This tutorial introduces plagiarism to students through extensive quotations of Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary, C.W. Post Undergraduate Bulletin, C.W. Post Graduate Bulletin, C.W. Post College of Management, and the C.W. Post College of Information and Computer Science.
Type of Material:
The tutorial is probably best used as an assignment out of class.
Computer with web access. Powerpoint needed for exercise.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students can learn what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it.
Target Student Population:
Although the tutorial screen includes general information on plagiarism, most of the information is targeted to LIU CW.Post students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Evaluation and Observation
The tutorial seems to cover the content fairly thoroughly, incorporating definitions and policies from a number of sources, providing other reading and an exercise to try.
The concepts are clear to professionals, but not so for most students. Its most important that students know about the documents quoted in this tutorial, but relying on these quotations to explain plagiarism to students is risky. The explanatory information at the end of the tutorial could be expanded. In fact, it might be a better to put the explanations at the top of the tutorial and the quoted passages near the end. A tutorial that starts with a list of quotations will put off many first-years.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The tutorial is clear about its objectives and contains quite a bit of material.
The tutorial does include explanatory information near the end, but most of it is comprised of quotations from legal and/or university documents/ policy statements. This verbiage, though important, is difficult for students to imagine putting into practice. More thought could go into making these policy statements more accessible such as in providing examples, mini case studies, or simply rewording some of the more formalistic passages.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The link in the introductory paragraph is dead (http://www.plagiarism.org/plagiarism_stats.html) The tutorial page is textually dense and tired the eye: needs more white space and perhaps some graphics. Although there are bulleted lists of specific behaviors that constitute plagiarism, students would benefit if actual examples (i.e. real life scenarios) were provided to help them understand the subtle complexity of the issue. The quiz on Power Point is not interactive and this detracts from its effectiveness. No instructions on what to look for in rating the passages provided as acceptable or unacceptable are provided and most students would require explicit instructions on how to proceed with the quiz. Also the Power Point screens are text only, not very engaging or visually appealing.
Other Issues and Comments:
The included exercise needs to be improved. There are no instructions, little interactivity and the user needs to have access to PowerPoint to access it.