Plagiarism and Contract Cheating in Higher Education

Although I’m beginning to feel that more academics understand plagiarism, contract cheating and their importance, my viewpoint is often skewed by the community I’m in and the countries in which I work. It’s also becoming clear to me that there are other countries where these problems are much less understand.

I delivered a staff development workshop covering both plagiarism and contract cheating to representatives of the University of Montenegro.

You can see the slides for the workshop on my SlideShare account. They are also embedded below.

The audience for this workshop was particularly interested in academic research, so I’ve included a number of examples of continuing research problems and areas where there are opportunities for researchers to become involved. The problems within the plagiarism and contract cheating fields are far from solved and there continue to be excellent opportunities to apply new technologies and artificial intelligence solutions here.

Exploring The Culture Of Plagiarism Invading Higher Education

I was invited to deliver a high profile keynote presentation about student plagiarism in Azerbaijan, to an audience consisting largely of Vice Chancellors, other senior figures in higher education and Government officials.

This was quite an experience for me, as it’s also the first time I’ve had a talk I’ve given translated live into a foreign language. It was a very respectful audience and I hope that the translation captured everything that I presented.

You can see the slides for the keynote presentation on my SlideShare account. They are also embedded below.

The event was held in conjunction with Turnitin and I used the keynote slot to question several assumptions about student plagiarism and to raise awareness of why this is an important problem and one that cannot simply be ignored.

The slides contain examples of plagiarism extending beyond the traditional written essay and I hope capture the feeling that the movement that exists towards ensuring integrity in all aspects of academic life.

Student Plagiarism – What Is It? And What Should We, As Academics, Do About It?

The workshop for which the slides are included below was particularly interesting for me, as it was the first workshop for some time that I’d delivered focusing on the issue of student plagiarism, rather than the much more specific problem of contract cheating.

You can see the slides for the plagiarism workshop on my SlideShare account. They are also embedded below.

To me, this is an important reminder that there are many staff who need advice about how to design plagiarism opportunities out of their assessments. This seems to be particularly the case for new staff who are just entering the lecturer ranks.

Much of the good practice recommendations for setting assessments that make plagiarism difficult also hold for contract cheating. It continues to be important for staff to set fresh assignments every time to remove the temptation for students to cheat, yet some staff still do not seem to be doing this. But staff should also be aware about how easy it would be for students to outsource some types of assignments.

We will continue to need workshops on plagiarism prevention, contract cheating and all types of academic integrity.

The Application Of Intelligent Context-Aware Systems To The Detection Of Online Student Cheating – Video Post

Here is the video version of a presentation for the ICAS 2013 workshop. I’m unable to attend this workshop in person as I’m attending ITiCSE 2013 at the same time, however one of my colleagues will provide the presentation at the workshop on my behalf.

The presentation looks at applying the growing research area of intelligent context-aware systems to one of my main research fields of student cheating and plagiarism. I’ve selected three particular problems within the field and proposed some initial solutions which use this type of computer systems.

This area is very much a work-in-progress, as there are several other plagiarism, cheating and academic integrity related problems which I could have selected. Further, with some more development of solutions, each one of these concerns could easily form the basis for a paper on its own.

My intention here is to open up the discussion, and ideas for research focus, solutions and collaboration opportunities are welcome.

The slides are also available here in my SlideShare account.

Plagiarism Indicators For Academics

All academics, regardless of the level of the student, need to be aware that some students may take short cuts when producing academic work.

These slides (from my SlideShare account) outline five different indicators that work submitted may not all be the student’s own.

 

Many times, what you find when marking work will just be an indicator that something is out of place. This can lead to a more thorough search by hand.

TurnItIn, and other similar tools, are excellent as starting points, but often a specific Google search can identify parts of the web that are hidden to TurnItIn, so this approach is particularly useful.

 

What other indicators do academics use? Have you found any interesting plagiarism cases using indicators? Use the Comments box to share your findings.

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