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Plagiarism in Higher Education: is there a postcode lottery?

Although there is a generalised notion of academic misconduct and an assumption that there is a common understanding of the offences across universities, a variation in attitudes to plagiarism is shown to exist.


Although there is a generalised notion of academic misconduct and an assumption that there is a common understanding of the offences across universities, a variation in attitudes to plagiarism is shown to exist. Even within institutions there is anecdotal evidence that between module teams, certain types of activity are considered by some staff as poor academic practice rather than actual misconduct, which others see as misconduct. External examiner experience shows inconsistency in the approach to dealing with the issue across institutions. This ranges from universities which adopt rigorous detection procedures and follow institutional processes for hearings and application of penalties, to those where less emphasis is placed on formal procedures. For example, the inconsistency across UK law schools is highlighted by research showing that less than 10 per cent of unreferenced text in an essay was considered as a ‘minor’ case of plagiarism at some schools, while it took 50 per cent to be categorized as such at other schools. There is also a lack of information on whether findings of academic misconduct are routinely recorded in student files and the extent to which universities take positive steps to inform the professional bodies of students who are found to cheat. Baroness Ruth Deech, former Head of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator has condemned the ‘indefensible inconsistency’ of punishments imposed on cheating students (THES 2006). In the context of highly regulated career destinations such as the legal or medical professions (and many others) a finding of academic dishonesty can have serious consequences for a student. The focus of this session will be to illustrate the need to raise student awareness of the importance of developing appropriate skills for research and referencing before embarking on a university degree.


Speaker(s):

Vera Bermingham | talks

 

Date and Time:

6 July 2011 at 3:30 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

Cambridge Assessment - 9 Hills Road
9 Hills Road
Cambridge
CB2 1PB


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Organised by:

Cambridge Assessment Network
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Tickets:

Free to attend

Available from:

Additional Information:

To book a place please contact the Network Team on 01223 553846 or thenetwork@cambridgeassessment.org.uk.

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