2nd Asia-Pacific Educational Integrity Conference
Learning about plagiarism through information literacy
Debbi Boden and Sue Holloway - Imperial College London
Premeditated or accidental? This has to be the question every academic asks themselves when faced with a case of suspected plagiarism. Studies show, however, that premeditated plagiarism is rare. Misunderstandings about how to handle information and panics about deadlines are the causes most frequently cited by students. Teaching students about plagiarism is more than teaching them the difference about right and wrong, between collusion and collaboration or between cheating and good academic practice. A really effective anti-plagiarism programme needs to address the main cause of plagiarism by teaching students about information management. Including anti-plagiarism teaching as a key element in a linear information literacy (IL) teaching programme and embedding it within an academic course empowers students to become independent learners. It encourages them to consider the value of information, the quality of resources, the effectiveness of their search and the importance of good citation practice throughout the production of a piece of work. Acquiring the skills to weave secondary research into the student’s own hypothesis has to be designed into the course. Although it could be argued that the explosion in the amount of information available to students has led to an increase in plagiarism, effective teaching can illustrate how new technologies can be used to help students avoid accidental plagiarism, and to enhance their work. Who then is best placed to deliver IL teaching? The answer is Information professionals. Ask your Librarian! The aim of this paper is to present an overview of how we have achieved fusion of IL and subject teaching on a first year Civil Engineering course at Imperial College London.
Keywords: Plagiarism, Information Literacy, Library