Keynote 3

  • Strange bedfellows: the interaction of student plagiarism and assessment practice

    Jude Carroll , Oxford Brookes University

    Keynote

    Student plagiarism: at best, it is a worry or distraction and at worst, a threat to academic awards and learning as we know it. In 2005, both aspects have had a regular airing in the popular and academic press. Journalists engage in shock and horror; academics struggle with the aggravation of handling an ever larger number of cases; institutions look over their shoulders at potential challenges when they make decisions; cynics simply shake their heads, looking for who best to blame. This keynote will explore the validity of the negative and see how student plagiarism can be viewed positively. Plagiarism can and does spur course designers into finding new ways of tracking and valuing learning. It reinforces the need for inducting students into the mysterious ways of the academy. It is an example of a complex and difficult issue that has triggered institution-wide collaboration. Plagiarism may be the strongest trigger yet for ensuring students develop the academic skills they need to succeed. But, while it may be true that listening to what students say about plagiarism is about the best way to improve all assessment – this ideal state is far from achieved so the keynote will finish with some suggestions on how to use the opportunity in your own setting / context, drawing upon examples from around the world.

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