Hunter, Arlëne G.
Promoting a culture of academic awareness and honesty: developing an institutional ‘good academic practice’ website and understanding how student can and do make use of it.
In: 4th International Plagiarism Conference, 05-07 Jul 2010, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.
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Despite our best efforts, plagiarism continues to be a major concern. For many, the response is to intensify disciplinary penalties and enhance the use of detection software and deterrents. Although these can help, they do not address the most common causes of plagiarism, namely poor academic practice. To address this, a different tactic is required in which educational development is promoted as the key to enhancing academic integrity.
In response to this, the UK Open University created the Developing good academic practices website to enable its learners irrespective of prior educational experience, level and/or area of study to better understand issues around plagiarism and become more confident and competent learners.
Using a constructivist approach, the site emphasises academic skills development rather than focusing on plagiarism, while interactive quizzes integrated throughout the site, allow learners to test their knowledge, understanding and application, in ways that best suit their needs.
This session will consider key logistic and pedagogical difficulties encountered while creating a resource that operates effectively at the institutional level, while simultaneously addressing discipline-specific needs and maintaining a sense of relevance for all its potential users. Insights into the types of learner proactively using this resource will be used to identify ways of encouraging others to engage, before highlighting some innovative uses being made by learners to inform and adapt their academic practices. Final considerations will be given to how this study can inform the wider educational environment to help develop an honest and open culture of academic integrity for all.
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