If you are looking for ideas to combat Plagiarism...look at re-designing your own assignment. At a recent discussion group around Plagiarism, it was acknowledged that most of the plagiarized assignments could benefit from student-centered repackaging. All too often a teacher pre-designs what the students need to investigate and thereby the assignment reflects the teacher, not the student. This type of assignment is most frequently plagiarized.
Ask the Shadow Scholar:
His story is unbelievable -- Only we do believe it, because we know it's widespread. We've seen it. We even empathize with a poorly assigned paper that requires very little synthesis and conclusions. Here are five first steps or simple suggestions, to help combat Plagiarism:
You may know this, but perhaps some teachers do not. Or, in our busy-over-burdened educational paradigm, we have not left enough time for coaching, progress monitoring, and guidance so that we can insure that students are actually doing their work and not copy-pasting. Embedding an element of choice transfers ownership to the student. If a teacher has "pre-defined" what the topic is (without an element of choice), it is the teacher's assignment and not the student's work. We are teaching a self-centered generation that wants to "own" their work and doesn't always like to be told what to do. I trust this is not a news-flash....
eProducts such as Noodletools and Easybib certainly help a student learn how to paraphrase correctly and provide great opportunities for instruction. However, we know that there is a huge digital divide in some schools. Whether in a techy or non-techy environment, our goals should be the same: Originality. Thinking. Synthesis. Original conclusions. Deep understanding.
So, is P the new scarlet "S"? - No. This generation doesn't care. There's no shame in Plagiarism....or so they think. We know better, and need to model why.