There is currently a gap in the UK’s response to the ever-increasing threat of plagiarism. Through a systematic literature and policy review undertaken in the preparatory stages of a year-long project, we have identified the following areas in which deeper understanding will enable the development of strategies to support a positive environment which encourages students to study with integrity: 1. Innovative, effective practice in informing and educating students about academic integrity 2. Developing students’ understanding of plagiarism, and all that entails, including the student voice 3. Training and support for staff in developing their awareness, detection and investigation of plagiarism with a specific focus on contract cheating 4. The ‘dangerous’ world of contract cheating and a focus on the ever-increasing importance of detection. In this presentation we discuss the current state of knowledge in regard to these areas, and outline our mixed methods approach to exploring them in our research context. Our project will use questionnaires and interviews with students and staff at the University of Leeds in order to articulate and delineate the issues that have opened the door to contract cheating, and to formulate strategies to tackle it. With the timing of the questionnaires being COVID-dependent, we may not be able to complete our thematic analysis by October but we will share highlights from our research and examples of good practice.
Lorna Waddington, University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Caroline Campbell, University of Leeds, United Kingdom