Student plagiarism continues to be a problem in higher education. Some students may accidentally plagiarize thanks to sloppy paraphrases or forgotten citations, while others may take questionable shortcuts under the pressure of deadlines. The ever-expanding availability of online sources that can be copy-pasted has made it easier to slip up. Even with Meredith’s honor code, plagiarism education in FYE and English courses, and the threat of discovery via Turnitin, students get referred to the Honor Council for plagiarism violations semester after semester.
Recognizing the need for a new form of instruction about plagiarism, a trio of Meredith employees decided to develop an interactive audiovisual tutorial. It proved to be a fruitful partnership, with Jeff Waller (Library) and Robin Colby (English) creating the content, storyboard, and quiz questions, while Stephanie Ashby (IDAT) came up with the design concept and built the tutorial and voiceover in Articulate Storyline. A video interlude scripted and performed by writing tutors Kali Ranke and Elinor Shelp-Peck (both seniors) depicts a pair of Learning Center appointments in which the tutor models good practices for tracking and citing sources. The overarching goal was to present lessons about plagiarism in an engaging and memorable way.
The finished tutorial explains what plagiarism is, the various forms it can take, and strategies for avoiding it through effective paraphrasing and quoting of sources. It takes about 30 minutes to complete and includes quick-check questions sprinkled throughout, plus a ten-question final quiz that students must take and re-take until they answer every question right. The tutorial is designed for deployment in Brightspace courses, and comes packaged with a grade column that records whether students completed the tutorial with a 100% quiz score, along with a printable certificate of completion at the end.
The tutorial is being rolled out in ENG 111 and 200 courses this fall. Additionally, Assistant Dean of Students Tomecca Sloane and the Honor Council plan to use it as a potential sanction for students with plagiarism violations. If you’re interested in assigning it in your own course, you can preview it by accessing Meredith’s Infobase server and running a search for Meredith plagiarism tutorial. To install the tutorial and grade column in your Brightspace course, follow these step-by-step instructions. If you have any questions about the content of the tutorial, please email Jeff Waller or Robin Colby; for technical questions, email Stephanie Ashby or the IDAT team.