Copyright or copywrong?

plagiarismFinally, some good clear advice about plagiarism in a format which will mean something to students! Pleasedontcheat is a fantastic site with videos, teacher tools, student tools and clear, well articulated information about plagiarism. In a copy-paste world where it is far too easy just to get “stuff” for assignments we can easily miss the point of teaching what is ethical, what is right, what is appropriate. There is software for checking plagiarism but as teachers of school age students then I think it is part of our ongoing duty of care to ensure our students are properly prepared to take a good place online and that we will work together to create good online habits and connections. The digital checking software then becomes an audit tool as part of that process if you need it.  Digital citizenship has to be part and parcel of any lesson and this site has provided material which will help assist positive conversations. I have two useful approaches which have stopped plagiarism. Firstly, in a big class, I regularly set oral assessments and presentations. Nothing is more tedious to a group of 30 than hearing the same thing over and over and seeing the same thing over and over. What students will then do is start creating their own material in a far more original way and they will be very careful to acknowledge images and resources. They take a pride in it in the end! In smaller classes I work one on one with students and then you can talk them past the dependency phase. When students are not really sure what they are doing or if they leave themselves time poor then it becomes obvious as you work with them and you can scaffold them better which helps them find their own way and then become more absorbed in the work so that they then are prepared to give it the time it deserves. Plagiarism these days seems to be a factor of competing activities and diversions for study time. I am not sure whether there are current studies that put this together in an educational context, but I would imagine the advent of technology and then the lifestyle trend of always being busy would mean dedicated study time is something we are eroding. Conversations about plagiarism  can be set comfortably into the whole context of prioritising and time management.

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2 Responses

  1. Great article!

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