A report on a software prototype which utilises an innovative approach to reducing opportunities for plagiarism
2006-05-25T16:26:38Z (GMT) by
There is increasing concern over student plagiarism in institutions of Higher Education and concomitant interest in appropriate ways to deal with it. Experience from the criminal justice domain suggests that to reduce the opportunity for crime to occur produces more success in crime reduction than does increased crime detection. Factors from dealing with crime prevention are examined and used to draw up a set of criteria by which to judge computerised assessment tools. A distinction is made between the prevention and avoidance of plagiarism and applied to the criteria. The paradigm offered by paper-based traditional assessment, the same assessment is taken by all students, is rejected as not appropriate for computer generated assessments aimed at avoiding plagiarism. It is argued that technology permits the dynamic production of unique instruments of assessment, at the point of assessment, for each individual student. The software presented provides a tool which presents each student with a unique assessment. Examples of the software prototype screen shots are discussed and future developments outlined.