Presentation on theme: "Student Perceptions of Referencing Colin Neville University of Bradford/LearnHigher (CETL)"— Presentation transcript:
Student Perceptions of Referencing Colin Neville University of Bradford/LearnHigher (CETL)
Two stages of research Stage 1: 2008/9: ‘Student Perceptions of Referencing’ Stage 2: 2009/10 : ‘International Students, writing and referencing’ 600+ students involved across 17 UK/HEIs
Student Perceptions of Referencing: To identify student perceptions of the roles of referencing in academic writing To identify the main referencing problems for students To consider the implications for staff development
Referencing – my own view Referencing facilitates the development and communication of ideas in academic writing. It is an important component in the development of authorial identity in academic writing (managing arguments is at the core of this ) A key purpose of referencing in academic writing is to distinguish one’s own work from the work of others.
The students 278 students, from 14 UK/HE institutions contributed their views to the survey 75% undergraduate Drawn from a wide range of disciplines Home students (70%)
Methodology A total of 12 drop- in workshops at two universities during 2008/09 Aim: to identify & attempt to resolve referencing issues of concern to students (77 attended) “Have Your Say”: online survey January to May 2009 Content analysis of 201 replies from students at 14 UK/HE institutions
Specific ‘technical’ problems brought to workshops 1.Secondary referencing: (how to do it; when to do it. 2.When to reference (and when it is not necessary) 3.Formatting references and bibliographies (what to include and in what order) 4.Referencing quotations (when to do it; how to do it) 5.Understanding Harvard (how to cite; where to cite in the text)
‘Have your say’ 201 replies received (77%: undergraduates) from students at 14 UK/HE institutions A quarter of all respondents presented entirely positive views about referencing (25% of the undergraduates; 33% of the postgraduates) 7% of the respondents (all undergraduates) expressed very negative views on referencing 69% students expressed critical views on referencing: “ I can understand why we have to reference but…”
‘ Have your say’: specific problem areas Time management related issues (19%) Concerns about plagiarism; and ‘too many referencing styles’ (11% respectively) Critical of detail needed in a reference; and difficulties with integrating own ideas into assignments; and inconsistent tutor advice, marking & feedback (9% respectively)
Writing Difficulties Referencing concerns of students often inseparable from other writing difficulties Academic V Personal Paraphrasing & Summarising Use of secondary sources, rather than primary Referencing (when/what/where why & how)
Three perspectives on referencing: Defensive Altruistic Creative
Why reference? Arguably: The ‘defensive’ perspective on referencing a predominant one in the minds of many students. Students afraid to express views that someone, somewhere, may have ‘published’ online or elsewhere. The ‘authorial identity’ – ‘own voice’ - of a student can be lost; submerged below the references
Referencing difficulties of students Student related Wider, institutional issues
Wider, institutional, issues ‘Too many referencing styles’ Tutor inconsistencies Defining plagiarism How do we help and support students to manage sources in a more creative way?
Author- Name stylesConsecutive Numbering Recurrent Numbering British Standard (BS) Name-date (Harvard) Variants: APA MLA MHRA Chicago-Turabian Council of Science Editors (CSE) BS: Footnote or ‘Running Notes’ style Variants: MHRA Chicago -Turabian Oxford: Oscola BS: Numeric Variants: Vancouver IEEE Council of Science Editors (CSE) Too many referencing styles? Do we need 14?
Defining Plagiarism Exclude the item ‘ideas’ in our institutional definitions of plagiarism, e.g. “The use of the unacknowledged and/or unauthorised ideas of another person’” Plagiarism should relate only to work in the public domain
Not just bibliographies… An ‘acknowledgements’ section or statement in assignments. May help to overcome student anxieties about plagiarising ideas
Finally…. What is your experience? What are your comments? Any questions?