H. Gorur-Atabas

Sabanci University (TURKEY)
Writing is a skill that is usually met with discomfort and uncertainty. Thus it should not be surprising if learners resort to take various “shortcuts”, like adopting other writer’s ideas/works, and thus committing plagiarism.

But how can we assist our learners in gaining a sound understanding of what it means to “plagiarize”? Are codes of conduct, and various inexplicable rules and punishments, the only way to prevent plagiarism? Can we as educators do anything that has a more long-term effect and benefit for the learner? Do we need to go into combat with plagiarism detection programs (e.g. Turn-It-In) or is there a more peaceful way of solving this issue in our classrooms? This presentation aims at sharing an alternative approach to “plagiarism” by looking at processes, materials, some research data, and insights gained from the process that some Freshman students enrolled in the first year English and Composition course at a private English medium university went through.

A series of materials and activities, both for use in class and for independent study purposes, were devised and coupled with both teacher and student moderated workshops over the course of a semester. The collaborative learning and teaching experience that learners and instructors underwent, was coupled with aspects of blended learning and coaching our learners.

Learners were asked to keep an “e-diary” which later provided us with invaluable data on how our learners viewed “plagiarism” and how that understanding changed for the more positive over the course of the semester.