Assignment Design

In a guide to good practice, Carrol and Appleton (2001) summarise the following ways to design assignments so opportunities for plagiarism are reduced or removed:

  • rewrite/modify all assessment tasks each time the course is taught
  • consider the learning outcomes for the course and decrease those that ask for knowledge and understanding, substituting instead those that require analysis, evaluation and synthesis; consider adding information gathering to learning outcomes
  • design in assessment tasks with multiple solutions or artefacts
  • design in compulsory teaching sessions on academic writing and citation skills where students can apply the skills to discipline specific content as part of their core assessment tasks
  • integrate tasks so each builds on the other; design in checks that do not require teacher time but do require student effort. Be careful to only check, not assess the intermediate tasks;
  • set a variety of assessment tasks, choosing those less likely to already exist
  • ensure that students are taught how to avoid plagiarism with active learning techniques, providing opportunities for discussion, practice and feedback; this instruction works best integrated into discipline-specific contexts.

Apple, J. & Appleton, J. (2001) Plagiarism - A Good Practice Guide (PDF*). Joint Infomration Systems Committee. Oxford Brrookes University, UK.

Other useful resources are:

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