Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sally Brown, Leeds Met, on "A Respect for Marks"

There's a long article this week in the Higher by Sally Brown of Leeds Met. I met her briefly at a conference there last year, which was all about retention, but I've been aware of her work for many years.

In this latest article she reflects on her work, and especially on assessment. A typical paragraph is:

"If we want students to behave like effective learners, for example by selecting and using relevant sources rather than just downloading stuff from the web, we need to privilege these behaviours by according them marks. Rewarding slovenly scholarship is daft. If we set predictable tasks, we should not be surprised when students plagiarise."

Ring any bells? Many of the assignments I have dealt with as plagiarism cases were those where the question was essentially "Research and write about something in your non-native language."

Worth a read.

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