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									                                           summative assessment. In this way       assessment focus now shifts from
                                           summative assessment is used to         summative to formative purposes.
                                           motivate students to learn a new        For example it is a good idea to
                                                                                                    have the students
                                                                                                    bring in a draft of
                                                           Designing assigments that                their assignment for
                                              guard against academic dishonesty
                                                                                                    feedback. This pro-
                                          and promote deep and active learning
                                                                                                    cess can identify any
                                          Murray Thomson, School of Biological Sciences
                                                                                                    major faults in their
                                                                                                    learning approach.
                                           set of skills - writing the manu-       It can also be highly motivating

A     s academics we often try
      and direct our students way
from surface learning approaches
                                           script and developing creativity in
                                           composing the discussion section
                                           (Chudowsky and Pelligrino, 2003).
                                                                                   for students to find that there is
                                                                                   help and assistance in a challenging
                                                                                   learning experience. Cameron et al
towards deep and engaging strate-          An example of one research project      (2003) propose that complex tasks
gies. We are overjoyed when our            was an investigation into the effects   often require a student to build a
students show command of indi-             of nasal dilator strips on heartbeat    “scaffolding” of learning processes.
vidual concepts and use them in            rate after light exercise. Athletes,    In research, this scaffolding or
synergy to produce original work.          who want to increase the flow of air    ‘mind-mapping’ includes linking
A superficial approach to learning         through the nose, wear nasal dilator    concepts such as prior research,
lies at the other end of the scale, and    strips to pull out the lateral sides of statistical analysis and discussion in
sadly some students extrapolate            the nose. 250 student volunteers        light of the new findings. Formative
beyond surface learning into an            performed a stepping exercise with      feedback on the research-based
academically dishonest approach            and without the nasal strips while      manuscript helps students to see the
and resort to cheating in order to         other students organized the experi-    links between their research and the
gain the assessment marks that they        ments and recorded data such as         field more broadly. Many students
desire. We can think of a student          heartbeat of the subjects.              react very positively to formative
who is reading the instructions                                                    assessment and start formulating
for a university assignment for the        Setting an assignment for students      their own plans for future novel
first time, to be at a fork in the         that engages them in a novel            experiments after formative assess-
road. At this point, many will con-        research investigation and trains       ment and discussion of their draft
sider whether to adopt a surface or        them to write a scientific manu-        manuscripts. When the teacher
even dishonest tactic versus a deep        script is a good example of out-        observes their students linking new
approach. This article describes a         come based education. Major and         skills together as a basis for creative
set of strategies designed to dis-         Taylor (2003) point out that giving     thinking, they know that they have
suade students from considering            a student a clear indication of the     facilitated deep learning.
plagiarism in order to complete            destination of a learning exercise is
their assignment. It considers the         a good way to help them map the         Academic Dishonesty; the
ways in which a research exercise          road to that destination. Showing       Antithesis of Deep Learning
combining skill and creativity can         students how skills learnt during       One of the first steps in supporting
motivate student engagement with           an assignment will help them in         students’ to adopt a deep approach
their learning. I will illustrate this     later life, builds motivation for       to learning is to think about the
with examples from approaches              the learning exercise. University       design of the assessment task. In
taken during 2003 in BIOL1003              teachers may wish to outline to         our Human Biology unit, the novel
Human Biology, a unit of study             students, the real-life applications    research exercise has proven quite
with 1300 students.                        of research, writing, skill develop-    successful. But many academics are
                                           ment and creativity for honours         still shocked to learn that many
Assignments Using Novel                    and postgraduate study as well as       students plagiarize their univer-
Research to Drive the                      their relevance to industry.            sity assignments Maslen (2003),
Development of Skills and                                                          and that the problem is one of
Creativity                                 Shifting Focus from                     major proportions in many areas
In Human Biology, students under-          Summative to Formative                  around the globe. In a study of 291
take a piece of original research          Assessment                              British university science students,
for an assignment. They write it           After students carry out their          Underwood and Szabo (2003)
up as a scientific manuscript that         research experiments, the next          reported that approximately half
is then marked for the purpose of          stage is the writing process. The       the students said that they would

                                                                                                                 Synergy     24
     be willing plagiarize to avoid fail-    Inter-student plagiarism itself is   to produce an amplification effect.
     ing a unit of study. Authors such       a category that breaks down into            html), developed by the University       Chat networks also play a major          References                              One of my greatest joys is to see
                                                                                         of Virginia, USA to:                                                              Cameron J, Walsh P Stavenhagen-
                                                                                                                                                                                                ,                  students who are having fun in their
     as Evans (2000) have noted that         2 sub-categories, 1) plagiarizing                                                    role in inter-student cheating where
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   tertiary education. I really believe that
     about 20 years ago plagiarism was       from students from previous years,                                                   one student coaxes another to cut        Helgren, T; Kobritz, B (2002)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   once students start enjoying themselves
                                                                                         • gain objective data on local                                                    Assessment as critical praxis: A com-
     actually hard work and students         2) plagiarizing from current stu-                                                    and paste sections of an assignment                                              during their degree nearly all the
                                                                                                                                                                           munity college experience. Teaching
     had to at least take the time and       dents. Plagiarizing from previous             plagiarism.                            into the chat window. Sometimes                                                  problems that can crop up in University
                                                                                                                                                                           Sociology. 30, 414-429.                 life, disappear. Around 1997, I started
     some mental effort to transcribe        years' assignments is a well rec-           • identify students in need of           a student repeats the practice until
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   experimenting with electronic media
     documents. In contrast, nowadays        ognized practice and colleges all             counselling                            piece by piece they acquire large                                                that made the lecture theatre a more
     with a computer and the Internet        over the world are known to have            • act as a deterrent inter-student       sections of work to plagiarize.          Chudowsky N and Pelligrino JW           engaging experience for the students
     they can cut and paste in sec-          libraries of assignments that can be          plagiarism; the only form of pla-                                               (2003) Large-scale assessments that     – including electronic media such as
                                                                                           giarism left in a novel research       Plagiarism has become an                 support learning: what will it take?    computer animation and rendered
     onds.                                   recycled (Underwood and Szabo
                                                                                                                                                                           Theory into Practice. 42, 75-88.        models. In 1998, I wrote a paper
                                             2003). Setting an assignment that             based assignment.                      entrenched culture for some
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   that described how these new media
     In the Faculty of Science, where        require a novel synthesis of ideas                                                   students                                 Das SK (2003) Plagiarism in Higher      could be combined with traditional
     we have a lot of large classes, often   and is not repeated annually also           This is an incredibly powerful appli-    Some students told us that there         Education: Is there a remedy? The       lecture techniques (Thomson, 1998).
     with numbers of students counted        cuts off the lure of web site paper         cation that can be programmed            were networks of friends that auto-      Scientist. 17, Oct 20.                  In 2000, I completed the Graduate
                                                                                         using simple but effective param-                                                                                         Certificate in Educational Studies
     in quadruple digits, any attempt        mills such as “The Evil House of                                                     matically responded to assignments                                               (Higher Education) at the Institute of
                                                                                         eters to ignore legitimate levels of                                              Evans J (2002) The new plagiarism
     to detect plagiarism has been seen      Cheat”, which offer thousands                                                        with plagiaristic behaviour. For                                                 Teaching and Learning. During the
                                                                                                                                                                           in higher education: From selection
     in the past as a daunting task. In      of assignments that students use            similarity between students' assign-     some of our students to actually                                                 course, I became very keen on explor-
                                                                                                                                                                           to reflection. Interactions. 4, 2.
     Human Biology, we came across           as fodder for plagiarized work              ments but only detect sections of        do an assignment themselves was                                                  ing competency-based learning, and I
                                                                                         dishonestly duplicated text.                                                                                              noticed how motivated students could
     anecdotal evidence that suggested       (Scanlon and Neumann 2002).                                                          unthinkable and a concept that           Major H, Taylor D (2003) Teaching
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   become when they became proficient
     that prior to 2003, many students       Das (2003) suggests that the best                                                    was entirely foreign to them. This       for learning: design and delivery       in new skills.
     were plagiarizing in part or full.      strategies against plagiarism are the       The Human Biology students were          behaviour has also been observed         of community college courses. The
                                                                                         advised in 2003 that they were to                                                 Community College Enterprise. 9,        I had been working in 2000 on mak-
     My objective in 2003 was to set         ones that prevent the event from                                                     by Underwood and Szabo (2003)
                                                                                                                                                                           63-77.                                  ing difficult concepts in science more
     in place mechanisms that would          occurring, and the strategies that          hand in both a hard copy of their        who found that 6% of tertiary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   understandable via the use of analo-
     obliterate any gain by attempted        I have described above counter as           assignment as well as submitting         science students viewed cheating         Maslen G (2003) Dirty marks. The        gies and linking unfamiliar concepts
     cheating in Human Biology and           many types of plagiarism before the         an electronic copy via the WebCT         through plagiarism as a “way of          Bulletin. June 10, 18-22.               to familiar concepts. I also began
     provide an incentive to honestly        event, as is possible.                      site. Students were made fully           life”. A proportion of the dedi-                                                 inviting more questions and discus-
     engage in the academic work of                                                      aware that these files would be          cated plagiarists in Human Biology       Scanlon PM, Neumann DR (2002)           sion in large lectures to identify areas
                                                                                         scanned for plagiarism. A number                                                  Internet plagiarism among college       of instruction that benefited from this
     the assignment.                         Eliminating the Temptation                                                           did, however, respond in a positive
                                                                                                                                                                           students. Journal of College Student    type of reinforcement. I had been col-
                                             of Inter-student Plagiarism                 of instances of plagiarism were          (albeit grudgingly) manner to the                                                laborating and swapping ideas with
                                                                                                                                                                           Development. 43, 374-386.
     Assignments Using Research              In combating academic dishonesty,           detected. The students who plagia-       anti-plagiarism software. I observed                                             a group of five academics that were
     Preclude Some Forms of                  all that remains after construct-           rised were interviewed by at least       and talked to many students who,         Underwood J, Szabo A (2003)             interested in increasing the positive
     Academic Dishonesty                                                                 one of a team of 5 academics and                                                  Academic offences and e-learning:       aspects of the first year experience and
                                             ing a research based and annually                                                    before the assignment was due, very                                              in 2000 we were awarded the Vice
     Plagiarism can be divided into          changing assignment is plagiarism           the information obtained from            vocally voiced their dismay that they    individual propensities in cheat-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding
     two forms – one, copying text                                                       these interviews was invaluable in                                                ing. British Journal of Educational
                                             bet-ween current students. This is                                                   would actually have to do an assign-                                             Teaching. I have been continuing my
                                                                                                                                                                           Technology. 34, 467-477.
     from published work and two,            an important consideration as there         learning what drives students to try     ment themselves. Nonetheless, they                                               efforts in helping students increase
     using the work of another student.                                                  and cheat. All students were asked                                                                                        motivation levels via learning valuable
                                             is evidence that academic dishonesty                                                 diffidently acquiesced to the new
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   new skills and in 2003 I coordinated a
     Using assignments based on new          is rife in Australia and there is no rea-   to write a written submission on         discipline and said that for the first                                           team that secured SESQUI funding to
     research not only drives deep learn-    son to suppose that this University is      how they plagiarized the work and        time they would engage in the learn-                                             equip the first year biology labs with
     ing but also eliminates the possibil-   immune. One of the problems with            their thoughts after some reflec-        ing experience.                                                                  DNA analysis equipment. I have been
     ity of plagiarizing from prior work                                                 tion on their actions. The inter-                                                                                         an academic for 10 years now and I
                                             detecting inter-student plagiarism
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   still experience delight when I see the
     because there is no source to plun-     in Human Biology for example is             views and submissions helped us          I hope that many other academ-                                                   look, on a students face when their
     der. It is also tempting to speculate   that there are usually over 50 mark-        in discovering some of the factors       ics will take up the challenge to                                                teacher finds the right technique to
     that if the students are involved in    ers each with over 25 assignments to        that contribute to plagiarism and        design assignments that promote                                                  help them understand and engage in
     the study as researchers they will      mark. The chances of two students           develop our strategies to combat         deep learning and close the road that                                            their learning.
     feel some ownership of the project      even having the same marker are             this form of cheating. Two themes        goes around the academic mountain                                                Thomson, M. (1998). Multimedia
     and may feel a stronger involve-        small and if the plagiarist changes         of particular interest follow.           to encourage their students instead                                              Anatomy & Physiology Lectures for
     ment in the learning process.           some of the words around or mixes                                                    to climb to the peak.                                                            Nursing Students. Computers in
                                                                                         The internet plays a big part                                                                                             Nursing. 16,101-108.
                                             and matches from say 3 other assign-
     When students are steered into          ments, the chances of detection by          in dissemination of material                                                                                              You can engage in a conversation
     a project that centres on cre-          conventional means fade to almost           for plagiarism                                                                                                            with Murray at the online discussion
                                                                                         I encountered several instances                                                                                           forum at:
     ative work that cannot be copied        nothing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   /forum You can also contact Murray
     from prior work there remains the                                                   where one student sent an assign-                                                                                         by or email at: mthomson@bio.
     option to copy from other stu-          I decided to use the CopyFind               ment to several friends via e-mail                                                                              
     dents. The next step in assignment      plagiarism detection software (free         who in turn each sent it on to
     design should tackle this issue.        and downloadable from: (http://             several of their friends and so on

25   Issue 19                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Synergy       26

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