Mouse click plagiarism: Can technology help to fight back?

Tulley-Pitchford, Kay (2012) Mouse click plagiarism: Can technology help to fight back? Practitioner Research in Higher Education, 6 (2). pp. 56-68.

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Abstract

Many students arrive at university accustomed to adopting the internet as their primary source of information, but with no prior experience of referencing. This raises issues of the reliability and validity of digital sources, as well as bringing new opportunities for cheating. The internet has made plagiarism quicker and easier; a student simply needs to click the mouse to copy and paste sections of text. The author is interested in the process of academic writing and how, if the text is constructed by a couple of clicks, learning may be limited. This small scale study explores students’ perceptions, knowledge and experience of referencing, plagiarism and the text-matching software, Turnitin. Using an online survey and focus groups, the practitioner endeavours to see if technology can be used to deter plagiarism and enhance the student learning experience. The study concludes that, while students superficially understand plagiarism, they struggle with the importance and conventions of referencing. Students require (and expect) early and appropriate educational support to adopt the cultural norms of higher education and learn the process of reading, analysing, synthesising and acknowledging the work of others. Turnitin has limitations, but it does appear to be effective at deterring plagiarism and has the potential to be a learning tool, if introduced and used appropriately.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Practitioner Research in Higher Education
Publisher: University of Cumbria
ISSN: 1755-1382
Departments: Faculty of Education, Arts and Business > Institute of Education > Continuing Professional Development > Educational Research
Depositing User: Linda Shore
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2012 11:12
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2017 01:32
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/1422

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