June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Educational Research and Methods
14.160.1 - 14.160.15
Adapting Anti-Plagiarism Tool into Coursework in Engineering Program
Key words: Plagiarism, Anti-Plagiarism Tool, Plagiarism Detection, Turnitin
Plagiarism in higher educations includes not only copied words in writing, but also any illegal activities reusing previous data, ideas, and processes. Specifically, plagiarism issues in engineering schools are getting important because of cultural difference of their students and rapid changes of technology used in their classroom. The well-known examples include master thesis controversy in Ohio University, and Dr. Hwang’s case in stem research. Both of the cases bring us the following questions: (1) What makes engineering students cheat on their writing? (2) What types of plagiarisms are happened in engineering classroom? and (3) How do instructors in engineering educate their students to prevent plagiarism? In order to answer the questions in this paper, we investigate and discuss the plagiarism issues in engineering program. For the first step of this research, we investigate the types of plagiarism that frequently happen in engineering classes. Then, we select ‘plagiarism in writing’ for our further investigation among various types of plagiarism, since this is the most frequent and serious one in engineering classes. The second step is to adapt an anti-plagiarism tool to the classes. Among several plagiarism software, Turnitin.com is selected for this research not only because it can detect plagiarized writing but it can provide statistical information to both instructors and students. In addition, we collect the survey of plagiarism issues from both students and instructors. Lastly, we analyze the outputs of Turnitin.com, and the results of the survey to answer the questions above. The results show that engineering students realize the importance of plagiarism, but have committed cheatings in their classroom because of lack of time and knowledge for the assignments. Also, we realized that internet is the source where they get the information without proper citation. However, a variety of technology and policy work effectively to reduce plagiarized writing in engineering courses. Our future work will be directed toward other types of plagiarism in engineering classroom, such as programming, webpage, and multimedia.
Since the last few decades, higher education systems have been infected by a big virus called plagiarism a lot. Specifically, plagiarism issues in engineering schools are getting important because of cultural difference of their students and rapid changes of technology used in their classroom. Although various definitions of plagiarism are used in education systems, the definition of plagiarism in higher educations generally include any illegal activities reusing previous writing, data, ideas, and processes done by someone else. This is just one example of the definition of plagiarism used in University of Bridgeport for Academic Honesty Standards1.
1 Academic Standards, Guidelines and Resources, University of Bridgeport, http://www.bridgeport.edu/pages/2626.asp
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