Curriculum redesign as a faculty-centred approach to plagiarism reduction
Hrasky, S and Kronenberg, D, Curriculum redesign as a faculty-centred approach to plagiarism reduction, 2010 Proceedings and Abstracts, 11-23 June 2010, Northumbria University, Newcastle ISBN 978-0-9561021-1-9 (2010) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]
The incidence of plagiarism is increasing, exacerbated by the availability of many information sources via the internet. The massification of higher education, coupled with increasing numbers of students for whom English is not the first language, heightens concerns about the risk of plagiarism in an environment characterised by varying degrees of academic literacy and different cultural perceptions about academic scholarship. Traditional approaches for tackling plagiarism reflect two distinct philosophies: educate the students or catch and punish inappropriate behaviour. Both assume that responsibility for avoiding plagiarism is the student’s, and whenever a problem is encountered, the blame rests with the student. In 2002, the Australian Government established the Australian Universities Teaching Committee (AUTC) which recommended a strategy reflecting a philosophy of sharing the responsibility for countering plagiarism across the student, staff and the institution. A key component of the strategy relates to assessment design, and it is this aspect that is a key focus of this paper. The first aim is to determine whether perceptions of staff at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) about causes of plagiarism appear to underpin response strategies. Secondly, actual practices regarding assessment (and other) strategies at UTAS are documented. Thirdly, staff attitudes regarding the effectiveness of these strategies are identified. Finally, impediments to implementing innovative assessment strategies are considered. By identifying the strategies that staff see as effective and the barriers to their implementation, policy makers can be forewarned about attitudes, obstacles, and associated resourcing implications that might be pertinent if the plagiarism response is to become a holistic one in which all involved bear some responsibility.