Plagiarism Detection and Prevention

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    Plagiarism is a hot topic currently, especially when discussion online learning courses.  In fact, this topic has become so widely discussed that numerous plagiarism detection software has been developed.  Many universities utilize this software as part of the paper submission process.  Walden University utilizes Turnitin, while other educational institutions utilize Essay Verification Engine (Jocoy & DiBiase, 2006).  Students are also able to utilize plagiarism detection software such as Grammerly, iThenticate, Scanmyessay and Plagiarism Detector.  This has come to be because there is such a concern over academic honesty in online courses (Jocoy & DiBiase, 2006).  However, students cheat the same amount in online course that they cheat in traditional courses (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).

            As a result of this concern over academic honesty, online courses are being designed with honesty in mind.  Originally, universities offered testing sites that monitored academic honesty during testing.  Now, professors and instructional designers focus on creating assignments that are application based and therefore difficult to actually cheat.  For example, instead of giving a test, one can require a written essay (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  Another way to prevent cheating is to design assignments in which talking to other students and gathering information is not cheating.  There are rarely instances in the real world in which employees are not allowed to discuss problems or utilize the computer to look things up.  Education should mirror this (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  To me, this is the best way to insure academic honesty.  We need to think about the types of assignments that are conducive to the learning environment and choose wisely.

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            I would also recommend that instructors educate their students.  Not all students view copying and pasting someone else’s work as cheating (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  Additionally, students do not understand that utilizing their own work from a previous class is cheating (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  There are also copyright laws to be respected when utilizing pictures and online sources.  Many students are ignorant of these rules.  Education can go a long way toward reducing cheating in our digital world.  One final word of encouragement is to utilize the Media Center.  This is a great resource.  Most media centers include materials for teaching about plagiarism and many higher learning institutions include a writing center to assist students with writing their paper as well as academic integrity of the writing.  As an instructor, I will utilize these strategies to prevent cheating in my courses.

           

References

 

Jocoy, C., & DiBiase, D. (2006). Plagiarism by adult learners online: A case study in detection and remediation. International Review of Research in Open & Distance Learning, 7(1), 1-15.

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010) Plagiarism and Cheating, retrieved on October 8, 2013 from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3466249_1%26url%3D

 

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Technology in Education

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What impact does technology and multimedia have on online learning environments?

      Technology has dramatically changed over the last fifty years.  Now students are playing educational games and working with in depth simulations.  This has completely changed the face of education.  Instructors can now choose the appropriate tool for each situation and successfully aid the learner in achieving the objectives (Goodrich, 2013).

 

What are the most important considerations an online instructor should make before implementing technology?

      Instructors must be aware that there are many tools available for utilization within a classroom.  As such, it is important to choose the tool based upon instructional objectives, not choose an interesting tool and find a place for it (Laureate Education, Inc., 2010).  Being specific in the pedagogical utilization of new technology is very important.  Additionally, an instructor must be aware of student technological proficiency and internet speed.  These two things have the greatest impact on student success in an online environment (Boettcher & Conrad, 2010).

 

What implications do usability and accessibility of technology tools have for online teaching?

      This is the most important aspect of technology utilization.  Having the latest and greatest technology, but no skill in utilizing it is pointless.  Students in online courses come from a myriad of backgrounds.  It is necessary to be cognizant of the student readiness for technology options.  While some sections of your course may be able to utilize advanced software, this is not the case for all students.  Providing an education means being aware of impediments such as technology failures or difficulties and providing alternatives.  For example, Lucid Charts is not an easy program to utilize for beginning users.  However, the benefits outweigh the difficulties.  As such, I would provide tutorials and be available for video conferencing and sharing my screen throughout the utilization of this tool.

 

What technology tools are most appealing to you for online teaching as you move forward in your career in instructional design?

Obviously, I will incorporate discussions also called forums.  These help build a community and are effective for actively engaging students.  Although I cannot cite any other specific tool without an understanding of what I will be teaching, I will list a few of my favorite tools that I utilize in my current position. 

  • Google Applications – this allows real time collaboration on documents, presentations and data collections.
  • Simulations/Games – I always find one or two that reinforce or provide extensions.  It is important to me that I provide alternative ways to process information.
  • ScreenCasting – As we move into an informational age, I have found numerous students unable to utilize software.  A simple screen cast eliminates this problem.
  • Google Voice is a new software that I will begin utilizing.  It provides a phone number and archives all messages.  It also provides an mp3 file and a text copy of the voicemail.
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References

 

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

Goodrich, David (2011).  What are the effects of multimedia on learning?Retrieved from: http://sites.arbor.edu/oat/2011/02/07/what-are-the-effects-of-multimedia-on-learning/

Laureate Education, Inc. (2010).  Enhancing the online experience.  Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_3466249_1%26url%3D