About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3908-3913
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

UPLOADING, DOWNLOADING AND RE-USING INTERNET BASED CONTENT: THE FINE LINE BETWEEN STUDENT SHARING FOR SUPPORT VERSUS PLAGIARISM AND OTHER BREACHES OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

A. Rogerson

University of Wollongong (AUSTRALIA)
The Internet has provided unprecedented access to information sources which can enhance a students’ learning experience while aiding in the development of deeper levels of understanding. However there is a big difference between information sharing for the spread of knowledge with appropriate acknowledgement of sources versus using shared information to deceive others about original authorship of work or ideas. Legitimate reuse or paraphrasing of academic work requires the appropriate acknowledgement of sources. Conversely, illegal sharing of information and the prior work of others places the onus of acknowledgement and disclosure on the user with practices influenced by personal integrity and motivation, and the burden of detection on the person evaluating a submission.

This paper summarises ongoing work into identifying and combating the impact of materials being shared via student peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing communities as an alternative to purchasing assignments through essay mills. P2P student communities or file-swapping sites are growing as a an alternate way of accessing educational and materials such as previously submitted essays, reports and presentations through to examination papers, answers, and discussion responses. Some sites claim to only support note sharing to assist students in gaining a greater understanding of content. However an examination of some sites demonstrate that they do more than facilitate the sharing of notes extending to shared “examples” which can be traded or purchased with credits or payments. Disclaimers absolve the site owners from any responsibility where a person downloading materials reuses content and claims it as their own by submitting it for assessment and grading. Where a student does present this material partially or in full it is plagiarism.

Sharing notes between students has been accepted as a means of supporting others fellow students where lectures are missed or content is not understood. Students are also encouraged to work together on group assignments or team tasks. In these types of situations it is expected that study material is shared between students. Some institutional policies support sharing of notes but stipulate that the sharing of assignments including work previously submitted for assessment is a breach of academic integrity principles as it can lead to plagiarism. However, sharing materials over file sharing communities for personal gain to earn credits to download other materials extends this concept into broader breaches of the principles of academic integrity. Students may believe the claims made by the sites about the benefits of sharing without realising the difference between localised and personalised support, and the implications of sharing and using content via the Internet. As educators we need to confront the issue by discussing the proliferation of these sites with students, and the issues of participating in their activities rather than ignoring their existence. With awareness of the patterns and clues left by the sites and students cases of use can be identified and managed as misconduct. We can also undermine the capacity of P2P student based file-sharing communities to aid and abet plagiarism by careful assignment design and refreshing assessment tasks which also promote good educational and instructional practice.
@InProceedings{ROGERSON2015UPL,
author = {Rogerson, A.},
title = {UPLOADING, DOWNLOADING AND RE-USING INTERNET BASED CONTENT: THE FINE LINE BETWEEN STUDENT SHARING FOR SUPPORT VERSUS PLAGIARISM AND OTHER BREACHES OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {3908-3913}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Rogerson
TI - UPLOADING, DOWNLOADING AND RE-USING INTERNET BASED CONTENT: THE FINE LINE BETWEEN STUDENT SHARING FOR SUPPORT VERSUS PLAGIARISM AND OTHER BREACHES OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 3908
EP - 3913
ER -
A. Rogerson (2015) UPLOADING, DOWNLOADING AND RE-USING INTERNET BASED CONTENT: THE FINE LINE BETWEEN STUDENT SHARING FOR SUPPORT VERSUS PLAGIARISM AND OTHER BREACHES OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 3908-3913.
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