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Student plagiarism: 10 years on Jude Carroll. how today will run overall look: issues, changes, ‘what’s on top for you’ policy and procedures: why they.

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Presentation on theme: "Student plagiarism: 10 years on Jude Carroll. how today will run overall look: issues, changes, ‘what’s on top for you’ policy and procedures: why they."— Presentation transcript:

1 Student plagiarism: 10 years on Jude Carroll

2 how today will run overall look: issues, changes, ‘what’s on top for you’ policy and procedures: why they matter, what makes a good one teaching students how to use others’ work appropriately ‘referencing’ using software workshop on assessment redesign to discourage finding, faking and copying

3 What’s changed ( )? From surprise to everyday event From students’ responsibility to ‘be honest’ to a shared responsibility on upholding academic values From text-based copying to electronic & networked sharing and copying

4 What’s changed (continued) From assumption that all plagiarism is cheating to recognition of a range From DIY by individuals to systematic, policy-driven solutions From software as ‘magic bullet’ solution to faith in assessment redesign

5 Student knows, does it wrong Cheating, intention to deceive misuse misconduct Student does not know the rules; does it wrong misunderstanding

6 What’s changed (3)? creating fear in students (‘….haunted by the specter of plagiarism’ Neville, 2010 ) distorting students’ effort: away from why we use citations to how they are formatted [unchanged: journalists’ annual ‘epidemic of cheating’ stories]

7 Why do we cite? StudentsPublished work Both 1. Credibility. It shows that what I write can be believed. 2. To show that knowledge is a collaborative project by individuals. 3. To show how a theory or an idea is built on other people’s work. 4. Authority. We can evaluate the sources. Is a key research referred to? Are sources up-to-date? 5. To show key terms are used correctly 6. To show what I have read. Show my scholarship. 7. Show that I have researched the issue.

8 More -diverse students [+ more stereotyping of particular groups] -opportunities to bypass work [including commissioning sites] -? deliberate cheating (from a low base) - coursework – type assignments

9 Over to you 4’s What is your experience with managing student plagiarism? What changes have you seen in the last decade? What are current top-of-the pile issues?

10 changes? everyday event shared responsibility range of levels of severity electronic & networked opportunities focus on assessment design policy and procedures in place more student fear more cases? more cheating?

11 Where to start? 1.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 the holistic approach

12 Plagiarism happens when you 1. Submit the words, ideas or work product 2. of a named individual or source 3. in a situation where original work would be expected, 4. as if it is the result of your own work [w/o sufficient attribution], 5. for credit or other benefit. (Fishman, 2010)

13 ….. why ‘plagiarism’ is a complex idea…. Submitting Someone else’s work Work Acknowledgement Correct acknowledgement A draft cannot be plagiarism …. or can it? Most work requires many steps; for some steps, having help is OK. Where does ‘OK’ stop? Not all work belongs to someone “My work” and “their work”…. how does their work become ‘mine’? Not just writing! All products of a named individual or source Applies only to some aspects of the ‘work’ Formal ways (citation) Informal ways (‘As the book by Brown shows…..’) (‘I agree with this point….’) How correct? Should we get obsessed by formatting issues?

14 Most plagiarism is not cheating Misunderstanding Students do not know what we expect Students do not ‘get’ the definition Misuse Rules badly applied Small amount, small impact Misconduct: Know the rules [what to do + how to do it] Seek unfair advantage by breaking the rules. [Fraud ] Some plagiarism is cheating

15 All plagiarism is significant Copying bypasses learning [Transformation creates understanding] Credit reflects learning. ‘We do not give credit for handing in stuff; we accredit learning’ Cheating devalues awards and threatens confidence Integrity, transparency and politeness are key values in HE

16 The good news: Loads of good practice & guidance Answer? Treat as a learning issue. Don’t focus on ‘avoiding plagiarism’. Value the process of writing, programming, solving ……. and the final product Be realistic about students’ chances to bypass making an effort….. and protect students from the temptation to try it.

17 The bad news Some assessments make plagiarism more likely [Make or fake? Do or find?] Threats don’t work. Software cannot solve this problem Learning to write from sources is complex & time consuming – it is probably harder than it has ever been All teachers are writing teachers. ‘Learning to write is an academic apprenticeship to thinking in the discipline’ Policy does matter. If your policy is wrong, then other efforts to manage plagiarism are much less effective.

18 The holistic approach 1. Definition [Knowing what….] 2. ‘Rules of the game’: induction, informing students 3. Skills practice : [Knowing how…. it means learning more than ‘the referencing’] 4. Designing assessments to discourage copying 5. Spotting it when it happens 6. Dealing with cases: fast, fair, defensible 7. Policies set up for 2012

19 Focus on stopping students from copying ….. ….. the best place to start. What are the issues for students around copying? myths and ‘hauntings’ unlearning and ‘the empty cupboard’

20 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.”

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

22 Last word 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.


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