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Managing student plagiarism in 2013: complex issue, complex solution Jude Carroll Educational Development consultant for University of Kent, January 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Managing student plagiarism in 2013: complex issue, complex solution Jude Carroll Educational Development consultant for University of Kent, January 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Managing student plagiarism in 2013: complex issue, complex solution Jude Carroll Educational Development consultant for University of Kent, January 2013

2 Key ideas Effective management requires a shared, holistic response: institution, teachers, students Plagiarism is a learning issue and an integrity issue [but you need to focus on learning] Management lessons have been learned: same and different from 10 years ago

3 Plagiarism occurs when someone Submits the work product Of a named or identifiable person or source In a situation where originality is expected Without showing the source of the work product For credit or benefit Fishman, 2010 “ “

4 What defines cheating? intention creating a false impression seeking unfair advantage more than just ‘breaking the rules’

5 In 2013, there are more …. - more diverse students in higher education - more opportunities to bypass the hard work of learning - more instances of deliberate cheating … perhaps - more coursework – type assignments Is all this true here?

6 What’s changed about plagiarism ( )? From surprise to everyday event From being a student’s responsibility ( ‘be honest’) to a shared responsibility for strong academic values & scholarship From print-based copying to electronic & networked finding, sharing and copying. in some places

7 What’s changed? (continued) From assuming all plagiarism is cheating to recognising a range From individuals finding solutions to having institutional policy More marketing of ‘detection’ (sic) software and much more commissioning

8 Cheating, intention to deceive misuse misconduct Student does not know the rules; student breaks the rules misunderstanding Student knows, makes a mistake

9 A few unwelcome changes creating fear in students (‘….haunted by the specter of plagiarism’ Neville, 2010 ) distorting students’ effort – moving away from why we use citations to how they are formatted

10 authority I have chosen top people You can be confident about what I write validity I have chosen reliable people You can believe what I write traceable You can check what I write: is it correct? recent What I write is up-to-date and relevant broad research I have done a lot of research I have looked for the best sources using terms correctly This is how people use this term in my subject politeness and community We all work together to build knowledge. It is not just me who thinks this.

11 Where to start? 1.Clear Definition [Knowing what….] 2.‘Rules of the game’: induction, informing students 3.Skills practice : [Knowing how] 4.Designing programmes & assessments to discourage copying 5.Spotting it when it happens 6.Dealing with cases: fast, fair, defensible, consistent the holistic approach

12 1. A working, understood definition ….There is more to plagiarism than copying [….. There is more to stopping plagiarism than saying, ‘No copying’.]

13 Students explaining why they copied: “This person writes exactly what I think.” “This person writes it better than I do.” “This person writes English better than I do.” “There is only one way to write this.” “These are my own words. I copied them myself.” “These are my own words. I copied from a book …. but I bought the book.”

14 More false ideas I have encountered about copying Copiers lack integrity. Copying is always a bad way to learn ‘A 0% copying score on Turnitin is best’ If teachers stop students from copying, then their work with students is done….. Copying is ‘cultural’

15 What software can do to help with restricting copying

16 Stopping students from copying 1. Acknowledge students’ previous experiences 2. Recognise language issues 3. Empathise with students’ unwillingness to change 4. Provide many exemplars + force students to interact with them 5. Practice, practice, practice 6. Penalties that reflect the reality

17 ‘No copying’ leaves many students confused ‘Taking others’ work’ NO! ‘Using others’ work’ YES! Writing from sources’ YES! 1. Differentiate what is ‘owned’ and what is not 2. Select what work needs acknowledgement 3. Understand how to acknowledge 4. Do the acknowledgement skillfully THE PLAGIARISM PARADOX using others’ work transparently

18 Skills development: If I told you the laws of cricket, would you be a good cricket player? What would it take to become a good cricket player? information examples tools and equipment Practice the ‘subskills’ feedback working with an expert to aim high motivating reasons putting sub skills together. Practice feedback time practice

19 Last word on awareness + skill Programme-level responsibility Multiple points of information Multiple means of ‘getting the message’ Requires interaction and discussion to ensure understanding. Requires practice. Important to distinguish between knowing what to do & knowing how and knowing how to do it

20 Strategies for using [programme and] task design to deter students from plagiarism

21 An aside about deliberate cheating It happens …. but how much? It is easier now than ever …. impersonation commissioning back translation, usually linked to CCP ‘fooling’ Turnitin and?

22 Spotting plagiarism? Turning a blind eye? So much to say about this issue! On spotting: sharing skills, using a range of strategies, using software well On ‘blind eyes’: fair, trusted procedures Procedures that do not hurt the ‘spotter’ Takes time and commitment to get it right

23 Anything you would like to talk about, linked to detection (sic) software? When to use it? How to use it? Limitations and strengths? Staff development issues

24 Last but far from least….. You need to design procedures for handling cases that are: not painful for the spotter capable of managing large numbers criteria-based (for severity, for setting penalties) Recorded Analysed for lessons

25 Last word on managing plagiarism Complex problem Unlikely to disappear Focus on learning, not on cheating Requires a systematic, joined up and ongoing set of actions In general, there’s more good news than bad. In later sessions, we will address the procedures at Kent


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