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Plagiarism: Catalysts and not so simple solutions
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).
School of Education, Social Work and Community Education, University of Dundee, UK.
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of language studies.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Plagiarism has gained much public attention with media, corporations and researchers leading the way. The general public’s perception is that plagiarism is a ‘plague’ spreading without control within our educational institutes. Furthermore, a social perception has been created that the Internet is the ‘catalyst’ of modern-day plagiarism. This chapter explores the domain of plagiarism, taking into consideration some definitions of plagiarism, the recent history, the cultural context, the view of students and teachers, and the situation in Distance Education. The chapter goes on to discuss the actual catalysts of plagiarism and methods used to detect plagiarism. Finally the chapter forwards some good practices that may help prevent and act as deterrents of plagiarism and addresses challenges faced in tackling the problem of plagiarism.

Keyword [en]
Plagiarism, Distance Education, Learning, Assessment, Higher Education
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education; educational work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57735ISBN: 978-16-1520-688-9OAI: diva2:544533
Book Chapter in "Cases on Professional Distance Education Degree Programs and Practices: Successes, Challenges and Issues" K. Sullivan, P. Czigler & J. Sullivan Hellgren (Eds.) Accepted in 2010 expected to be published in 2013Available from: 2012-08-15 Created: 2012-08-14 Last updated: 2012-08-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Designing for eAssessment of higher order thinking: An undergraduate IT online distance education course in Sri Lanka
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Designing for eAssessment of higher order thinking: An undergraduate IT online distance education course in Sri Lanka
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att designa IT-stödd bedömning av studenters förmåga till kritiskt tänkande, reflektion och problemlösning : distansutbildning i Sri Lanka
Abstract [en]

Distance education has seen rapid growth over the recent decades. The rapid development of Information Communication Technology [ICT] has been one of the main drivers of this growth in distance education. However, distance education and ICT themselves posts challenges to both students and educators alike. This thesis finds its basis in the problem of high failure rates and quality assurance issues in the Bachelor of Information Technology [BIT] distance degree programme conducted by the University of Colombo School of Computing in Sri Lanka. A Formative Assessment for Distance Education [FADE] model that promotes the development of and assesses higher-order skills in a collaborative online distance-learning environment was designed based on a methodological approach involving design-based research. The main study was focussed on two main problems, plagiarism in distance education [part A] and the use of technology to address the issues of learning and assessment [part B]. Research questions arising from different aspects of the design required the use of multiple methodologies. Issues of plagiarism in technology aided assessment in distance education put forward questions that required the use of a quasi-experiment and a literature survey. The empirical material of this phase of the study comprised of keystroke logs and questionnaire data. The design and evaluation of the FADE model employed a mixed method two-phase sequential explanatory strategy. The empirical material of this phase of the study comprised of questionnaires, observations coding, interviews and examination and registry data. The quasi-experimental data was analysed using a fuzzy logic engine. The questionnaire, observation coding and examination and registry data were statistically analysed and interviews were used to interpret and explain finding. The results of the part A of the study indicate that there are keystroke patterns for individuals that are stable within and across different tasks. However, the results of the literature review on plagiarism suggested the use of both technological and pedagogical approaches to plagiarism. Part B of the study, showed relationships between higher order thinking demonstrated by students and their course results and attitudes.  Collaborative learning skills demonstrated by students showed relationships to the students’ purpose of use of the FADE forum and their experience on the social web. This study finds that both technological tools and pedagogical practices have to be used in conjunction to limit the possibility of plagiarism. With reference to assessment with a focus on the development of higher order thinking, the study indicates that assessment should be based on the student’s perspective, the purpose and aim of the assessment and the assessment environment. Furthermore, the study finds that in distance education collaboration seems particularly important. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2012
Doktorsavhandlingar i pedagogiskt arbete, ISSN 1650-8858 ; 47
Learning, Assessment, Distance Education, Higher order thinking, Collaborative learning, Higher education, Plagiarism, Keystroke dynamics
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education; educational work; Computer and Information Science
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-57793 (URN)978-91-7459-455-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-07, HUM-huset, Hörsal F, Umeå Universitet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-08-17 Created: 2012-08-16 Last updated: 2012-08-24Bibliographically approved

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Usoof, HakimLindgren, Eva
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