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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab




Working with others is often a part of higher education, but there are times when group work is not permitted. Learn the difference between ethical collaboration and collusion, which is a breach of academic integrity.

What is collusion?

There is a clear distinction between collaboration and collusion when working on various forms of assignments. As a university student, you will be asked to participate in both group and individual assignments. When you are doing an individual assignment and get help completing it, or help another student complete their individual assignment, that is collusion.

Collusion can include:

  • working with someone else on an assignment that you are supposed to write individually
  • copying another student’s work, or letting another student copy your work
  • letting someone write part of an assignment for you.

This does not mean that you cannot work with others at all. Ethical collaboration includes:

  • working together on a group assignment with your group members (just remember to credit all group members)
  • helping each other understand the assignment question
  • studying together.

Be sure to ask your instructor if you are unsure about what kind of collaboration is permitted in your course.

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