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Student plagiarism: deterring it, detecting it, dealing with it

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Presentation on theme: "Student plagiarism: deterring it, detecting it, dealing with it"— Presentation transcript:

1 Student plagiarism: deterring it, detecting it, dealing with it
Jude Carroll, Oxford Brookes University

2 This is my plan for this lecture……
-Defining plagiarism. What kinds of student plagiarism are a problem in 2007? [… Belgium?] -An approach based on learning, not on punishment. A holistic approach is needed to deal with plagiarism. I will describe what is needed in a holistic approach. We must - teach students the necessary skills -design programmes and design tasks to limit copying - ensure effective detection - agree how much plagiarism makes a ‘case’ for action - match the level of plagiarism with the consequences Appropriate policies are central to a holistic approach. I will make some recommendations for policies for 2007 plagiarism.

3 Defining plagiarism [translation] ‘Plagiarism is any identical or lightly altered use of someone else’s work (ideas, texts, structures, images, plans etc) without adequate reference to the source’ KU Leuven, 2007

4 How can work belong to others?
‘lightly altered …someone else’s work …adequate reference of the source’ What is ‘adequate’? What sources need reference? How can work belong to others? How much do I alter to make work mine? ‘work’ What is that?

5 What explains our interest in student plagiarism?
Academics give credit for learning Learning is demonstrated by understanding Understanding is demonstrated by change (in you or in the work) So…… No change, then no understanding No understanding, then no learning No learning, then no credit

6 Do KU Leuven students understand what plagiarism is?
Students must understand the implicit and tacit assumptions in the definition Students must link the idea of plagiarism to their own everyday decisions as students…… Students must discuss and explore their ideas (and their false ideas) Activity: Which are plagiarism?

7 Transparency………. The reader must know what the [student] writer is doing with sources, with others’ ideas Students need to learn to show credibility and to borrow authority

8 ‘If the person marking your work cannot tell whether they are marking your work or someone else’s work, that person might wonder, ‘Is it plagiarism?’ You create a false assumption for your assessor if you borrow others’ work (published or unpublished) and do not say right there in the text where it comes from.’

9 Misunderstanding what we mean by ‘learning’ leads to plagiarism
Copying from other students Copying from books, from the internet, from previous work Collecting chunks of text from the Web and sticking them together Hardly changing the original author’s words or changing them in superficial ways [Students bypass any evidence of understanding]

10 Poor use of citation rules leads to plagiarism
-Some text quoted, some not marked as quotations -Some text cited correctly, some lifted but not cited. - Paraphrasing that sticks too closely to the original text

11 Wrong decisions and actions lead to plagiarism
-Submitting the same piece of work twice -Sharing work with fellow students who then use it to ‘do their own work’ -Over- use of editing & proofreading -Sub-contracting work which seems ‘not important’ [Marker is not sure whose work is being judged]

12 Misconduct and cheating leads to plagiarism
-Paying someone; buying an assignment -Finding it (or most of it) -Copying most (or all) and hiding the fact -Handing in someone else’s answer or work -Lying about your contribution to the group -Deliberately disguising your breach of the rules

13 Acting relies on more than understanding……..
“Ok, here is an assignment. How do I do it? …….. Can I find the answer? Has someone already answered this? Has a fellow student done it? How hard is it? Can I do a good answer? Is it worth spending the time? How much time will it take? If I do it, what else will suffer? If I fake it or copy it, will I be caught? If I am caught, what are the likely consequences?” Most students do the assignment. A growing number answer with plagiarism, intentionally or unintentionally.

14 Most worries about plagiarism are about misconduct & cheating Most cases of plagiarism come from misunderstanding and poor use of the rules of citation and attribution Q: Are university policies designed to deal with the small number of deliberate cheaters …. or the large and growing number of unintentional cases?

15 Dealing with plagiarism requires a ‘holistic’ approach
Understanding ‘the rules of the game’ Teaching students the skills Designing out easy copying; designing in apprenticeship A range of detection strategies Agreeing ‘How serious?’ [High, medium, low?] Agreeing what proves a case Procedures that do not punish whoever spots it Fair, consistent, defensible penalties

16 Discussion activity How holistic is your university? Where are the strengths? Where are the gaps?

17 I told them about plagiarism so they definitely know about it but I still get it. What’s wrong with them?

18 ‘Teach students the skills they will need.’
If I told you how to play cricket, could you play it? Could you play it well? What would you need to be a good cricket player?

19 Analysing Evaluating Paraphrasing and summarising Structure ‘Mining’ texts to support opinions REFERENCING taking apart; creating & answering sub-questions making judgments about value, reliability, authority others’ words and ideas what order to put things in; subheads, paragraphs Using others’ authority

20 Focus on course design and task design
find it? fake it? make it? do it?

21 designing out easy cheating
designing in practice Induction Diagnosis Skills development Feedback Practice designing out easy cheating Novelty - context/format Specificity - local, recent, personal, individual, unique Higher-order cognitive skills* Assess the process Authenticate the author YES: rank, justify, choose, revise, interpret, analyse, invent, plan NO: knowledge (eg. ‘describe, state’), basic understanding (‘explain’). NO: generic application

22 Influencing decisions 5: Use a wide range of detection strategies.
electronic manual Proactive ‘Should I look carefully at anyone’s work? Using a commercial tool (Urkund, Turnitin, etc) Matching exams and coursework Viva xx% Meta-writing task Keeping the order of submission Reactive ‘Is this really the student’s own work?’ Advanced Google search ‘Properties’ function checking formatting, Using a commercial tool (Urkund, Turnitin etc) changes in language Changes in referencing Changes in formatting, word processing Off the topic Too advanced language or content Inappropriate words, content

23 ‘Detection’ is a process…..
suspicion action investigation confirmation

24 Final stages: dealing with cases
How much evidence? Classifying the seriousness Matching penalty to the level of breach Keeping records Monitoring and learning from data


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