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Designing out plagiarism Student (CollegeDegrees360 2012)

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1 Designing out plagiarism Student (CollegeDegrees360 2012)

2 Overview Title of case: Assessment design to discourage copy-and-paste assignments Target audience: Academic teaching staff, Academic staff developers Key issue being addressed: Assessments that invite copy-and-paste plagiarism Purpose of the case: To assist academic staff in “designing out” plagiarism opportunities Materials and preparation: Full case scenario; copies of recent assessment tasks in your own courses; copy of your university’s academic integrity policy. Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012 2

3 Our research Survey of 15,304 students from the 6 participating universities: Analysis of sample comments suggested that students would like the teaching of academic integrity to be embedded and repeated in their programs: “Providing more support to students, rather than telling us all the consequences of breaching the academic integrity policy, teach us how to do it properly! This means doing it more than once. A number of lecturers accept/expect different things and I think they need to all be on the one playing field in order for academic integrity to be maintained.” 94.2% of students were confident about their ability to avoid an academic integrity breach. 28 focus groups with staff and students: Key message from students: The need for academic integrity education which is more engaging. Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012 3

4 Jennifer is a 2 nd year Bachelor of Education student. The topic of her first assignment is  ‘School Bullying: What are some causes of bullying in schools? What are the effects on the persons involved? What interventions are possible?’ The timing coincides with two other assignments, and she has neglected starting on them early. She remembers some personal experience of being bullied in her middle years of high school so:  She decides to put her effort into the other two assignments and ‘wing it’ with this one. 4 Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012 Case Study: Jennifer

5 The case When she comes to write, there is very little time left. She scans two readings on the topic, copies and pastes relevant passages together, modifying wordings here and there to fit in with her own style. She feels she has made a fair job of the patchwork of unacknowledged quotes under the three headings that match the three questions of the assignment. 5 Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012

6 Academic integrity breach investigation Jennifer’s assignment is submitted to text-matching software and her short-cut is found out. She is given the prescribed outcome for a ‘first offence’. Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012 6

7 Questions for discussion 1. What would the outcome have been for Jennifer’s action, according to your university’s academic integrity policy? 2. Should the lecturer submit all the assignments to text- matching software, rather than just the ones that look suspect? 3. What action should the lecturer take if she found that Jennifer’s approach was more widespread in the class than first thought? 7 Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012

8 Questions for discussion Would you agree that the assignment was “just asking for students to plagiarise”? (James et al 2002, p.47) You might like to check your own assessment tasks against this point (see Carroll 2002) 8 Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012

9 References and resources Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., East, J., Green, M., James, C., McGowan, U., Partridge, L., Walker, R. & Wallace, M. (2011). Academic Integrity Standards: A Preliminary Analysis of the Academic Integrity Policies at Australian Universities, Australian Universities Quality Forum, 29 June-1 July, Melbourne, Australia. Bretag, T., Mahmud, S., Wallace, M., Walker, R., James, C., Green, M., East, J., McGowan, U. & Partridge, L. (2011). Core elements of exemplary academic integrity policy in Australian higher education, International Journal for Educational Integrity, Vol 7(2), pp. 3-12, available online: Carroll, J. (2002) A Handbook for Deterring Plagiarism in Higher Education. Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development. CollegeDegrees 360 (2012), Student, digital image, accessed on 22 August 2012, This image is used with permission under an Attribution-Sharealike 2.0 Creative Commons license. Dysthe (2011) ‘What is the Purpose of Feedback when Revision is not Expected?’ A Case Study of Feedback Quality and Study Design in a First Year Master's Programme Journal of Academic Writing 1(1) pp 126-134 http://e- James, R., McInnes, C., & Devlin, M. (2002). Assessing learning in Australian universities [Electronic Version]. McGowan, U. (2008). Research-writing: Learning a writing skill and thereby avoiding plagiarism. A resource for students McGowan, U. & O'Regan, K. (2008) Avoiding Plagiarism: Achieving Academic Writing. Audio narrated resource for students and staff. The University of Adelaide Writing Centre website 9 Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012

10 For further resources from the Academic Integrity Standards Project, please go to: Support for this project/activity has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views in this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia LicenseCreative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License 10 Academic Integrity Standards Project 2010-2012

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