Ireland, Chris and English, John (2010) Accounting for learner differences in the classroom means some students have to plagiarise. In: BMAF Annual Conference 2010. Assessment & Assessment Standards: Challenges for Business Education, 20 - 21 April 2010, Newcastle Marriott Gosforth Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. (Unpublished)

This paper describes how a first year accountancy module has been developed to incorporate study skills and specifically plagiarism education. While there is a growing literature in support of a focus on plagiarism education rather than detection (see Breen & Maassen, 2005 and White et al., 2008), there still seems little consensus as to what might be the most appropriate pedagogy when helping students learn about plagiarism. The approach described in this paper takes into account concerns expressed by Carroll & Appleton (2001) with regard to the timing and nature of plagiarism education. It considers the importance of learner differences, which in the plagiarism literature is generally considered in the context of international students (see Brennan & Durovic, 2005). In addition the approach concurs with Breen & Maassen (2005) and Carroll (2008) in considering the development of skills, such as time management, which may impact on the ability of students to successfully complete written coursework. Social constructivist principles, discussed in the context of plagiarism education by Carroll (2008), have also informed the approach which assumes that the students arrive at university with varied understandings of plagiarism.

The paper will principally report on the development of the module concerned over a four year period and specifically the elements of the module which have been integrated with plagiarism education. Therefore this aspect of the evidence resembles an action research approach during which the tutors reflected on the success of the module and made informed decisions to alter it.

During the past two years data has been collected by using a short questionnaire which the two most recent cohorts of students completed and a short open ended writing exercise completed by the 2009/10 cohort. Relevant data is also used from two questionnaires conducted with students in their final year of study, some of whom had studied earlier versions of the module.

This work is on-going, however, the initial findings support the continuation of the module in its current form. The evidence from student engagement with the module and feedback on the approach taken has been very positive.

The implications of the study are that educators in the disciplines may need to consider the incorporation of plagiarism education as part of mainstream learning and that in doing so a consideration of learner differences should influence the approach adopted.

BMAF_2010_Actual_Presentation.pps - Presentation

Download (2MB)


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email