corti

Paola Corti


Paola Corti is a Project Manager at Politecnico di Milano – METID; she is an instructional designer involved in MOOCs design and production for POK platform. She coordinated the design of the course, involved international testimonials, together with other curators, in order to collect the experiences available in this MOOC, and she kept together the design and the production groups… and many are things needed : ).

Contact details

If you have any enquiries about the course or if you need technical assistance please contact For further information, see FAQ page.