Thursday, June 8, 2006
LWI conference attendees gained updated ideas on plagiarism problems today at a session entitled Cheaters Should Never Win and Winners Should Never Cheat: Rooting Out and Addressing Plagiarism in LRW Programs.
First Professors Melody Daily and John Mollenkamp, of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, explained a new process they used to test how much their students learned about avoiding plagiarism during the first year of law school. They had given their students a pre-test early first semester, and a post-test later in the second semester, and they shared their results. But first, everyone attending the conference session took the post-test and had a chance to experience the thinking process required of the students.
Next, Professor Jeanne Kaiser, from Western New England College School of Law, presented some anecdotes of plagiarism problems law students have encountered and some ideas for preventing as many of these problems as possible. She recommended particular aspects of assignment design that can help avoid problems, types of written and verbal warnings that may be effective, and certain computerized plagiarism detection systems. Among the later were Essay Verification Engine (EVE) and copycatch.com. Professor Kaiser also provided some sample written warning policies that are representative of those used by many legal writing programs, as found when she conducted a listserve survey.