Cheating and Plagiarizing

“It has never been easier for a student to employ dishonest practices by cheating, or plagiarizing the work of others” (Fawkner and Keremidchieva). Plagiarism is “the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person” (Merriam Webster). Cheating is defined as “to violate rules dishonestly” (Merriam Webster).

“Regardless of the degree to which an infraction is intentional or substantial, plagiarism violates an original author’s intellectual property rights” (DiBiase and Jocoy).

“Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship. Students and faculty alike must obey rules of honest scholarship, which means that all academic work should result from an individual’s own efforts. Intellectual contributions from others must be consistently and responsibly acknowledged. Academic work completed in any other way is fraudulent” (University of Illinois).

“Educators have always been concerned with upholding standards of academic integrity among individual engaged in scholarly pursuit” (DiBiase and Jocoy).

Upon researching and reflecting on this topic there are several questions that I need to answer. Do I as an educator understand and know how to use proper citation? Why do learners engage in academic dishonesty? And how as educators do we work towards preventing it? Prior to starting the Provincial Instructors Diploma Program I had a very limited knowledge of proper citation requirements. I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience on proper citation and referencing. Why do learners engage in academic dishonesty? In my practice I have had experience with learners cheating or plagiarizing
due to time management, lack of knowledge on citation, and unclear due to language issues. Research has shown that learners engage in academic dishonesty due to several reasons such as financial pressure, panic, lack of confidence, innocence, easy to do, to obtain good grades, fear of failure, cultural, and technology. How do I as an Instructor work towards preventing academic dishonesty in my classroom? By providing the learner with knowledge, resources, and examples of how to use proper citations and referencing. And ensure the learner is aware of the consequences of academic dishonesty.

The College that I am employed at has a clear policy on cheating and plagiarism. This policy is in the Student Handbook. The learner signs a statement at the beginning of the program that states that they have read and are in agreement with the policies outlined in the Student Handbook.

As an Instructor I must “teach/instruct/tutor students should lead by example and set the acceptable standards in all matters relating to academic honesty” (Fawkner and Keremidchieva). As an Instructor I must role model by utilizing best practice in citation and referencing and respond to academic dishonesty in a professional manner.

As an educator I need to use methods to detect plagiarism and cheating. This may be in the form of copy and pasted work, incorrect or no citations, vocabulary or terminology that is not consistent with the learner. There are a variety of web based tool available to assist with detection.

Where I teach the learners receive a book on academic paper writing in success strategies during the first week of the program. In the future I will use a classroom assessment technique during the first session to determine the learners understanding of academic paper writing. This will allow me to review any necessary material that the students do not understand.

Recently I trialed a new method of assigning assignments and projects with the students in semester two. I handed out all assignments and projects on the first day of class. I discussed each at length and provided written guidelines and due dates. My rationale for implementing this was to have the learner manage their time more efficiently, organize their work, decrease their stress and or anxiety level, which would prevent academic dishonesty. I received very positive feedback from the learners and I did not detect any academic dishonesty in the learner’s work handed in.

I will include the topic of academic dishonesty in my course syllabus and on all assignments instructions. This will ensure the learner has a clear understanding that academic dishonesty is unacceptable.

References:

DiBiase, David, Jocoy, Christine, Plagiarism by Adult Learners Online, Retrieved from
the World Wide Web on June 15, 2013, http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/242/466

Fawkneer, Matthew Keremidchieva, Greta, Plagiarism, Cheating and Academic Dishonesty- Have You Been There, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on June 13, 2013,http://www.docjax.com/Search/index.shtml?q=Plagiarism%2C+Cheating%2C+and+Academic+Dishonesty+-+have+you+been+there

Merriam Webster Online Dictionary – Retrieved from the World Wide Web on June 23, 2013, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionar

University Illinois at Urban Campaign, Retrieved from the World Wide Web on June 23,
2013, http://www.library.illinois.edu/learn/research/academicintegrity.html

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