As a teacher, you can try to catch Plagiarism or try to help students avoid it.
Unfortunately, we constantly encourage students to plagiarise because:
- We Ask the Wrong Questions
- We Give the Wrong Assignments
- We do not do a good job explaining copyright & plagiarism to our students
With unlimited to access to almost any fact. We need to move from asking rote what questions to asking why questions.
Old Way / Bad
New Way / Better
Write About… ?
Write Why… ?
Write About X
Compare and Contrast X & Y
When Did _____ Happen?
What factors caused ____?
What is the ____ of _____?
Why is ____ of ______ ?
The great thing about making these changes in assignments, not only does Plagiarism plummet but we also inevitably move up the Bloom's Taxonomy Scale.
Doug Johnson (The Blue Skunk Blog) refers to these types of assignments as LPP (Low Probability of Plagiarism). Checklist of the Qualities of a Good LPP. Here is one of his checklists for LPPs-
Has clarity of purpose and expectations
Gives students choices
It is relevant to student’s life
Asks students to write in narrative rather than expository
Stresses higher level thinking skills and creativity
Answers real questions
Involves a variety of information finding activities
Tends to be hands-on
Uses technology to spur creativity
Utilizes formats that use multiple senses
Can be complex, but are broken into manageable steps
Is often collaborative
Results that are shared with people who care and respond
Are authentically assessed
- Allow learners to reflect, revisit, revise and improve their final projects (Google Doc’s Collaboration and Comment features are great for this)
For more information on Discouraging versus Catching Plagiarism-
Teachers & Administrators
Here is a presentation I did with my wife Linda.
It is a little old, but I think you might still find it useful.