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Responding to Plagiarism. Strategies to minimise plagiarism. Advisable to focus around four main strategies, all underpinned by the principle of ensuring fairness: 1. A collaborative effort to recognise and counter plagiarism at every level, including, policy

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strategies to minimise plagiarism
Strategies to minimise plagiarism

Advisable to focus around four main strategies, all underpinned by the principle of ensuring fairness:

1. A collaborative effort to recognise and counter plagiarism at every level, including,

  • policy
  • faculty/division and school/department procedures
  • individual staff practices

2. Thoroughly educating students

  • about expected conventions for authorship
  • about appropriate use and acknowledgement of all forms of intellectual material.
strategies to minimise plagiarism continued
Strategies to minimise plagiarism (continued)

3. Designing approaches to assessment

  • that minimise the possibility for students to submit plagiarised material while not reducing the quality and rigour of assessment requirements.

4. Installing highly visible procedures for monitoring and detecting cheating

  • including appropriate punishment and re-education measures
how widespread is plagiarism in australia
How widespread is plagiarism in Australia?
  • No trustworthy quantitative data to determine whether it has risen
  • Perception that the advent of the Internet has made plagiarism in written assignments easier for students
  • Increased use of group assignments may have increased student plagiarism of each other’s work
  • Increased class sizes may mean that students have less access to teachers and thus rely on network of past students who provide ‘form guides’
what is plagiarism
What is plagiarism?
  • Definitions vary across disciplines, according to authorship conventions and traditions. May include:
    • Cheating in an exam through copying of another student or unauthorised use of notes or other materials
    • Submitting, as one’s own, an assignment that another person has completed
    • Downloading information, text, computer code, artwork, graphics or other material form the internet and presenting it as one’s own without acknowledgment
what is plagiarism continued
What is plagiarism? (continued)
  • Quoting or paraphrasing material without acknowledgment
  • Preparing a correctly cited and referenced assignment from individual research and then handing part or all of that work in twice for separate subjects/marks
  • Copying from other members while working in a group
  • Contributing less, little or nothing to a group assignment and then claiming an equal share of the marks.
all plagiarism is not equal
All plagiarism is not equal
  • Two key factors in determining response to plagiarism
  • The student’s intent to cheat
  • The extentof the plagiarism an individual student has committed.
intentional unintentional plagiarism
Intentional – unintentional plagiarism
  • Reasons for intentional plagiarism include:
    • Pressures on individual to succeed and the penalties for failure
    • The expected reward to be gained
    • The opportunities to be dishonest
    • The probability of getting away with it
    • The social norms governing such behaviour
intentional unintentional plagiarism continued
Intentional – unintentional plagiarism (continued)
  • Reasons for unintentional plagiarism include:
    • Limited or incorrect understanding of what, exactly, plagiarism encompasses
    • Incorrect understanding of citation and referencing conventions
    • Limited knowledge of key academic skills including summarising, paraphrasing and critical analysis

“If you read something and put it in your own words, is that plagiarism?”

determining student intention
Determining student intention
  • Students can be asked whether they understood their use of work by others without acknowledgment was inappropriate.
  • Often the case, particularly among first year and international students, that the conventions of citation are not fully understood.
  • Equally, students may have deliberately plagiarised because they had run out of time, were lazy or were highly competitive.
mapping the extent of plagiarism where do you cross the line
Mapping the extent of plagiarism(Where do you cross the line? )
  • Copying a paragraph verbatim from a source without acknowledgement
  • Copying a paragraph and making small changes - e.g.replacing a few verbs, replacing an adjective with a synonym; acknowledgment in the bibliography
  • Cutting and pasting a paragraph by using sentences from the original but omitting one or two and/or putting one or two in different order; no quotation marks; with in-text acknowledgments and a bibliographical acknowledgment.
mapping the extent of plagiarism where do you cross the line12
Mapping the extent of plagiarism(Where do you cross the line? )
  • Composing a paragraph by taking short phrases from a number of sources and putting them together using words of your own to make a coherent whole with in-text acknowledgments and a bibliographical acknowledgment
  • Paraphrasing a paragraph by rewriting with substantial changes in language and organisation; the new version will also have changes in the amount of detail used and the examples cited, citing source in bibliography
  • Quoting a paragraph by placing it in block format with the source cited in text and in the bibliography.

(adapted from Carroll, 2000, based on Swales and Feak, 1994).

possible responses to plagiarism
Possible responses to plagiarism

1. Renewing educative strategies

  • Where plagiarism is deemed to be minor and/or unintentional then these strategies are likely to form the basis for action.
    • Educative strategies include, for example, teaching students the rationale for supporting arguments with evidence and referencing and other necessary, related skills.
    • The approach can also be used pro-actively to deter students from plagiarism.
possible responses to plagiarism continued
Possible responses to plagiarism (continued)

2. Penalising offenders:

  • Where plagiarism is deemed to be extreme and deliberate these strategies are more likely to be appropriate.
    • Detect and punish students caught breaching expectations.
    • Refer the student and their case to the appropriate senior level within the academic structure to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
possible responses to plagiarism continued15
Possible responses to plagiarism (continued)
  • Punitive and educational responses should not be seen as mutually exclusive.
  • It is possible for example to penalise a student for extensive plagiarism whilst concurrently offering education in the conventions of citation and referencing.
  • A student who accidentally commits any form of plagiarism needs first and foremost to be educated about why and how to avoid doing so again.

Don’t assume plagiarism is necessarily intentional.

assumptions underpinning possible responses
Assumptions underpinning possible responses
  • A student who deliberately commits 'minor' plagiarism has done so because of time and workload pressures and therefore should initially be offered support to manage these.
  • A student who deliberately commits 'major' plagiarism may well have the same time/workload pressures but their work constitutes a more serious breach of accepted academic practice and the appropriate first response would need to acknowledge this. Direction to support and advice can be offered concurrently.
  • A student who accidentally commits any form of plagiarism needs first and foremost to be educated about why and how to avoid doing so again.
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