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Plagiarism – Can Technology Help? Gill Chester Project Manager.

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Presentation on theme: "Plagiarism – Can Technology Help? Gill Chester Project Manager."— Presentation transcript:

1 Plagiarism – Can Technology Help? Gill Chester Project Manager

2 The myths The Issues Solutions to plagiarism JISC work

3 The Myths

4 Technology can solve the problem and save time! – Prevention is the cure – Lots of issues to consider when putting electronic detection in place – Should be part of a wider approach to plagiarism – The results from electronic detection should be used to inform institutional processes – The technology cannot make a decision on a piece of work it can only highlight areas of text found at other sources

5 Cheat sites are the problem! Hundreds of cheat sites in US, however they are all sharing material and often seem to be the same company trading as different web sites –Quality is usually bad and not specific to UK system –Handful of sites in UK, mostly catering for GCSE and A Level assignments (although this will change!) Quality custom written essays cost around £50

6 It doesn’t happen in my institution Does the current procedure mean most cases are treated informally and therefore not recorded? Are all staff willing and able to check for this form of plagiarism? Maybe it isn’t happening but…. –considering the potential can you afford to not put procedures in place? –If other institutions put procedures in place, will it effect the way QAA see the issue?

7 The Issues

8 Why Students Plagiarise Bad time management skills Unable to cope with the work load The tutor doesn’t care, why should I? External pressure to succeed Lack of understanding I can’t do this! I want to see if I can get away with it I don’t need to learn this, I only need to pass it But you said work together! B ut that would insult the experts in the field

9 Why Students Plagiarise – Further Details A description of these reasons is available on the project web site More details on students’ attitudes to plagiarism and why students believe people cheat can be found in the ‘Human and Organisational Issues Associated with Network Security’ report produced by South Bank University and the University of Glasgow.

10 The use of technology Data protection Copyright Electronic submission Staff and student training Types of detection solutions –Web/cheat sites –Collusion –Both

11 Prevention Policy and procedures Assessment Staff training and support Student training on avoiding plagiarism Steering group

12 Possible Solutions

13 Items to consider Understand why students cheat, how can you assist them? Do staff and students know and understand the institutions policy? Are there guidelines provided for students on avoiding plagiarism? Do the plagiarism procedures support staff in their endeavours to ensure academic rigor?

14 Practical Tips for Assessments Design out opportunities for plagiarism. Jude Carroll and Jon Appleton provided the following recommendations in their report ‘Plagiarism – A Good Practice Guide’ –Changing assessments –Reconsider learning outcomes –Create individualised tasks –Integrate assessment tasks –Set a range of assessment tasks

15 Electronic Detection Use electronic detection within a program of education and prevention Useful tool for systematically checking students’ work, results can then be used to –Understand the particular institutional issues –Inform/develop this program –As evidence when plagiarism identified

16 JISC Work

17 The Project – Four Strands A technical review of free-text plagiarism detection software A technical review of source code plagiarism detection software A pilot of free-text detection software in five UK institutions A good practice guide to plagiarism prevention

18 The Project - Dissemination Three workshops –Project results disseminated in morning –Group discussion on projects and way forward for JISC in afternoon Final report –details of the projects –workshop discussions –issues for institutions to consider –recommendation

19 Proposed Service JISC Plagiarism Advisory Service –Providing generic advice Institutions Staff Students –Training and workshops –Educational tools for students –Electronic detection facility

20 Proposed Service - Timescales Advisory Service –Open procurement underway (deadline 15 th April 2002). Details on web site Detection Service –Restricted procurement underway (deadline 8 th April 2002) Full Service available September 2002

21 Further details and copies of all the reports available or


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