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The SIMPLE Project - transactional learning & plagiarism


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Presentation to Grasping the Nettle: designing assessment to reduce plagiarism, Oxford, May, 2008 (HEA seminar)

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The SIMPLE Project - transactional learning & plagiarism

  1. 1. simulation::plagiarism Professor Paul Maharg Glasgow Graduate School of Law
  2. 2. <ul><li>Plagiarism is not just about students being selfish, or narcissistic behaviour, or academic cheating or a syndrome or lack of integrity or anything else </li></ul><ul><li>We create fertile conditions for it to flourish by our teaching & assessment designs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of apprenticeship models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>insufficient situated learning & assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>poor academic literacy support within disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We need to re-design the ecology of learning, eg : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>trading zones, for students > students, staff > staff, students > staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teach rhetorical models via games, sims, debriefs, PBL, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transactional learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One attempt to change practice: SIMPLE </li></ul>my argument…
  3. 3. <ul><li>See Peter Galison’s groundbreaking study of the material culture of modern experimental micro-physics – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Galison, P. (1997) Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (Chicago, University of Chicago Press). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A place where theorists, writers, experimenters, instrument designers, policy-makers, politicians and others meet, share knowledge and do collaborative research </li></ul><ul><li>Parties traded content and method; they imposed constraints on each other; traditions coordinated but without homogenising; they communicated in pidgins and creoles to express and absorb each other’s essential concepts. </li></ul>1. trading zone…?
  4. 4. <ul><li>See the early work of Flower & Hayes, Scardamalia & Bereiter; New Literacies movement; London Group; James Gee. </li></ul><ul><li>In Law, see the work of James Stratman, Dorothy Deegan, Leah Christensen on the effect of professional identity on student reading & writing strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Each discipline needs to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>invent methods to embed these approaches in its teaching, learning & assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assess student performance based on the learning of rhetorical models. </li></ul></ul>2. rhetorical models…?
  5. 5. <ul><li>‘ Many university students are unable to cope with the technical and scholastic demands made on their use of language as students. They cannot define the terms which they hear in lectures or which they themselves use. They are remarkably tolerant of words lifted from the language of ideas but applied inappropriately or irrelevantly, and they accept sloppiness and incorrectness with resigned indifference. The lexis and syntax of examination scripts and essays written during the year offer a still more unchallengeable test of linguistic misunderstanding. Constrained to write in a badly understood and poorly mastered language, many students are condemned to using a rhetoric of despair whose logic lies in the reassurance that it offers. Through a kind of incantatory or sacrificial rite, they try to call up and reinstate the tropes, schemas or words which to them distinguish professorial language. Irrationally and irrelevantly, with an obstinacy that we might too easily mistake for servility, they seek to reproduce this discourse in a way which recalls the simplifications, corruptions and logical re-workings that linguists encounter in “creolized” languages.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J.-C. and de Saint Martin, M. (1994) Academic Discourse: Linguistic Misunderstanding and Professorial Power , trans. R. Teese (Cambridge, Polity Press), p.4 </li></ul>Baudrillard on academic discourse: the rhetoric of despair…
  6. 6. <ul><li>If Web 2.0 apps enhance social learning, collaboration, what effect will this have on the practice of plagiarism? </li></ul><ul><li>It may have a beneficial effect, if Web 2.0 is used to transform academic teaching practices… </li></ul><ul><li>Or may become yet one more example of e-plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>See Gerry McKiernan’s blog: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>& 2008 Horizon Report </li></ul>rhetorical models & Web 2.0…?
  7. 8. <ul><li>A specific form of PBL. At least seven distinguishing elements – </li></ul><ul><li>active learning </li></ul><ul><li>through performance in authentic transactions </li></ul><ul><li>involving reflection in & on learning, </li></ul><ul><li>deep collaborative learning , and </li></ul><ul><li>holistic or process learning, </li></ul><ul><li>with relevant professional assessment </li></ul><ul><li>that includes ethical standards </li></ul><ul><li>– which can have a significant effect on plagiarism when used in simulations of professional practice. </li></ul>3. transactional learning
  8. 9. why simulations? <ul><li>Are close to the world of practice , but safe from the (possible) realities of malpractice and negligent representation. </li></ul><ul><li>Enable students to practise legal transactions , discuss the transactions with other tutors, students, and use a variety of instruments or tools, online or textual, to help them understand the nature and consequences of their actions </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate a wide variety of assessment , from high-stakes assignments with automatic fail points, to coursework that can double as a learning zone and an assessment assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage collaborative learning . The guilds and groups of hunters in multi-player online games can be replicated for very different purposes in legal education. </li></ul><ul><li>Students begin to see the potential for the C in ICT ; and that technology is not merely a matter of word-processed essays & quizzes, but a form of learning that changes quite fundamentally what and how they learn. </li></ul>
  9. 10. general aim of the SIMPLE platform <ul><li>Enable staff and students to manage the educational and organizational issues that arise from the implementation of this environment, in particular those of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>personalized learning in a professional environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social presence and collaborative learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of simulation spaces in programmes of study, and the relation between simulation spaces and other learning spaces on a programme, including paper-based and online resources, face-to-face classes, and administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of rich media in online simulations – video, graphics, text, comms., etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>authenticity in the design of simulation tasks, and effective assessment of professional learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Two year project is funded jointly (£200K) by JISC & UK Centre for Legal Education, and ends July 2008 </li></ul>
  10. 11. what will the SIMPLE project do? <ul><li>Provide academic staff in UK HE & FE with software tools to design and build simulations and collate all of the resources required. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop teaching, learning and assessment templates, including curriculum guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Provide tools to create a map and directory for a virtual town </li></ul><ul><li>Enable communication between students and simulated characters/staff. </li></ul><ul><li>Offer monitoring and mentoring functions </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate student and staff experiences in using the simulation environment </li></ul>
  11. 12. large-scale implementation in disciplines Discipline Degree programme Institution Architecture BSc (Hons) / March, year 3 Strathclyde Social Work MA (Hons), year 2/3 Strathclyde Law LLB Glamorgan Law LLB Glasgow & Stirling Law LLB Warwick Law LLB West of England Law Diploma in Legal Practice, p/g Strathclyde
  12. 13. client scenarios Discipline Institution Scenario Architecture Strathclyde Running a Company Board Social Work Strathclyde Elder care / CPO Law Glamorgan Tort – PI Law Glasgow CJS – Victim / Offender Law Warwick University disciplinary hearing Law Stirling Fox hunting Law West of England Divorce Law Strathclyde PI, Civil action, Private Client, Conveyancing, Practice Man.
  13. 14. process model… <ul><li>Development - Partners exploring transformation process </li></ul><ul><li>Idea -> initial scenario -> computer simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Refined complex and powerful process for modeling </li></ul><ul><li>Implemented process as software tool </li></ul><ul><li>Enables academic member to build simulation blueprint and collate all of the resources required </li></ul><ul><li>Process and tool allow for highly structured, closed boundary simulations as well as loosely-structured, open-field simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Provides potential for simulation import / export </li></ul><ul><li>Tool itself has development potential </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>We need: </li></ul><ul><li>Clear research evidence sim environments will enable successful alternative approaches to knowledge, collaboration, professionalism, ethics... at reasonable cost. </li></ul><ul><li>Career-long assessment environments </li></ul><ul><li>To address our successes and concerns directly those to those with financial & decision-making powers, eg: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>institutional management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regulatory bodies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>policy-makers </li></ul></ul>SIMPLE: evidence-based alternative
  15. 16. future of SIMPLE: community of practice <ul><li>Aims – </li></ul><ul><li>Be collaborative: staff, students, different institutions, different professions </li></ul><ul><li>Be international – in our increasingly globalized jurisdictions we need to enable our students to work with others </li></ul><ul><li>Liaise with institutions & students in developing countries </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate with other forms of simulation, eg standardized clients </li></ul><ul><li>SIMPLE will be a Foundation, in every sense… </li></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li> </li></ul>what does SIMPLE look like?
  17. 18. personal injury negotiation project <ul><li>Administration: </li></ul><ul><li>272 students, 68 firms, 8 anonymous information sources </li></ul><ul><li>68 document sets, 34 transactions </li></ul><ul><li>students have 12 weeks to achieve settlement </li></ul><ul><li>introductory & feedback lectures </li></ul><ul><li>discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>FAQs & transaction guideline flowcharts </li></ul><ul><li>voluntary face-to-face surgeries with a PI solicitor </li></ul>
  18. 19. PI project: assessment criteria <ul><li>We require from each student firm a body of evidence consisting of: </li></ul><ul><li>fact-finding – from information sources in the virtual community) </li></ul><ul><li>professional legal research – using WestLaw + paperworld sources </li></ul><ul><li>formation of negotiation strategy – extending range of Foundation Course learning </li></ul><ul><li>performance of strategy – correspondence + optional f2f meeting, recorded </li></ul>
  19. 23. statistics
  20. 24. statistics
  21. 25. statistics
  22. 26. PI project: (some of) what students learned <ul><li>extended team working </li></ul><ul><li>real legal fact-finding </li></ul><ul><li>real legal research </li></ul><ul><li>process thinking in the project </li></ul><ul><li>setting out negotiation strategies in the context of (un)known information </li></ul><ul><li>writing to specific audiences </li></ul><ul><li>handling project alongside other work commitments </li></ul><ul><li>structuring the argument of a case from start to finish </li></ul><ul><li>keeping cool in face-to-face negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>more effective delegation </li></ul><ul><li>keeping files </li></ul><ul><li>taking notes on the process... </li></ul>
  23. 27. PI project: what students would have done differently… <ul><li>‘ In tackling this project I think that our group made two main mistakes. The first mistake we made was in approaching the task as law students as opposed to Lawyers. By this I mean we tried to find the answer and work our way back. Immediately we were thinking about claims and quantum and blame. I don't think we actually initiated a claim until a week before the final settlement. I think the phrase &quot;like a bull in a china shop&quot; would aptly describe the way we approached the problem. […] Our group knew what area of law and tests to apply yet we ended up often being ahead of ourselves and having to back-pedal </li></ul><ul><li>The second mistake we made was estimating how long it would take to gather information. We started our project quite late on and began to run out of time towards the end. None of us appreciated the length of time it would take to gather information and on top of this we would often have to write two or three letters to the same person as the initial letter would not ask the right question.’ </li></ul>
  24. 28. PI project: what students would have done differently… <ul><li>‘ At the beginning we thought we perhaps lost sight of the fact that we had a client whom we had a duty to advise and inform. On reflection we should have issued terms of engagement and advised the client better in monetary terms what the likely outcome was going to be.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ […] unlike other group projects I was involved in at undergraduate level I feel that I derived genuine benefit from this exercise in several ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. reinforcing letter-writing, negotiation, time-management and IT skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. conducting legal research into issues of quantum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>working effectively in a group as a group - not delegating tasks at the first meeting and then putting together pieces of work at the second meeting.’ </li></ul></ul>
  25. 29. transactional learning: Private Client project <ul><li>General outline: </li></ul><ul><li>Students wind up the estate of a deceased client who dies intestate, via 4 assignments. Students drafted: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initial Writ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estate Valuation Correspondence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forms C1, IHT 200 & supplements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>a will </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>no lectures, no exams: instead, tutorials and coursework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>50 scenarios </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>virtual collection of the client’s estate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>online assessment & submission of assignments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FAQ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>online tutor assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>on average, six outcomes per assessment </li></ul></ul>
  26. 31. <ul><li>Students co-opted to community-police plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Students carry out authentic client-based work, not artificial, assessment-led tasks </li></ul><ul><li>ICT is used to create multiple versions of tasks via document variables </li></ul><ul><li>Students take responsibility for their transactional learning, their files, their clients, their firm, ie assessment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>encourages ownership, not submission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enhances collaboration, not plagiarism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff take responsibility for designing transactional learning </li></ul><ul><li>And tools to stop free-loading, copying, etc? </li></ul>summary of the SIMPLE effect on plagiarism…
  27. 43. a final example: legal writing <ul><li>Writing as a social activity software, which emphasises: </li></ul><ul><li>networks of meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Distributed learning across the internet and other forms of knowledge representation </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative learning at all levels </li></ul>
  28. 44. intermediate online education, 2006+ <ul><li>Still focused on: </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations , ie LMSs, silos of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Products , ie handbooks, CDs, closely-guarded downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Content , ie modules, lock-step instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Snapshot assessment of taught substantive content </li></ul>
  29. 45. social learning > 2010+ <ul><li>Focus shifts to: </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation has weak boundaries, strong presence through resource-based, integrated learning networks, with open access, eg MIT & OU open courseware </li></ul><ul><li>Focus not on static content but on web-based, aggregated content </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning as understanding & conversation, just-in-time learning </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of situated learning </li></ul>
  30. 46. ALIAS... ALIAS – A rdcalloch L egal I nformation & A dvice S ervice
  31. 47. ... now being developed as a professional collaborative writing environment <ul><li>Simulation of professional writing contexts </li></ul><ul><li>Creation of wikis within ALIAS – Ardcalloch Legal Information and Advice Service </li></ul><ul><li>Students will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>see each other’s drafts (collaborative learning) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>amend firm’s drafts (collaborative working) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be responsible for individual articles (ownership…) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>see student drafts (observe collab. learning + working) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>comment on drafts (feedback on individual work) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff will include professional legal writers as well as GGSL staff </li></ul>
  32. 48. contact details <ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul><ul><li>Book: </li></ul><ul><li>These slides at: </li></ul><ul><li>Address: Glasgow Graduate School of Law </li></ul><ul><li>Lord Hope Building </li></ul><ul><li>University of Strathclyde </li></ul><ul><li>141 St James’ Road </li></ul><ul><li>Glasgow G4 0LU </li></ul>