Three Things Teachers Need to Spot—and Stop—Plagiarism
SPONSORED CONTENTFROM PLAGIARISMCHECK
my note: I firmly disagree with the corporate push to mechanize plagiarism. Plagiarism is about teaching both faculty and students, and this industry, under the same cover is trying to make a profit by mechanizing, not teaching about plagiarism.
Plagiarism-detection software can address the most pressing needs of classroom educators faced with assessing students’ written work. Here’s how:
1. Teachers Need More Time
The Challenge: The larger the class is, and the more students that are in it, the longer it takes to review each written assignment—checking grammar, style, originality of ideas, etc. This is especially important when screening for plagiarism.
My note: this is NOT true. If the teacher is still lingering in the old habits of lecturing, this could be true. However, when a teacher gets into the habit of reviewing papers, s/he can detect as soon as in the first several paragraphs the discrepancies due to copy and paste of other work versus the student’s work.
In addition, if the teacher applies group work in her/his class, s/he can organize students to proofread each other’s work, thus teaching them actively about plagiarism, punctuation etc.
2. Evidence Must Be Reliable
The Challenge: When identifying plagiarism, teachers need to be confident in their assessment. Accusing students of academic dishonesty is a weighty claim; it can lead to their suspension or even expulsion from school.
My note: another myth perpetuated by industry searching for profit. Instead of looking at the process of plagiarism as punitive action, an educator will look at it as education and prevention. Prevention of plagiarism will never be successful, if the focus as in this article is on “suspension,” “expulsion,” etc. The goal of the teacher is NOT to catch the student, but to work with the student and understand the complexity of plagiarism.
3. Tools Must Be Easy to Use
My note: right, the goal is to make the teacher think as less as possible.
My note: PlagiarismCheck is the same as TurnitIn and all other tools, which seek profit, not education. Considering that plagiarism is a moving target (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2016/01/10/plagiarism-or-collaboration/) and it is a concept first and secondly an action, the attempt to extract profits from the mechanization of this process is no less corrupt then the attempt to focus on profit (of education) rather then on education (itself)
what constitutes plagiarism, how prevalent plagiarism is in our schools, colleges, and society, what is done to prevent and reduce plagiarism, the attitudes of faculty toward academic dishonesty in general, and individual differences as predictors of academic dishonesty
the interdisciplinary nature of the topic and the ethical challenges of accessing and using information technology, especially in the age of the Internet. Writings have been reported in the literatures of education, psychology, and library and information studies, each looking at academic dishonesty from different perspectives. The literature has been aimed at instructors and scholars in education and developmental psychology, as well as college librarians and school media specialists.
Although the literature appears to be scattered across many fields, standard dictionaries and encyclopedias agree on the meaning of plagiarism.
According to Webster’s, plagiarism is equated with kidnapping and defined as “the unauthorized use of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own.”(FN10) The Oxford English Dictionary defines plagiarism as the “wrongful appropriation or purloining, and publication as one’s own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas (literary, artistic, musical, mechanical, etc.).”(
plagiarism is an elusive concept and has been treated differently in different contexts.
different types of plagiarism: direct plagiarism; truncation (where strings are deleted in the beginning or ending); excision (strings are deleted from the middle of sentences); insertions; inversions; substitutions; change of tense, person, number, or voice; undocumented factual information; inappropriate use of quotation marks; or paraphrasing.
defined plagiarism as a deliberate use of “someone else’s language, ideas, or other original (not common-knowledge) material without acknowledging its source.”(FN30) This definition is extended to printed and digital materials, manuscripts, and other works. Plagiarism is interrelated to intellectual property, copyright, and authorship, and is discussed from the perspective of multiculturalism.(FN31)
Jeffrey Klausman made three distinctions among direct plagiarism, paraphrase plagiarism, and patchwork plagiarism
Cosgrove, J., Norelli, B., & Putnam, E. (2005). Setting the Record Straight: How Online Database Providers Are Handling Plagiarism and Fabrication Issues. College & Research Libraries, 66(2), 136-148.
None of the database providers used links for corrections. Although it is true that the structure of a particular database (LexisNexis, for instance) may make static links more difficult to create than appending corrections, it is a shame that the most elemental characteristic of online resources–the ability to link–is so underutilized within the databases themselves.
Finding reliable materials using online databases is difficult enough for students, especially undergraduates, without having to navigate easily fixed pitfalls. The articles in this study are those most obviously in need of a correction or a link to a correction–articles identified by the publications themselves as being flawed by error, plagiarism, or fabrication. Academic librarians instruct students to carefully evaluate the literature in their campuses’ database resources. Unfortunately, it is not practical to expect undergraduate students to routinely search at the level necessary to uncover corrections and retractions nor do librarians commonly have the time to teach those skills.
The proper solution to plagiarism in our nation’s schools is education and vigilance. Students should understand the role of academic integrity inside their own work, and be held accountable when they are not in accordance with academic policies and honor codes. Self-plagiarism, incorrect citations, no citations, or even word for word copying must be taught to students on a regular basis. Updates to both MLA and APA are ongoing as well; therefor, even graduates must stay current with how their citation methods change overtime.
My response to this LInkedIn entry:
Here is most of the information, I have collected on plagiarism, academic integrity, academic dishonesty. I added also Joshe’s opinion LinkedIn entry: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=plagiarism
My firm conviction through the years is that for-profit such as TurnitIn are a smoke-screen, opportunists, which are trying to bank on lack of organized approach toward educating students and ourselves about the increasing nebulous areas of plagiarism (due to the increasing digitization of our work). It is in their interest to use scare tactics and try to convince us that computerization is the answer. Anyone, who had proofread papers for more than two semesters can detect easily the change of style, the lack of punctuation and other little, but significant details in the writing process. Since, the instructor has to read the paper for content anyhow, it is just preposterous to seek multiple-thousand dollars software license to replace the instructor.
The literature shows that the predominant percentage of students committing plagiarism is doing it due to lack of proper explanation and education. I that sense, I support Josh’s choice of words: education and vigilance. My only addition is that the vigilance must be human based, not machine-based. Higher admin shouldn’t squander finances in purchasing more licenses and cutting faculty positions, but invest in well-rounded and capable faculty.
a need for new techniques to handle the problem in online environments. To achieve zero cheating is hard (or impossible) without repelling not only cheaters but also those students who do not cheat, where a zero ‐ tolerance emphasis also would risk inhibiting students’ intrinsic motivation. Several studies indicate that existing virtual learning environments do not provide the features needed to control that the intended student is the one taking the online exam. Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
One approach to prevent student’s dishonesty is the university code of honour. This is a set of rules describing what actions are not permitted and the consequences for students taking such actions. Another way of preventing cheating is the use of proctors during written exams. Even while using such codes of honour and proctors, universities still have found many students to cheat. Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Neutralisation is the phenomenon when a person rationalises his or her dishonest behaviour with arguments like “I can do this because the work load within this course is just too overwhelming” or “I can do this because I have a half ‐ time job on the side which gives me less study time than the other students have”. By doing so the student puts the blame for cheating on external factors rather than on himself, and also protects himself from the blame of others (Haines et al. 1986). This neutralises the behavior in the sense that the person’s feelings of shame are reduced or even eliminated. Haines et al. (1986 Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Simply asking participants to read a code of honour when they had the opportunity to cheat reduced dishonesty. Also whether one signed the code of honour or just read it influenced cheating. The Shu et al. (2011) study suggests that opportunity and knowledge of ethical standards are two factors that impact students’ ethical decision about cheating. This is in line with the results in (McCabe, Trevino and Butterfield 2001), showing that if students regularly are reminded of the university’s code of honour, they are less likely to cheat Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
For an online course setting, Gearhart (2001) suggest that teachers should develop a guideline for “good practices”.
In online examination there are reports of students hiring other persons to increase their scores (Flior & Kowalski, 2010) and there is a need for new enhanced authentication tools (Ullah, Xiao & Lilley, 2012). For companies and Internet environments the process of authentication is often completed through the use of logon identification with passwords and the assumption of the password to guarantee that the user is authentic (Ramzan, 2007), but logins and passwords can be borrowed (Bailie & Jortberg, 2009). The discussion on how to provide enhanced authentication in online examination has led to many suggested solutions; four of them are: Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Challenge Questions: with questions based on third ‐ party data
Face ‐ to ‐ Face Proctored Exam: with government or institution issued identification
Web Video Conference Proctor: audio and video conference proctoring via webcam and screen monitoring service with live, certified proctors
Biometrics and Web Video Recording: with unique biometrics combined with the recording of student in exam via webcam
An idea for online courses is that assessment should not only be a one way process where the students get grades and feedback. The examination process should also be a channel for students’ feedback to teachers and course instructors (Mardanian & Mozelius, 2011). New online methods could be combined with traditional assessment in an array of techniques aligned to the learning outcomes (Runyon and Von Holzen, 2005). Examples of summative and formative assessment in an online course could be a mix of: Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Multiple choice questions (MCQ) tests, automatically corrected in a virtual learning environment
Term papers or essays analysed by the course instructors
Individual or group assignments posted in digital drop ‐ boxes
Oral or written tests conducted in the presence of the instructor or through videoconferences (Dikli, 2003)
Authors’ suggestion is a biometric belt and braces model with a combination of scanned facial coordinates and voice recognition, where only a minimum of biometric data has to be stored. Even if the model is based on biometrics with a medium to low grade of uniqueness and permanence, it would be reliable enough for authentication in online courses if two (or more) types of biometrics are combined with the presented dialogue based examination using an interaction/obser ‐ vation process via web cameras. Biometric Belt and Braces for Authentication in Distance Education.
Gary A. Hoover is currently a Professor and the Chair of the Economics Department at the University of Oklahoma.
Hoover received his Ph.D. in Economics from Washington University in St. Louis in 1998. Since then he has published numerous scholarly research papers, book chapters, and reviews on areas of public policy and income redistribution. He is a leading scholar on academic misconduct, specifically plagiarism, in the economics profession and sits on the REPEC plagiarism committee. Hoover has given over 100 lectures on plagiarism around the world.
He has also been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin. He has also been a guest professor at the University of Hannover and the University of Konstanz in Germany along with the University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria.
a recent PEW research study found that while educators find technology beneficial in teaching writing skills, they feel it has also led to a direct increase in rates of plagiarism and infringement of intellectual property rights.
We want students to do “group work,” to collaborate, and to discuss. However, we have very specific realms in which we want this to happen: the group assignment, the in-class discussion, studying for exams, etc. At the same time, many of us want to put up barriers and halt any collaboration at other times (during assessments, for example). When collaboration takes place during assessment, we deem it plagiarism or cheating, and technology is often identified as the instrument that tempts students into such behavior.
A student may produce an entirely wrong answer, but if how they got there was through logic, reasonable assumption, educated guessing (not just plain old “guessing”) – and they were effective in communicating that process – then there is evidence of learning that I can take into account.
More on plagiarism, academic integrity and academic dishonesty in this IMS blog: