Do your students understand the dangers of sharing online?

TEQSA has recently alerted universities to the danger posed by online promotions offering students the chance to win up to $10,000 if they upload course materials and assessment pieces to file sharing sites.

Students may not understand that uploading course materials is a breach of the Intellectual Property Policy, and this in turn is a breach of the Student Conduct Policy.

Also, if students upload an assignment, such as an exam paper or completed worksheet, it is Academic Misconduct because it is a form of collusion. When students make assessed work available online, they have no way of knowing how someone else may use that work.

These websites may also be involved in commercial contract cheating services. Under Australia’s anti-cheating laws, the promotion or sale of academic cheating services is illegal and subject to penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment or fines of up to $110,000.

When it comes to online services:

  • Students should never share their work online, as it may be sold by cheating services to other students
  • Buying or selling essays, assignments or other assessments online is a breach of academic integrity, and selling these services is illegal under Australian law.
What can you do?

If you become aware of students receiving invitations to upload course materials and assessment pieces for a chance to win prizes, you should take a screen shot and send it to

Use ACU template documents for all teaching and learning materials e.g. ACU-branded PowerPoint slides. You can access ACU-branded templates online.

If you find ACU material on a website, or find suspected contract cheating sites, you should send the link through to, so the team can take action.

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