Our goal is to provide a site for conversation about plagiarism across the curriculum in general education courses with the intent to develop resources that university faculty can use to create a culture of academic integrity. While MTSU has made a clear and admirable commitment to addressing academic misconduct through the Office of the Provost, our university does not have a mandatory system for enforcement by faculty. This presents a challenge in creating consistency in expectations for students. Thus, this FLC is motivated by the belief that better equipping faculty with classroom tools and knowledge of university resources will result in a higher engagement with plagiarism prevention and encourage academic honesty among our students. In short, the outcome of this FLC will be the careful development of an accessible set of plagiarism prevention resources available through the LT&ITC for all MTSU faculty.
Specific yearlong activities may include:
(1) Explore best practices at comparable universities to identify practices that could have similar success at MTSU (see provisional reading list below). Regular FLC sessions will be dedicated to an examination of these practices. Participants will be encouraged to gather data and also academic publications on this subject, which can be shared and discussed as a community.
(2) Gather data on MTSU faculty plagiarism policies in specific general education courses across the departments of FLC participants. Data would include both how faculty deal with plagiarism (penalties) and any classroom instruction that addresses plagiarism.
(3) Develop an LT&ITC resource base for faculty based on the outcomes of the FLC. This would offer faculty a set of tools they could adopt for classroom use, such as plagiarism handouts for students, in-class activities, Turnitin guides, and plagiarism statements for syllabi.
(4) Work as individual participants to develop specific techniques to address plagiarism in the classroom. Implement these practices and assess the results as an FLC.
(5) Encourage faculty participants to become ambassadors for plagiarism prevention in their departments by ensuring all faculty are equipped with the resources to prevent plagiarism in their general education courses.
(6) Write a best practices paper for publication. Both facilitators are particularly motivated to produce an article that addresses the difficult issue of how to craft papers for general education courses that minimize the risk of plagiarism without sacrificing content or resorting to esoteric assignment themes.
(7) Encourage faculty participants to craft best practices papers for publications relevant to their field or discipline.
(8) Host an LT&ITC faculty workshop in fall 2015 on the subject of plagiarism. This will allow us to showcase the findings of our FLC, draw attention to the FLC-developed resources on plagiarism, and encourage greater faculty participation in plagiarism prevention.
Emily B. Baran is a professor in the Department of History. Since her arrival at MTSU,
Professor Baran has implemented a plagiarism policy in all of her courses. This includes
a plagiarism statement on all syllabi, a classroom discussion of plagiarism prior
to the first writing assignment, and a strictly enforced penalty system. Ultimately,
Professor Baran's intent is to create a sustained awareness of plagiarism and the
need for consistent prevention and enforcement among faculty.
Michael V. Paulauskas is a professor in the Department of History. As such, he teaches five sections of the general education courses HIST 2010 (United States History I) and HIST 2020 (United States History II) each semester. Professor Paulauskas has a detailed plagiarism policy that he developed for use in all of his courses at MTSU. As an FTT, he hopes to bring the perspective and concerns of his fellow contingent faculty in finding successful tools to reach MTSU underclassmen at the survey level.