Volume index - Journal index - Article index - Map ---- Back

Comunicar Journal 48: Ethics and plagiarism in scientific communication (Vol. 24 - 2016)

The impact of activity design in Internet plagiarism in Higher Education


In this work we aim to gain a better understanding of the nature of plagiarism in Higher Education. We analyse a set of different activities in an online university-level course, aiming to understand which tasks lead more naturally to plagiarism. This analysis concludes that the activities that have a lower rate of plagiarism are activities that encourage involvement, originality and creativity. Subsequently, we reformulate the task that presented the highest rate of plagiarism, taking into account the conclusions of the previous analysis and trying to maintain their relative effort and educational impact. We then compare the newly designed activities with their original counterparts to measure whether there is a significant reduction in plagiarism. The results are clear and show a significant drop in the percentages of plagiarism. In addition, we performed an additional validation to ensure that both groups were, in fact comparable. We found that both groups displayed similar plagiarism attitudes in other exercises that were not reformulated. This study shows that it is possible to reduce the incidence of plagiarism by designing activities in such a way that prompts students to propose their own ideas using information available on the Internet as a vehicle for their solutions rather than as solutions in themselves.