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Hathaway - What did I do wrong? Supporting independent learning practices to avoid plagiarism


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Hathaway - What did I do wrong? Supporting independent learning practices to avoid plagiarism

  1. 1. Library‘What did I do wrong?’Supporting independent learningpractices to avoid plagiarismHelen Hathaway © University of Reading 2010
  2. 2. ‘What did I do wrong?’• Introduction to project• Rationale and aims• Project team: Library, Study Advice, ISLC Helen Kim Clare Liz Rhianedd Hathaway Shahabudin Nukui Wilding Smith
  3. 3. Background and scope• Funding• Three projects into one• Timing! Start September 2012, finish June 2013 – Interim report Dec 2012• Where have we been• Where are we going
  4. 4. What do others think?We carried out research……with Library staff…with students…with academics…on Turnitin Copyright Science Photo Library
  5. 5. Library staff views• ‚The most frequent query I get is about citing webpages or documents found on the web. Sometimes they aren’t suitable sources though, so I have to try to steer them to something better!‛• ‚Most of my enquiries from students come from opposite ends of the spectrum: 1) The students who have had a piece of work back saying they haven’t referenced properly or who know that they have no idea about referencing 2) The student who’s sorted most of their references and has an unusual type of material to reference‛• ‚A lot of the students that I deal with are overseas and tend to get the plagiarism warnings piled on to them big style so I tend to recommend it as a way of avoiding charges of plagiarism.‛
  6. 6. Put yourself in a student’s shoes… Copyright Photolibrary‚How should I reference an App, a packet of crisps, a practical protocol?‛‚How many sources should I ‚Do I need a reference list AND a use?‛ bibliography?‛‚I know what a reference is – but ‚Will I be marked down for what’s a citation?‛ missing a comma?‛‚Why does this tutor want a ‚I have a misconduct interview: different referencing style what happens now?‛ from that one?‛
  7. 7. Student comments• ‚Did referencing at school so don’t need to learn it again.‛• ‚Didn’t do referencing at school – was totally lost when I got here.‛• ‚One tutor wants me to reference like this, the others want me to do it differently – I don’t understand why.‛• ‚I got my referencing wrong in my first year and my tutor took me on one side and told me to be more careful next time. Got it wrong in the 2nd year and suddenly it was all regulations and zero marks.‛• ‚Referencing is just something you have to do, otherwise you lose marks.‛• ‚I ran out of time, and decided I’d lose fewer marks for not checking my references than for handing in late. I got zero.‛
  8. 8. Surveyed School Directorsof teaching and learning• Advice and guidance on finding appropriate academic sources of info• Referencing principles and practice• Feedback – when and how• How important for Part 1, Part 2, Masters• What are the reasons for incorrect referencing• What is your response• Current strategies effective or not• Additional resources you would like?
  9. 9. Feedback from academics• ‚Inadvertent plagiarism is usually explained by people being under pressure.‛• ‚Plagiarism can be less of a problem on modules where assignments are designed to force students to think independently.‛• ‚Anecdotally it seems that anxiety about referencing is seen more with dissertations. ‚• ‚Students can focus disproportionately on micro-details like p/pp.‛• ‚There is a growing problem with students in English Literature referencing e-books. ‚• ‚International students may have been to a vast range of different types of colleges and universities and it is very hard to know what training and information theyve been given in the past.‛
  10. 10. TurnitinSurvey of School Directors of Teaching and Learning and School E-learning Co-ordinators….and othersResults: evenly balanced• ‚Definitely worth using Turnitin formatively, but does require sufficient time - students often need more practice in note-taking etc.‛• ‚personally I havent detected any significant decline in poor academic practice‛• ‚Turnitin is not necessarily reliable. It often fails to detect plagiarism. However it helps to sensitise students of good academic conventions.‛
  11. 11. Utilising alternative perspectives?
  12. 12. How is it taught now?: identifying gapsAt Reading… At other institutions…
  13. 13. What are we developing?• ‘Toolkit’ of re-purposable resources• Aimed at academics to use with their students• Stored in Blackboard OrganisationExample: How to précis and paraphrase Handout Slides Screencast
  14. 14. How are we getting on together?Good Bad• input from people • speed of decision making working in different roles • getting together at the• access to different same time! strategic issues • differing aspirations for• differing relationships the project with students and • different structures of academics services/depts.• paid project workers No ugly! Copyright Getty Images
  15. 15. Summary and recommendations• Crucial to go beyond formatting and show role of correct referencing in academic writing• Many students fail to engage with skills teaching• Students report lack of consistency and difficulty in finding guidance• Recognise implications of alternative academic cultures• Pre-entry information and compulsory self-test• Bite sized resources for academics to use/direct students to• Single, clear authoritative source of guidance for the future ?