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Detection and Deterrence of Plagiarism in Online Learning Environments

Detection and Deterrence of Plagiarism in Online Learning Environments
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Author(s): Alan McCord (Lawrence Technological University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 12
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch087

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Abstract

Student plagiarism inhibits student learning and damages institutional reputations. Online learning provides different opportunities for student plagiarism than in the traditional classroom, and many observers question whether online learning environments can demonstrate the same level of academic integrity found in traditional classrooms. One method of combating plagiarism is the use of plagiarism detection software, which are licensed for individual use or integrated into an institutional course management system (CMS). Understanding the nature of plagiarism and implementing a plagiarism education and detection program can improve the effectiveness of these tools and therefore improve the quality and reputation of online programs. This article focuses on how plagiarism may be reduced in online learning environments. The article begins with a definition of plagiarism and the characteristics of online learning environments that make them vulnerable to student plagiarism. A review of plagiarism detection technologies and the capabilities of popular detection tools are discussed. The article then addresses how plagiarism detection software can be systematically implemented in support of online learning programs: establishing academic integrity policies, improving the design of assignments and assessments, and establishing effective education programs. The article concludes by exploring future developments in online learning environments and plagiarism detection technologies.

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