October 9, 2012
Resources for teaching strategies (ASKe site at Oxford Brookes University)
Oxford Brookes University Business School (UK) established the Assessment Standards Knowledge exchange (ASKe), which is currently associated with the Pedagogy Research Centre. ASKe publishes brochures (called the 1, 2, 3, leaflets) that describe practical and effective evidence-based strategies that faculty can implement to improve students' learning. All of the suggestions are based on research evidence and can be implemented in a few steps. The brochures are short (2-8 pages) and can be downloaded as PDF files at
Oxford Brookes University.
Current titles include:
How to make your feedback work in three easy steps
Using generic feedback effectively
Making peer feedback work in three easy steps
Getting the most from Groupwork Assessment
Cultivating community: Why it's worth doing and three ways of getting there
Reduce the risk of plagiarism in just 30 mins
September 18, 2012
How should I respond to suspected academic misconduct, student grievances, and grade appeals?
Faculty often experience anger and outrage when they discover evidence that a student may have cheated on an exam, plagiarized sources in written work, or committed some other form of academic misconduct. However justified the emotion, this anger is probably not the best component of an effective, professional response to this student.
As sure as you may be about a case, remember that a student has a right to due process. Gather your evidence (the originality report from Turnitin, samples of previous written work submitted by the student, statements from witnesses of cheating during an exam) and calmly present your interpretation of the evidence in an initial meeting with the student.
Contact staff at the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities to determine if this is a first offense for this student. First offenses are handled differently (with a stronger emphasis on educating the student) than are second offenses, which follow a different procedure. Attend to and adhere to University policy. Failure to report a first offense creates a situation in which a savvy, seemingly-contrite offender can slip through the system undetected through multiple offenses. The revised policy enables first-time offenders to learn from their mistakes and avoid the most disastrous consequences (provided the first offense is not a real doozy!)
The University of West Florida recently revised the policies related to academic misconduct, student grievances, and grade appeals. The revised policies are posted on the Student Affairs web site.
September 4, 2012
Promote academic integrity: Educate students about plagiarism and respond effectively to violations
Although all students know that they should not plagiarize and that punishments for plagiarism can be severe, many students are unable to clearly describe why a faculty member would judge that a piece of writing was plagiarized or recognize that a sample of writing uses inappropriate forms of paraphrasing or improperly cites sources material.
Many faculty discuss plagiarism and the consequences of discoveries that a student has plagiarized in their classes and on course syllabi. Fewer faculty actively show students how to use ideas from source materials in their writing with appropriate use of summaries and paraphrases. Disciplinary variations in authorship practices create inconsistent messages to students about appropriate authorship practices.
Disciplinary writing skills include disciplinary norms for use of direct quotations, paraphrases, citation of ideas, and other authorship practices. Like many non-content, “soft” disciplinary skills, these skills have traditionally been part of the implicit curriculum. Students have been expected to arrive on campus with full mastery of these skills or acquire these skills without direct instruction. Students can acquire these skills much more efficiently if they receive unambiguous, direct instruction. Students will improve their writing skills and their compliance with expectations for academic integrity in authorship when they have explicit guidelines and clear examples of correct practices in their courses.
The Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology recently published an online resource, Educating students about plagiarism (Lamoreaux, Darnell, Sheehan, & Tusher, 2012), that describes instructional strategies that help educate students about plagiarism and help faculty understand how to handle plagiarism if they suspect it in student work submitted for their classes. This resource provides links to the following downloadable instructional materials:
Academic Integrity Week at UWF: September 10-14
The University of West Florida Policies on Academic Misconduct, includes a flowchart that describes the steps faculty at UWF should follow when handling a report of academic misconduct.
Thanks to Ted Bosack, Executive Director, Society for the Teaching of Psychology and Professor Emeritus, Providence College, for contributions to this teaching tip.
January 17, 2012
Strategies to increase academic honesty and discourage cheating
The old adage that an ounce of preventative medicine is more beneficial than a pound of cure can be applied to promoting academic integrity. Establish expectations in your class and structure assignments to proactively minimize opportunities and temptations to cheat.
Be explicit about the academic honesty policies and expectations for student work in your class
Design assignments to minimize opportunities for cheating
Minimize temptations and opportunities to cheat during exams
Explicitly link graded assignments to learning outcomes for the course
Discuss the relation between academic integrity and professional ethics in the disciplines and the future careers students might follow
Davis, S. F., Drinan, P. F., & Gallant, T. B. (2009). Cheating in school: What we know and what we can do. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.This tip is based in part on suggestions by Debi Griffin, Faculty Development Center, Bellarmine University, and Barbara Millis, Teaching and Learning Center, University of Texas at San Antonio.
October 20, 2009
Encourage students to evaluate the quality of information sources
One strategy to use to encourage students to evaluate the quality of sources located in a data base search for an annotated bibliography is to require that students locate a larger number of potential scholarly sources for their annotated bibliography than will be required as the “minimum” number of scholarly sources cited in the final paper. Additionally, you might require that each student identify 2-3 sources that they initially thought would be useful sources for the project but later decided that the sources were not relevant or were not useful. Ask students to explain in their annotated bibliography why the rejected source looked promising at first, and then explain why the source was ultimately rejected as a suitable source.
When students identify and examine more materials than they are required to include in the final submission, they can break away from the habit of including every source they locate to meet minimum resource requirements for an assignment. Students can then begin to evaluate the merit of including these materials as cited sources. These decisions are an important component of the scholarly evaluation of source material.
September 29, 2009
Promote academic integrity by leading by example
Citation practices vary considerably from discipline to discipline. Remember that students may be encountering the scholarship practices in your discipline for the first time when they are enrolled in your course. Moreover, they may bring a variety of scholarship and citation practices from other disciplines (with different traditions and expectations) when they enter your course.
Help students learn discipline-specific scholarship and citation skills by providing explicit examples of these practices in your handouts and other course materials. Follow the editorial guidelines for citation of sources when you identify reading materials in your syllabus. Similarly, use appropriate citations and publication formats in your class handouts. These materials will serve as models for your students when they are preparing their work for you.
August 20, 2009
Developing information literacy skills
Are you planning to include an assignment in your class that requires a search for relevant resources in the scholarly literature? When students have a large writing assignment or research-based project, they frequently make the error of procrastinating and begin their search for relevant sources too late in the term. In their rush to find suitable materials, students may cut corners and use inappropriate materials or, worse, use materials inappropriately. In addition, many students tend to carry out a search in Google (and the “wiser” students search using Google Scholar).
Consider scheduling a classroom workshop with a Reference Librarian in your discipline to develop student skills searching relevant databases for disciplinary scholarly resources, identify appropriate scholarly sources, and evaluate the quality of information located on web sites. Create an assignment connected to the workshop such as developing an annotated bibliography on the assignment topic as a prompt to begin a large research/writing project early in the term. Creating a series of preliminary assignments related to these projects also serves as a deterrent to problems such as submitting a literature review paper found on a web site.
Updated 03/25/13 lrg
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