Introduction: Introduce self and teaching/study position. Introduce the issue/topic: Plagiarism and primary students, and their perception that it is ok to copy. Plagiarism is not new but connection to the internet has made it possible for students to have easy access to information and a range of resources (Wilson, 2007, Shenton, 2012). Studentsdon’t seem to see plagiarism as a problem but rather as an opportunity to access free information (Ma, Wan and Lu, 2008).
Definition:Plagiarism - noun. Plagiarism - act of taking another person’s work and passing it off as one’s own (Oxford Dictionary). Plagiarism originated in the 17th century and evolves from a latin word plagiarius meaning ‘kidnapper” (Oxford Dictionary). Current students do not know of a world without instant information via the internet. It is widely accepted that it is ok to copy freely accessible information. Intellectual property is perplexing. (Combes, 2004).
Five Types of Plagiarism (n.d.) suggests these forms:1. Copy & Paste Plagiarism – lifting a sentence or phrase, then reference 2. Word Switch Plagiarism – paraphrase, then reference3. Style Plagiarism – copying an author’s reasoning style4. Metaphor Plagiarism – copying an author’s analogy or metaphor5. Idea Plagiarism – copying a creative idea or solution Plagiarism is:copying a whole source, pretending it is one’s owncopying sections without acknowledgementparaphrasing without acknowledgementpresenting other’s work without acknowledgementbuying an essay or paper from a research service, student or website (Wilson, 2007).
Students’ acceptance and understanding: Plagiarism falls into two broad areas – deliberate deception, unintentional (Wilson, 2007). Many primary students do not even know they are plagiarising (Lawson, 2004). Unfamiliar term. Possible reasons why students plagiarise:shortest possible route through a course, referencing is low priority, poor time managers or procrastinators, feel their own work is inadequate, thrill of rule breaking (Mitchell, 2007). Wilson (2007) concurs and adds many students have inadequate note taking skills, therefore easier to cut and paste a big chunk of text. Cutting and pasting avoids selecting info and/or leaving anything out. Ma, Wan, Lu (2008) suggest the following reasons for plagiarising:peer culture, web sites that facilitate plagiarism, pressure to achieve, few consequences,lack of understanding of the concept of plagiarism. Common approach amongst students: Copying other’s work, everyone does it – is it really such a big deal? (Ma, Wan, Lu 2008). To the contrary, “text ownership” is a Western academic concept. Many cultures expect students to use exact words of experts or elders, otherwise inappropriate. Teachers need to be aware of cultural differences and respond accordingly (Wilson, 2007). Students from ESL backgrounds may just find it easier to copy if English skills are limited.
Plagiarism policy:No specific policy in primary NSW schools. Primary schools adapt and develop their own policies using the Board of Studies curriculum (Board of Studies, 2006). HSC students - “All My Own Work” module to learn about plagiarism as a compulsory component of the HSC (Board of Studies, 2011).
School Responsibilities:Pavey (2011, as cited in Shenton, 2012) lists four problems that are relevant to teachers:staff can be ignorant of best practice about finding and using information,priority within the school can be about ‘teaching to a test’ rather than inculcating skills,there is often little credit or emphasis upon good academic practice,teachers can take an easy role and turn a blind eye to plagiarism.Teaching staff need to be educated in how to teach students to avoid plagiarism.
In class work and assignments students must be able to demonstrate their understanding. Plagiarism shows that students know how to copy someone else’s ideas. Teaching students in primary school that plagiarism is unacceptable gives them a strong moral compass for using information as they advance through high school and then further education. What are the consequences of plagiarism?1. Primary school level:Few, if any consequences, teachers may speak to students and/or make plans for teaching how to reference (Mitchell, 2007)2. At high school level:teachers may refuse to acknowledge work as the student’s own,schools may enforce similar penalties as the governing bodies of education (Board of Studies, 2006).3. At HSC (NSW Schools) level there are significant penalties:students may receive zero marks for an assignment,the course may be deleted from the HSC award (Board of Studies, 2006).
What can the TL do to reduce and stamp out plagiarism? Brett (2009, as cited in Shenton, 2012) offers at three-pronged strategy for action - 1. deter – consider styles of answers expected, avoid regurgitation style assignments, encourage higher order thinking2. detect – apply awareness to the use of checking for originality of work, see below3. deal – have procedures in place and action. Ensure students and staff are familiar with the procedures/policy. Byrne (2008) suggests using several tools for detecting plagiarism including Glatt Plagiarism, Purdue OWL website and Plagiarism Checker.
Educating digital participants to be responsible users of informationEffective information literacy skills coupled with being a responsible digital citizen is a prerequisite for lifelong learning (Shenton, 2012). It is our responsibility as educators to equip students to be able to become future academics. Wilson (2006) says when dealing with plagiarism we need to understand why it happens. Strategies which may be implemented in the classroom need to cater for all students with varying backgrounds, learning styles, level of skill and education. Wilson (2006) suggests that specific teaching and learning strategies can minimise plagiarism, as follows:plan assignments which encourage higher-order thinking,use pathfinders to locate information – lessens time spent “surfing” the net for “good” information,make the reference section part of the mark,talk with students about plagiarism so they can develop an understanding, talk about the penalties at a higher level of education, set clear high expectations of the students,teach citation skills and teach note-taking and summarising skills.
Classroom StrategiesPanse (n.d.) explains that education is not just about getting as much information as we can; it is about knowing how to foster and use critical and analytical abilities to process information. Information that is not commonly known needs citation. If students find an idea or solution they need to reference it.Mitchell (2007) makes these suggestions for primary school aged students: begin discussions about intellectual property at a young age, seven yo understand what theft is, expand discussions to include words, talk about authors needing credit for their writing, encourage empathy skills for authors, use the term plagiarism, teach students how to pull the main ideas from a piece of text, keep referencing basic – author, title, publisher and copyright date - rather than full citations, teach students to write down the reference notes before taking notes from the resource.Allow students enough time to develop and implement skills, plagiarism is often because of limited timeKeep talking about plagiarism
What do we do now? Persuasion is simply not enough to eliminate plagiarism. Be direct and clear with what plagiarism means and what the consequences may be, consider that a policy for students use will help them avoid plagiarism. (Stolley, Brizee and Paiz, 2013). Consider your school’s ethos, cultural differences when developing a policy. A school’s ethos based on a framework such as Bloom’s Taxomony or Costa and Kallick’s Habits of Mind can stand in opposition to a school which ignores plagiarism (Shenton, 2012). Intentional plagiarism is dishonest. Teaching that this is an issue helps students fosters strong moral growth (Shenton, 2012). TLs need respect from their colleagues for input to classroom practice and policy development – reason for plagiarism is often a teaching and learning issue as result of weak information literacy skills. (Wilson, 2006)
It's OK to copy, right? Students' perception of plagiarism
It’s OK to copy, right?Students’ Perception of PlagiarismBy Angela Urquhart(butifandthat.com)
Types ofPlagiarismall without acknowledging theauthorCopy andpasteParaphrasingReasoningStylecopyingCopyinganalogies ormetaphorsCopyingcreativeideas orsolutionsBuyingpapersPresentingotherpeople’swork(Five Types of Plagiarism n.d., Wilson, 2007)
Reasons for plagiarising• Quick and easy• Referencing is a low priority• Poor self-esteem• Exciting (Mitchell, 2007)• Lack of ability• No decisions to be made (Wilson, 2007)• Peer culture• Pressure to achieve• Few consequences• What’s the big deal? (Ma, Wan & Lu, 2008)• Point of difference: culturally acceptable (Wilson, 2007)e-geress.org
What policy? Primary schools maybase policies on theBoard of StudiesCurriculum(Board of Studies, 20o6) “All My Own Work” acompulsory module forthe HSC(Board of Studies, 2011)
School responsibilitiesTeachers need to: use best practice teach skills emphasise goodacademic practice be aware of whatplagiarism looks like(Pavey, 2011)(beyondtheclassroom.wikidot.com)
Implications(facebook.com)Primary school level:• few, if any consequencesHigh school level:• work may not be acceptedHSC Level:• significant penalties(Board of Studies, 2006)
Responsible use of informationThe first thing teachersneed to learn is tounderstand why plagiarismhappens.(Wilson, 2006)Teachers can encourage higher-order thinking, use pathfinders, credit thereference section, talk about plagiarism and the consequences, teachbibliographic skills. (Wilson, 2006)
Classroom StrategiesPrimary teachers can: discuss intellectual property discuss giving credit to authors use the term plagiarism teach note taking and referencingGive students time to learn the skills!(Mitchell, 2007)
School policy developmentPersuasion is not enough toeliminate plagiarism. Talkabout what plagiarismmeans and what theconsequences may be.(Stolley, Brizee &Paiz, 2013)Consider:• The school ethos• Building strong moral growth• The cultural background of students• The school curriculum as a teaching and learning platform(Shenton, 2012, Stolley, Brizee & Paiz, 2013)
Conclusion Suggested Readings1. Do digital citizens become effective lifelong learners if theirinformation literacy skills fail to include best practice in avoidingplagiarism?2. How do you foster colleague support in developing a policy whichencourages teaching and assessment of bibliographic skills?3. How would a school policy recognise cultural differences inknowledge and understanding of plagiarism?• Ma, H.J., Wan, G., & Lu, E.Y. (2008). Digital cheating and plagiarism in schools. Theory Into Practice, 47(3), 197-203.• Mitchell, S. (2007). Penguins and plagiarism: stemming the tide of plagiarism in elementary school. Library MediaConnection, 25(7), 47.• Shenton, A.K. (2012). Plagiarism: a nettle that schools must grasp. Education Journal, 133(7), 10-14.• Wilson, D. (2006). Crime or confusion – why do students plagiarise? Retrieved 7 April 2013 fromhttp://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/issue_60/crime_or_confusion_-_why_do_students_plagiarise.html
Referencesbeyondtheclassroom.wikidot.com (n.d.). Retrieved 23 April 2013 from http://www.google.com.au/searchBoard of Studies. (2011). HSC: All my own work: plagiarism. Retrieved 7 April 2013 fromhttp://amow.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/module3/module3s1.htmlBoard of Studies NSW. (2006). Retrieved 12 April 2013 fromhttp://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/butifandthat.com (n.d). Clipped 23 April 2013 from http://www.google.com.au/searchByrne, R. (2008). Free technology for teachers. Retrieved 9 April 2013 fromhttp://ww.freetech4teachers.com/2008/12/ten-resources-for-preventing-and.htmlCombes B. (2004). The culture of information usage, plagiarism and the emerging Net Generation.Research…, Reform…, Realise the potential! Proceedings of the Australian Computers inEducation Conference (ACEC), Adelaide, South Australia.e-geress.org (n.d.). Retrieved 21 April 2013 from http://www.google.com.au/searchfacebook.com (n.d.). Retrieved 20 April 2013 from http://www.google.com.au/searchFive types of plagiarism. (n.d.). Retrieved 7 April 2013 fromwww.lib.ncsu.edu/lobo/lessonplans/14_fivetypes.docLawson, A. (2004). Kids learn it’s wrong to copy off net. Retrieved 9 April 2013 fromhttp://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Kids-learn-its-wrong-to-copy-offnet/2004/11/20/1100838276613.html
ReferencesMa, H.J., Wan, G., & Lu, E.Y. (2008). Digital cheating and plagiarism in schools. Theory IntoPractice, 47(3), 197-203.maternalfocus.com (n.d.). Retrieved 22 April 2013 from http://www.google.com.au/searchMitchell, S. (2007). Penguins and plagiarism: stemming the tide of plagiarism in elementaryschool. Library Media Connection, 25(7), 47.Oxford Dictionaries. (2013). Retrieved 7 April 2013 fromhttp://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/plagiarismPanse, S. (n.d.). Ways to avoid plagiarism. Retrieved 9 April 2013 fromhttp://www.buzzle.com/articles/ways-to-avoid-plagiarism.htmlShenton, A.K. (2012). Plagiarism: a nettle that schools must grasp. Education Journal, 133(7),10-14.Stolley, K., Brizee, A., Paiz, J.M. (2013). Developing a strong course policy on plagiarism.Retrieved 9 April 2013 from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/05/Wilson, D. (2006). Crime or confusion – why do students plagiarise? Retrieved 7 April 2013from http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/issue_60/crime_or_confusion_-_why_do_students_plagiarise.html