Plagiarism leads to more student complaints

There is an interesting article on the BBC news site today about the 20% rise in student complaints against UK universities in 2011. The information comes from The Office of the Independent Adjudicator’s annual report. The main reason for the extra complaints appears to be confusion over plagiarism rules, you can read more in the article*.

Could this been linked to an increased up take in the use of plagiarism detection software such as Turnitin? Of course whatever the reasons for the increase plagiarism can not be tolerated and it is important to crack down on it. However, the increase in complaints (although still a small percentage of student numbers overall) seems to indicate it might be important to explicitly spell out policies at the start of university life, particularly for overseas students who may find a different culture to the one they are accustom to.

*http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18425282

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Helen Lewis on the Online Abuse of Anita Sarkeesian

This article gives a quite shocking account of the appalling treatment – by forces on the internet – of filmmaker Anita Sarkeesian, following her Kickstarter campaign to raise money to make documentaries about the treatment of women in video games.

I’m sharing it here because it takes in some interesting areas, including representation and treatment of women in games and online, and the nature of anonymity and culpability for abuse on the internet. Worth a read, but be warned – there is some awful language and imagery invoked.