Lesson Plan: Workplace Plagiarism

LEARNING GOALS:

  • Students will understand the evolving meaning of plagiarism and be able to provide examples of it. New terms/concepts: collusion vs. collaboration; Creative Commons; open-source.
  • Students will be able to see the real world consequences of plagiarism in the workplace.
  • Students will be able to identify motivators for plagiarism and suggest ways to limit their own risk, temptation to plagiarize.
  • Students will practice using digital presentation tools to enhance their oral communication development.

OCGE:

  • An effective communicator who speaks, writes, and listens honestly and sensitively, responding critically in light of gospel values.
  • A collaborative contributor who respects the rights, responsibilities and contributions of self and others.

MINDS’ ON: Students are to complete the following Minds’ On Survey. Results will be projected and a brief overview of each question’s correct response will follow with opportunities for student feedback, discussion.

Screenshot (20)

The Minds’ On activity is created and shared through Office 365’s Survey feature. Students can view peer responses on the screen as classmates complete the survey.

ACTION:  In groups, students will review one of the following news articles dealing with workplace instances of plagiarism (most are from Ontario).

Their understanding of the article will be guided by the following three questions. Answers to these questions should be presented using a modern web 2.0 communication tool (PowToon, Prezi, PowerPoint, iMovie, MovieMaker, Sway, etc.)  to the class after approximately 25 min of in class preparation:

  1. What is the individual accused of plagiarizing? Be specific.
  2. What do you think motivated the individual to plagiarize? The article may not give specific reasons so, feel free to speculate. Suggest at least three motivations for the plagiarism.
  3. What were the consequences of the plagiarism?

CONSOLODATION: In an informal class discussion, ask students to reflect on commonalities in each of the case studies.

  • Did any of these individuals think that they would get caught?
  • What were some common motivators: stress; time crunch; pressure to preform? Are these similar to student experiences when tempted to plagiarize?

ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING: ask each group: How many student groups actually cited the article in their creative presentation of the probing questions? If they did not, then there’s still room for more consideration of this issue.

NEXT LESSON: Learning more about Turnitin.com. Students will create a student account and submit an intentionally plagiarized test paragraph in the authenticity checker.

REFLECTION: I am always surprised at how often students do not cite the article in their presentations of the workplace plagiarism case studies. Even after considerable time is spend reviewing the importance of academic integrity and the serious consequences that can result, the informal nature of our learning seems to trump the required formal citation. Is my assessment for student learning in this lesson flawed?

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