Main Article Content
BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE
Closed (student only) Facebook groups are commonplace amongst students and the social and academic benefits of such groups are well studied. The exclusion of staff from these Facebook groups could conceivably lead to inappropriate behaviour such as plagiarism but the occurrence of this is unknown. Many students have a poor understanding of what constitutes plagiarism, or the rationale for its avoidance (other than to avoid penalty). In this study we sought to explore the behaviours of students on Facebook groups, focusing on plagiarism. We also broadened our analysis to encompass an investigation of general plagiarism awareness in order to use the findings to inform the co-creation of a simple plagiarism intervention tool for use on Facebook groups.
Our mixed methods approach encompassed seven student focus groups and a survey of 273 students at one UK University, as well as consultation of 11 HEI staff. Information and ideas drawn from the investigative phase of the project informed the design and co-creation of a plagiarism avoidance video resource.
RESULTS AND LESSONS LEARNED
We did not find plagiarism on Facebook to be a major concern despite wide use by students of closed groups to support learning. We did, however, find that interactive discussion on Facebook was minimal, and that membership was non-inclusive, and therefore suggest caution towards formal use of Facebook in learning. We also found that >40% of our students held misconceptions and anxieties about what constitutes plagiarism and about how to avoid it, and that University guidelines on plagiarism are not improving understanding. Plagiarism confusion was heightened for students new to our University, although further research into the generality of this observation is required. We advocate good scholarship education that actively engages, but is not limited to, students in their first year of study, and present our own anti-plagiarism tool that is suitable for deployment via Facebook groups.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice has made best effort to ensure accuracy of the contents of this journal, however makes no claims to the authenticity and completeness of the articles published. Authors are responsible for ensuring copyright clearance for any images, tables etc which are supplied from an outside source.
Bateman, D., & Willems, J. (2012). Facing off: Facebook and higher education. Misbehaviour Online in Higher Education: Cutting-edge Technologies in Higher Education, 5, 53-79.
Boyd, D. (2014). It's complicated: The social lives of networked teens. USA: Yale University Press.
Breen, L., & Maassen, M. (2005). Reducing the incidence of plagiarism in an undergraduate course: the role of education. Issues in Educational Research, 15(1), 1-16.
Cheung, C. M., Chiu, P. Y., & Lee, M. K. (2011). Online social networks: Why do students use facebook? Computers in Human Behavior, 27(4), 1337-1343.
Dee, T. S., & Jacob, B. A. (2012). Rational ignorance in education a field experiment in student plagiarism. Journal of Human Resources, 47(2), 397-434.
Escobar, O. (2011). Public dialogue and deliberation: A communication perspective for public engagement practitioners. Retrieved from; http://www.academia.edu/1131712/Public_Dialogue_and_Deliberation_A_Communication_Perspective_for_Public_Engagement_Practitioners
Gullifer, J., & Tyson, G. A. (2010). Exploring university students' perceptions of plagiarism: A focus group study. Studies in Higher Education, 35(4), 463-481.
Gullifer, J. M., & Tyson, G. A. (2014). Who has read the policy on plagiarism? Unpacking students' understanding of plagiarism. Studies in Higher Education, 39(7), 1202-1218.
Hayes, N. (2000) Doing Psychological Research. Philadelphia: PA: Open University Press.
Howard, R. M., & Davies, L. J. (2009). Plagiarism in the Internet age. Educational Leadership, 66(6), 64-67.
Irwin, C., Ball, L., Desbrow, B., & Leveritt, M. (2012). Students’ perceptions of using Facebook as an interactive learning resource at university. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(7), 1221-1232.
Jones, I. S., Blankenship, D., & Hollier, G. (2013). Am I Cheating? An Analysis of Online Students' Perceptions of Their Behaviors and Attitudes. Psychology Research, 3(5), 261-269.
Kent, M. (2013). Changing the conversation: Facebook as a venue for online class discussion in higher education. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 9(4), 546-565.
Kirschner, P. A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2010). Facebook® and academic performance. Computers in human behavior, 26(6), 1237-1245.
Madge, C., Meek, J., Wellens, J., & Hooley, T. (2009). Facebook, social integration and informal learning at university:‘It is more for socialising and talking to friends about work than for actually doing work’. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 141-155.
Manca, S., & Ranieri, M. (2013). Is it a tool suitable for learning? A critical review of the literature on Facebook as a technology‐enhanced learning environment. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(6), 487-504.
McCarthy, J. (2010). Blended learning environments: Using social networking sites to enhance the first year experience. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 26(6), 729-740.
McCarthy, J. (2012). International design collaboration and mentoring for tertiary students through Facebook. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(5), 755-775.
Nkhoma, M., Cong, H. P., Au, B., Lam, T., Richardson, J., Smith, R., & El-Den, J. (2015). Facebook as a tool for learning purposes: Analysis of the determinants leading to improved students’ learning. Active Learning in Higher Education, 16(2), 87-101.
Power, L. G. (2009) University Students’ Perceptions of Plagiarism. The Journal of Higher Education, 80, 643-662.
Prescott, J. (2014). Teaching style and attitudes towards Facebook as an educational tool. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(2), 117-128.
Roblyer, M. D., McDaniel, M., Webb, M., Herman, J., & Witty, J. V. (2010). Findings on Facebook in higher education: A comparison of college faculty and student uses and perceptions of social networking sites. The Internet and higher education, 13(3), 134-140.
Selwyn, N. (2009). Faceworking: exploring students' education‐related use of Facebook. Learning, Media and Technology, 34(2), 157-174.
Sutton, A., Taylor, D., & Johnston, C. (2014). A model for exploring student understandings of plagiarism. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 38(1), 129-146.
Timmis, S. (2012). Constant companions: Instant messaging conversations as sustainable supportive study structures amongst undergraduate peers. Computers & Education, 59(1), 3-18.
Turnitin.com (2013). Turnitin - Top 15 Misconceptions About Turnitin. [Weblog]. Retrieved 7 July 2016, from http://turnitin.com/en_us/resources/blog/421-general/1644-top-15-misconceptions-about-turnitin
Turnitin. (2013) White Paper | the Sources in Student Writing – Higher Education. Retrieved 3 March 2015, from http://go.turnitin.com/paper/highered/sources-student-writing
Walker, J. (2010). Measuring plagiarism: Researching what students do, not what they say they do. Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), 41-59.
Wilkinson, S. (2008) Focus Groups. In: Smith, J., ed., Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods, 2nd ed. London: Sage, pp. 186-206.
Willems, J., & Bateman, D. (2011). The potentials and pitfalls of social networking sites such as Facebook in higher education contexts. Changing demands, changing directions. Proceedings ascilite Hobart, 1322-1324. Retrieved from; http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/hobart11/downloads/papers/Willems-poster.pdf
Wise, L. Z., Skues, J., & Williams, B. (2011). Facebook in higher education promotes social but not academic engagement. Changing demands, changing directions. Proceedings ascilite Hobart, 1332-1342. Retrieved from; http://www.ascilite.org/conferences/hobart11/downloads/papers/Wise-full.pdf
Wright, F., White, D., Hirst, T., & Cann, A. (2014). Visitors and Residents: mapping student attitudes to academic use of social networks. Learning, Media and Technology, 39(1), 126-141.