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Developing professional practice Summary Within universities, student plagiarism in assignments has for a long period, been considered a growing problem aggravated by the rapid spread and increased use of the internet because it makes copying and pasting very easy to be irresistible…
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Download file to see previous pages Nevertheless, one main issue remains to be satisfactorily resolved and it involves accurate measurement of the occurrence of plagiarism. Scholars have relied on student reporting of their own and their peers’ plagiarising behaviour in obtaining such measures. Although, scholars may obtain useful data this way, the method develops its paradox because it requires survey participants to offer honest reports regarding their dishonesty. Moreover, although self-reporting in any behaviour is problematic, self-reporting of dishonesty behaviour is extremely challenging and studies show that student responses are not congruent to their employed behaviours; nevertheless, the advent of plagiarism detection software made the task easier. The use of software that detect plagiarism by university lecturers enables the lecturers to perform what was previously difficult or impossible namely obtaining a clear picture of the extent of plagiarism in student assignments; moreover, the use of plagiarism software has deterrent effect on plagiarism. Despite the potential usefulness of the various plagiarism software and their unequivocally acceptance by the community of academicians, a backlash against their use seems to be underway as academicians consider the use of such software to control students. The scholar’s goal is to fill the gap between what students actually do instead of what they say they do with regard to plagiarism in assignments. The main strength in the research includes a collection of records on the form and extent of plagiarism over a period of five years in two main university assignments. However, the study had several limitations one of which is over reliance on Turnitin, which only matches material found on the internet. Materials of the university textbooks cannot be matched unless the material gets online in some form like through lodging a student’s assignment in the software’s database. Moreover, the database of Turnitin may be unable to detect material within invisible web sources like password-protected databases or even customised assignments produced by writing companies. Another disadvantage is that the measurement process relied to a certain extent on the interpretation of the original report in conjunction with checking of the assignment script; hence, absolute objectivity cannot be claimed in the data. The disadvantage of the of a convenient sample like non-randomness and potential absenteeism in generalization are acknowledged; in addition, the study is limited to New Zealand where the data was derived and the findings indicate that they may not be generalised. The findings confirmed the established view that international students have high rate of plagiarism compared to domestic students because they not only topped in rates across students, but also were at the top of rating regarding verbatim plagiarism and were among students with high rate of extensive plagiarism. The notion that students without experience are more prone to plagiarism was not fully supported in the study findings because students in year one submitted the smallest percentage of plagiarised script in the year of enrolment, while students in their fourth year of enrolment plagiarised extensively. From the present6ed data in the study, it is possible to develop a profile of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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