New article: Plagiarism: A Canadian Higher Education Case Study of Policy and Practice Gaps

AJER Screen ShotWe are excited to share this new article:

Eaton, S. E., Fernández Conde, C., Rothschuh, S., Guglielmin, M., & Otoo, B. K. (2020). Plagiarism: A Canadian higher education case study of policy and practice gaps. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 66(4), 471-488. Retrieved from https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/ajer/article/view/69204

This was a project that I undertook with some of our excellent graduate students at the Werklund School of Education. Our findings corroborated other studies that found faculty do not report academic misconduct, and adds to the body of evidence from Canada. Our findings showed that although pre-service teachers engage in academic misconduct, sometimes their instructors choose not to report them for it. Instead, faculty deal with such instances privately, as a “teachable moment”, without following institutional policy. This was a fascinating study to conduct and I am hoping it will be useful to other Canadian researchers, as well as others studying academic misconduct in teacher training programs.

Abstract

This mixed methods case study investigated faculty perspectives and practice around plagiarism in a Western Canadian faculty of education. Data sources included interviews, focus groups, and a survey. Findings showed that participants (N = 36) were disinclined to follow established procedures. Instead, they tended to deal with plagiarism in informal ways without reporting cases to administration, which resulted in a disconnect between policy and practice. The emotional impact of reporting plagiarism included frustration with the time required to document a case, and fear that reporting could have a negative effect on one’s employment. Recommendations include approaches that bridge the gap between policy and practice.

Key words: Academic integrity, plagiarism, Canada, higher education, faculty

Cette étude de cas à méthodes mixtes s’est penchée sur les perspectives et les pratiques du corps professoral relatives au plagiat dans une faculté d’éducation dans l’ouest du Canada. Les sources de données ont inclus les entrevues, les groupes de discussion et un sondage. Les résultats indiquent que les participants (N=36) étaient peu portés à suivre les procédures établies. Ils avaient plutôt tendance à employer des moyens informels pour traiter le plagiat, sans signaler les cas à l’administration, ce qui entrainait un écart entre la politique et la pratique. L’impact émotionnel découlant du signalement du plagiat comprenait le temps nécessaire à documenter un cas et la peur que le signalement puisse avoir une incidence négative sur son emploi. Les recommandations proposées incluent des approches visant à combler l’écart entre la politique et la pratique.

Mots clés : intégrité académique, plagiat, Canada, enseignement supérieur, faculté

Authors:

  • Sarah Elaine Eaton, University of Calgary
  • Cristina Fernández Conde, University of Calgary
  • Stefan Rothschuh, University of Calgary
  • Melanie Guglielmin, University of Calgary
  • Benedict Kojo Otoo, University of Calgary

Check out the entire issue here: https://journalhosting.ucalgary.ca/index.php/ajer/issue/view/5241

For more information about this article please contact me directly.

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Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.

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