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Plagarism - a complex issue requiring a holistic institutional approach

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Disciplines
  • Criminology
  • Law

Abstract

Recent years have seen a growing awareness of the incidence of plagiarism, though the response has largely been to focus on deterrence through detection and punishment. However, student plagiarism is a much more complex issue than suggested by a one-solution response and this paper argues for a more holistic institutional approach that recognises the need for a shared responsibility between the student, staff and institution, supported by external quality agencies. Case studies from three institutions are used to illustrate possible triggers for adopting a holistic approach. The paper presents a checklist for identifying the absence of a holistic approach to dealing with student plagiarism and concludes that a key aspect is to adopt assessment-led solutions which focus on using low stakes, formative (as distinct from high stakes, summative) assessment.

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