Plagiarism Scavenger Hunt – EdTech 502

Plagiarism Scavenger Hunt

In EdTech 502 I created a Plagiarism Scavenger Hunt.  It highlights my mastery of the systematic use of resources for learning.  I have come across too many instances of plagiarism to count in just the last year as a teacher.  Any time an assignment involves finding information on the internet, kids face the choice of either putting information in their own words and citing a work, or using the copy and paste function.  Much too often they choose the latter.  In my scavenger hunt, I lead students through many resources to make sure they know in advance what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.  Students visit five sites in their search for enlightenment about what constitutes plagiarism.  There are questions they must answer that help them express what they’ve learned about when, and how, they can use a work, and whether or not it has to be cited.  I’ve used this many times in the classroom, and students often tell me that they had no idea that it wasn’t okay to simply copy from websites like wikipedia.com.  They feel that since the information looks sort of anonymous, and it’s on a website whose purpose is to provide information, wikipedia must want you to copy it.  I feel that by doing the research themselves in the form of a  scavenger hunt, students will be able to construct their own reasons for why plagiarism is not a ‘victimless crime’.

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