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Fine Arts

Academic Integrity Guidelines for Visual Arts Courses

KPU has very high standards of academic integrity, governed by the  Student Academic Integrity Policy.  The following guidelines will provide more information about the high standards of academic integrity in Fine Arts Courses.

Types of Academic Integrity Violations in Visual Arts


Plagiarism is the intentional misrepresentation of someone else’s work as your own.

In some contexts, plagiarism is restricted to the domain of writing—using the words or texts of others without giving proper credit to the source. In an art, media and design context, however, the definition may be expanded to include knowingly using another person’s unique ideas, images, objects, designs, research, inventions, arguments, etc. as your own, without giving credit to or acknowledgement.

Examples of plagiarism in visual arts may include, but are not limited to:

• any work, in whole or in part, that has been directly copied from online or other sources (published or unpublished) without documentation;

• any work, in whole or in part, that has been done by someone else on your behalf; this may include:

--work purchased from a company or person;
--work created by current or former students in a class;
--work created for you by private tutors, editors, friends, family members, fellow classmates; etc.

• any work that is copied in digital images or in any other medium, from online or other sources (published or unpublished) without documentation. In some creative practices, appropriation of images, designs or text may be an intentional strategy, but these images, designs or text should not be represented as your original work.

Examples where copying may be accepted by an instructor:

  • exercises or assignments when appropriation is a component, (as in using found images in collage);
  • using artworks by other artists for research and inspiration for the creation of new work​.


Cheating defines a range of activities that are intended to give someone credit for work that they did not do or for knowledge that they did not learn.

Cheating activities may include, but are not limited to:

•   copying another student’s work or exercise or allowing another student to copy work or exercise;

•   copying a work from a source such as online, a book, or otherwise when asked to draw from direct observation and not acknowledging the original source of the work;

•    allowing a tutor, editor, translator or any other professional outside of KPU to do a substantial amount of work for a course or course assignment.

Unacknowledged collaboration

For many activities and assignments, collaboration between students is not only allowed but encouraged.   But for some assignments or classes, the instructor may be looking for individual work without the input of other students.

Collaboration between a student and a tutor or other professional outside of Kwantlen Polytechnic University should also be discussed with a course instructor before any work is submitted for grading.

A note about working with tutors and other visual arts professionals:

Working with a professional outside of Kwantlen Polytechnic University on course work or assignments does not necessarily constitute Academic Misconduct.  Students should ensure that any help they receive outside of Kwantlen Polytechnic University does not violate the principles of these guidelines. Students may want to share these guidelines with any professional they work with on Kwantlen Polytechnic University course work or assignments.

Questions or Concerns?

If you are unclear about what may violate the Student Academic Integrity Policy, your instructor can answer any questions you may have.

**Copyright information:  Permission was granted by Emily Carr University of Art and Design to use source material for these guidelines.  The guidelines were written by Amy Huestis, KPU Fine Arts Faculty,