The Concept of Plagiarism
Plagiarism Detection Software - a new JISC service
Can students assess students effectively? Some insights into peer-assessment
A. Mark Langan and and C. Philip Wheater
Exploring the potential of Multiple-Choice Questions in Assessment
Edwina Higgins and Laura Tatham
Developing a new assessment strategy
Assessing the Un-assessable
How to assess disabled students without breaking the law
Returning Feedback to Students via Email Using Electronic Feedback 9
Tools for Computer-Aided Assessment
Alan Fielding and Enid Bingham
Faculty Learning and Teaching Reports
Learning and Teaching News from the Library
Learning and Teaching Unit
The theme of this term’s issue of Learning and Teaching in Action
is Assessment. Plagiarism is something we all worry about and which we
need to be certain that our assessment strategies will deter it. Wm Johnston
opens the issue with a challenge to consider the concept of plagiarism
in student work and our responses to it. The Learning and Teaching Subcommittee
of the Academic Standards Committee is also considering ways to detect
and deter plagiarism and I’ve added a brief note after Wm’s
article outlining a pilot study to detect plagiarism using information
technology, which gives contact details if you are interested in participating.
Mark Langan and Philip Wheater from the Department of Environmental and
Geographical Sciences describe their positive experiences of using peer
assessment in their courses. The title of their piece, “Can students
assess students effectively?” neatly summarises the debate which
has accompanied this topic for many years, and we hope that the article
will stimulate much discussion among course teams.
Controversy may continue with the article by Edwina Higgins and Laura
Tatham, which describes their research into and use of multiple-choice
questions in the School of Law. There are many among you who will be sceptical
of the value of multiple-choice questions in HE assessment – Edwina
and Laura should convince you that there is something in it after all.
Gaynor Lea-Greenwood follows this exploration with a case study of multiple
choice use in the department of Clothing Design and Technology.
Changing the theme, Tim Dunbar, Senior Learning and Teaching Fellow in
the Faculty of Art and Design casts a welcome ray of light on product-based
assessment – a subject which many of us are unfamiliar with. It’s
certainly a challenging topic, and it may make you think more carefully
before you complain about marking the pile of essays in front of you!
Mike Wray follows this with a summary of good practice to follow in the
assessment of disabled students.
No issue of Learning and Teaching in Action would be complete without
some articles on Information Technology, and here Phil Denton from Liverpool
John Moores University describes his Electronic Feedback system which
facilitates the preparation and distribution of feedback to students.
This article is a follow up from Phil’s successful presentation
at the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s Learning and Teaching
Day in September 2002 (http://www.celt.mmu.ac.uk/across_mmu/faculty/lt2002sept.htm).
For those interested in getting computers to do even more of the work,
and inspired by the articles on multiple choice questions, Alan Fielding
and Enid Bingham have road-tested a selection of computer-based assessment
software for you.
Finally, Faculty reports round up what’s been happening across
the University, and Library News updates you on the latest Library initiatives
to support learning and teaching.
The summer 2003 issue of Learning and Teaching in Action will be co-edited
by Brian Murphy from the Department of Chemistry and Materials, and will
cover Lifelong and Distance Learning. If you would like to contribute
to that issue, please contact me at the email address below, or via the
Learning and Teaching Unit, All Saints.
I hope you enjoy reading Learning and Teaching in Action, and look forward
to receiving your comments and contributions to future issues. If you
would like further copies, please contact Lesley Hamoodi at the Learning
and Teaching Unit, All Saints (firstname.lastname@example.org,
ext. 3474), who will send you them if she has any left, or you could consider
being more friendly to the environment and consulting the WWW edition,
available from the Learning and Teaching Unit website at http://www.mmu.ac.uk/ltu/ltia
Learning and Teaching Unit
Support for Learning and Retention- University Wide Interest Group.
A group of colleagues from across the University met recently to look
at ways in which there could be a shared approach to work on Support for
Learning and Retention. The aim of the group is to identify areas for
collaboration and the sharing of good practice and to disseminate information
and materials of interest. The next meeting, on Friday 14 March at 2pm,
is open to all and colleagues with an interest in the topic are welcome.
The venue will be posted by email or you can contact Kate Kirk (email@example.com)
for further information.
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