I hope you all had a brilliant World Week and that studies are going well. I wanted to take a little time out of my day to update you on how the AWESOME campaign to get the University to sit up and pay attention to plagiarism is going.
I met last week with a number of different stakeholders from across the university – including representatives from ELTC, the Student Advice Centre and Student Voice. Together we’re going to put together a report combining a vast range of research, and we’re going to be needing your help.
The first part of the report is going to be creating a map of the plagiarism policy landscape as it stands: both from a University level and across different departmental practices. If you can help by providing me with information on how plagiarism is defined and dealt with in your department, please get in touch.
The second part of the report is going to be focused on what is actually happening. I’m going to analyse data around plagiarism charges in Sheffield each year, and find out exactly how many of them are International Students. I’m also going to try to identify any trends in Nationality (cross-referencing this with stats on general National populations in Sheffield to rule out natural correlation), as well as trends across departments and level of study (Undergraduate/Masters/PhD). Hopefully this will enable us to identify areas of good practice, as well as potentially highlight the places where we’re going wrong.
Next semester, I will need your help. I’ll be sending out a brief questionnaire to help us establish any trends in the situation from your perspective. Did you know what Plagiarism was before you came to Sheffield? What was your understanding of it? Do you feel you have an understanding now? Has that changed? It might be that students from one world region have really great knowledge, and those of you from another really don’t. Hopefully this stage of the research will help us highlight areas of vulnerability so that support in the future can be targeted to the students who need it most.
To go a bit deeper into the issues and find out more from you, we’ll then hold focus groups, so you can share your thoughts and help shape our recommendations.
Finally, the Student Advice Centre are going to help us out with anonymised case studies so that we can establish exactly what it is like to be an international student who is accused of plagiarism.
On the back of ALL of this research, I will then draft a report which we will take to the University’s governing bodies along with some recommendations for what they can do better in the future.
If you have any thoughts about this campaign, ideas for what we’re missing that you’d like to see included, or you want to help out as a research assistant, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find my details here, email ISC@Sheffield.ac.uk, find me through the ISC facebook pages or get in contact personally at email@example.com. I can’t wait to hear from you all!
Lucy Pedrick, ISC Home Rep 2014/15