To help students better understand the nuances of plagiarism, we have produced an interactive self-assessment quiz, using a comic-book type character to present a series of scenarios. The scenarios are examples where a student has used or quoted information from other sources, and students are asked to identify where plagiarism has occurred. Feedback is provided, including the correct way to use the relevant information without committing plagiarism. The quiz has been designed as a standalone, web-based self-assessment tool, and also as a resource for triggering discussion in a lecture-type presentation. It has been used extensively during orientation for incoming students to stimulate discussion. Students vote on whether a scenario represents plagiarism, and volunteers asked to explain their reasoning. This works well when the facilitator can propose counter-arguments or additional questions. Additional versions of the original module have been created: using clickers (audience response systems); in Mandarin, for use at partner institutions in Chinal; and for the Psychology discipline, using discipline-specific references and style.
Paper presented at 'Language in the disciplines: disciplinary discourses and the embedding of academic literacy skills within programs', an Academic Literacy Teaching and Research Network (ALTAR) Symposium, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, 24 November 2010