Plagiarism Workshop
Noel Raftery
This presentation is an edited version of an
online presentation by George Siemens,
an Instructor at Red River College in
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
It is available at
• “the act of passing off as one's own the
ideas or writings of another."
It’s not just students…
• Academics, research, authors
• Claiming work as own, or using without
appropriate acknowledgement, are forms
of plagiarism, academic dishonesty, or
(at minimum) ethical lapses
• This workshop is focusing on plagiarism
as an obstacle to “fair and consistent
assessment of learners”, a HETAC
prerequisite for programme validation
(see IT Sligo QA Procedures)
• It applies to learners presenting work for
assessment in part or whole fulfillment of
the requirements for a course
• 80% of college students have cheated
• 54% of college students admit to
plagiarizing from internet
• 47% say instructors ignore known issues
of cheating
• 55% of instructors say they wouldn’t be
willing to devote real time to document
suspected plagiarism
Types and degrees
• Accidental
• Intentional
• Limited
• Significant
Some Issues
• How do we define individual contributions
when society increasingly values
collaborative work efforts?
• Assessment at a higher level
– Compile
– Analyse
– Synthesise
– Evaluate
Approaches to dealing with plagiarism
1. Reactive: Detection and disciplinary
2. Proactive: Prevention by redesigning
learning activities and assessment model
The reactive approach
(Detection and disciplinary procedures)
• Detection is never as good as prevention
• Time consumed by disciplinary procedures,
• Culture of distrust
• Core problem not addressed:
teaching the learner to perform at
a higher authentic level
The proactive approach
(Redesigning learning activities and assessment model)
• Embed plagiarism prevention as strand
through all courses and programmes
• Clarify what plagiarism means for learners
• Assist learners in avoiding plagiarism
• Know how to recognise plagiarism
Embed plagiarism prevention as strand
through all courses and programmes
• See plagiarism prevention as a learning
tool and specify where it is to be covered
in syllabus
• Design assignments to minimise risk of
• If this is not practical, design assignments
to minimise risk of non-detection of
plagiarism by lecturer, e.g., incorporate
Clarify what plagiarism means for learners
• Provide written requirements for each
assignment including marking scheme
• Provide detailed written information to
students on the procedures, mechanisms
and regulations for continuous
assessment including plagiarism
Assist learners in avoiding plagiarism
• Define the requirements for quotations and
citation in the assignment and specify a
style, e.g., the Harvard System
• Incorporate simple examples of citation in
the handout and refer learners to more
detailed explanations (see link on last slide)
• Explain paraphrasing (see link on last slide)
• Explain how to keep track of sources
• Ask for outline, draft, and final reports
• Detail appropriate collaboration
Know how to recognise plagiarism
• Know your subject area and sources
• Identify inconsistent writing styles in
written assignments
• Use Google
• Use Turnitin
• The Harvard system – see website
harvard.html (University of Queensland)
• How to Paraphrase - see “Plagiarism - what
it is and how to recognise and avoid it”,
arism.shtml (Indiana State University)
• Google -
• Turnitin -

Plagiarism Workshop 31/01/08 Noel Raftery