ERIC Number: EJ721688
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Reference Count: 16
Staff and Student Attitudes to Plagiarism at University College Northampton
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, v31 n2 p215-232 Apr 2006
University College Northampton (UCN) provides undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a wide range of subjects. In the past, instances of plagiarism were considered rare and were dealt with by academic staff on a case-by-case basis. However, the increase in instances detected by staff has led to a need to address the issue more consistently. The University has, for many years, provided students with a definition of plagiarism and has developed a procedure to deal with it. The definition however, did not provide adequate guidance to students, and staff have reported the plagiarism procedure to be unsatisfactory. Discussions with colleagues and students illuminated a general lack of understanding of plagiarism and a wide range of values and attitudes about the issue. It also appeared that the provision of student support and the application of sanctions were inconsistent. Before any institution-wide changes in policy could be initiated, research was needed to clarify staff and student attitudes to plagiarism and develop a common framework. The overall aim of this research was to contextualise the problem at UCN; to produce evidence, raise awareness of the issues and encourage debate about the pedagogical issues associated with it. It was hoped that this would facilitate the changes in culture that would provide the environment for a holistic revision of institutional practice. This paper outlines the results of the initial distribution of a questionnaire to 53 (10.6%) academics and 509 (5.1%) students to elicit data about the issues associated with plagiarism. It is part of a larger action research project using a mixed methodology. As part of the survey, staff and students were asked to estimate how frequently certain tactics were employed by students to improve their coursework grades. The tactics described were based on those described by Norton et al. (1996) in their paper '"Rules of the Game" in essay writing'. This allowed a comparison between staff and students so far, have provided sufficient evidence to initiate strategies and staff and student development activities with collegiate interest and support.
Descriptors: Plagiarism, Action Research, Student Attitudes, Teacher Attitudes, Cheating, Higher Education, College Students, College Faculty, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom