The headlines say it all: more and more students are cheating, at school and at university. Are they? Or are we more aware of the problems, and therefore more alert and “catching” more?
We all know what plagiarism is, don’t we? Except that studies and tests show that, faced with the same piece of writing, many teachers accept it as authentic and others think it plagiarised. We are not all on the same page.
Turnitin and other plagiarism detectors solve the problem, don’t they? Except that they don’t detect plagiarism, they are far from infallible, and some of them are downright dangerous!
We can’t stop cheating, can we, it’s in the culture? We probably can’t – but we CAN change school culture, we can keep the middle 60%* on the right track, and we can reduce the need and the opportunities for the 20% who may be as likely to cheat as not. . We can certainly eliminate accidental and unintentional plagiarism.
I offer Academic Honesty workshops and presentations which are informative, practical, empowering – and fun! They stick.
For teachers. For students. For parents too.
Two-day, one-day and half-day worshops, single sessions too, tailored to your needs.
Get in touch, let’s talk!
* Teddi Fishman, “Achieving what we can: editorial,” Ethos, January 2013, 1.
Workshops and presentations include (click on the marked titles for more details)Honesty honestly
We expect authentic work from our students, but this does not mean that they are completely on their own, expected to work with no outside assistance or support at all. In this session we explore the bounds of authenticity. As well as human support, we look at the support given by digital and online services such as citation generators and plagiarism detectors. Is it ethical to use them? Just how effective are they, anyway, do they help or hinder learning and authenticity? (ECIS November Conference, Amsterdam, 2013)
Honesty honestly - a positive approach to academic honesty
It is all too easy, when promoting academic honesty, to concentrate on what is not acceptable, to put the emphasis on academic dishonesty, on plagiarism avoidance for instance, and on consequences and punishment. Research suggests that this approach does not always help students and may confuse many. Nor does it help when different teachers – and parents – have different ideas about what is acceptable and what isn’t.
In this session, we look at and share positive approaches to promoting academically acceptable behaviour and practice, from the earliest years through to year 12. (ECIS November Conference, Nice, 2012)
Changing Attitudes : Getting from Plagiarism and Punishment to Positive Practice.
(This session was first presented at the 2009 ECIS November Conference, and delivered as a lecture by VoiceThread to the International School of London, Qatar.
It developed into a Professional Paper presented at the 4th International Plagiarism Conference in Newcastle, June 2010.)
Copyright, copyleft, copyfree a journey through the copyright maze (with Ahu Özkarahan).
(1) The laws of copyright are often vague. In aiming to be fair (cf. ‘fair use’, ‘fair dealing’ and similar terms) and flexible, it is often difficult, even for lawyers, to determine whether a given use is an infringement until the case comes to court – and even then, different judges may give different decisions, even in very similar circumstances. (2) There is no such thing as “international copyright”, even amongst countries which have signed up to the Berne Convention or its successors, even amongst signatories to the European Union Copyright Directive. (3) Teachers (especially in international schools) come from different backgrounds and experiences, so have different expectations and awarenesses of what is, and what is not, allowed, acceptable or permissible, they have different understandings of ‘educational fair use’. (4) Except where big money is involved, the penalties for copyright infringement tend to be small and inconsequential. So does it matter? Why bother? Why should we be concerned?
In this session with Ahu Özkarahan at the 2008 Autumn Teachers’ Conference in Istanbul, and at the ECIS November Conference 2008 in Nice, we investigate these thoughts
Often, cases of cheating are open-and-shut, cut-and-dried. Very often, it’s less clear, especially when different teachers have different understandings of cheating and how to handle it. Is there such a thing as accidental plagiarism? Are there degrees of guilt? Is it possible to be both fair and consistent in one’s handling of plagiarism and other forms of cheating? This workshop raises more questions than answers – but if there were easy answers to the problem, there wouldn’t be a problem! Here we investigate the grey areas, note how academic honesty policies and procedures enable degrees of fairness, consistency and transparency, and consider the effectiveness of honor codes.
(The presentation was first made at the 2006 Autumn Teachers’ Conference. Later and revised versions of this workshop have been presented at the ECIS November Conference 2006, the School Library Association Training Weekend June 2007, and the IB AEM Summer Workshops for Librarians New to the Diploma Programme in July 2007.)
Plagiarism : keeping up with the cheats / Plagiarism : beating the cheats.
These presentations evolved over time and according to audience. They were presented at School Library Association Training Weekend, University of Cardiff, June 2001, and the CEESA Conference in Istanbul, March 2001; at the ECIS Annual Conference, Den Haag, November 2001, and at the Autumn Teachers’ Conference, MEF Schools, Istanbul, October 2000.
ECIS Pre-Conference Institute (full one-day workshop), Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Ibicus IB DP Academic Honesty Workshop (2.5 days), Manchester, UK.
Tarsus American College, (0.5 days) Tarsus, Turkey.
Published works include:
“Quis custodiet: investigating the investigators” in The School Librarian, 49 (4), Winter 2001. Print.
“Trust or Trussed? Has Turnitin.com Got It All Wrapped Up?” published in Teacher Librarian 30 (4), April 2003. Print/Web.
This no longer available on the Teacher Librarian web site, but is accessed here through the Internet Archive.
“Plagiarism: wheat and chaff” in Access, 17 (3), August 2003. Print.
“Changing Attitudes: from Plagiarism and Punishment to Positive Practice.” Paper presented at the 4th International Plagiarism Conference, Newcastle, June 2010. The abstract, paper, and slides are all available.
Credit where it’s due: the school library preventing plagiarism. Published 2011 by and available from the School Library Association.
You will find a full list of my published papers and articles on the
About Me page.
My other presentations and workshops: