Preventing Plagiarism and Fostering Academic Integrity: A Practical Approach
Keywords:plagiarism prevention, academic integrity, plagiarism, ethics
Although plagiarism, cheating and academic integrity receive increased attention, literature provides little practical advice or strategies on how to approach these topics with students. In this paper we describe a case study in relation to an intervention we have developed to help our students prevent plagiarism and to foster academic integrity amongst our studentship. In the two hour workshop students are supported in gaining a deeper understanding of what plagiarism is and provides them with practical examples of how plagiarism can be avoided. In the context of the workshop plagiarism is discussed in its many forms of the intentional and unintentional stealing or appropriating of ideas that are not credited accordingly (Helgesson & Eriksson, 2015). The intervention also encompasses discussions around academic integrity and what academic integrity means in theory and in practice. The six steps in our intervention are a sorting activity (what is plagiarism?), the presentation of real cases (what is the impact of plagiarism?), practising to synthesise ideas (how can I prevent plagiarism), the role of plagiarism-detection software such as Turnitin (how can I check for plagiarism?), the formulation of an integrity code and a summary of the content covered in the session (what do I know now?). The intervention draws upon research and practical experiences and is designed in such a way that with adaptations it can be delivered to all levels of students and courses. Following the presentation of the individual elements of the workshop the article concludes with a brief outline of a research project in relation to our workshop, which will be used to inform our further development of the intervention but also to provide a more formal evaluation of its effectiveness.
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