Friday, June 22, 2007

Plagiarism and IL

Yesterday Bill and I were talking to an academic here in the Marketing Department (I'm still at Strathclyde) about helping to deter plagiarism through information literacy - it might lead to a session with staff and teaching assistants in a couple of months time. Obviously were were talking about how this can fit in with an overall approach and conception of IL, and (at a nitty gritty level) some of the activities to do with sel;ection, evaluation and synthesis that can help develop students' understanding.
On this topic: last year I flagged up the 2nd Plagiarism conference that took place in June 2006 beforehand, but I don't think I ever mentioned that the full text proceedings are available online at
Just to pick out one of the papers: Gourlay (2006) reports on a survey (questionnaires with some follow-up interviews) at Napier University. Students identified searching for academic material, paraphrasing, and writing in an academic style. A quote from the conclusion points up the problems that students have, when at school they haven't been pulled up for things which count as plagiarism at University "The survey and interview data reveal widely differing transition experiences among respondents. However, a common theme was a sudden change in academic culture and expectations in terms of writing when making the transition from school or college to university. Some students reported that the expected norms of academic writing at university were not expressed to them, and that they have developed as writers through trial and error." (p10)

Gourlay, L. (2006) "Negotiating boundaries: Student perceptions, academic integrity and the co-construction of academic literacies." In Proceedings of the 2nd International Plagiarism conference. JISCPAS.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Thistle, Glasgow, June 2007.

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