Copying and Plagiarism at University

Copying and plagiarism have always been apparent for various reasons and manifested in many ways.  Reasons can include rote learning via pedagogy versus andragogy, not coping or under time pressure which can lead to short cuts that can be easily identified by software such as Turnitin.

From Henrietta Cook in The Sydney Morning Herald:

How unis can beat the cheats by finding ‘fingerprints’ in their essays.

The tell tale signs of a cheat could be lurking in a comma or a seemingly innocuous double space after a full stop.

As universities grapple with a rise in contract cheating – which involves students outsourcing their assessments – technology is clamping down on the unethical practice by monitoring students’ unique writing styles.

The software, which has been created by US-based company Turnitin and will be launched later this year, is being developed and tested at Australian institutions including Deakin University, the University of New South Wales, the University of Wollongong and the University of Queensland.

Forensic linguists – the experts who scrutinise ransom notes and suspicious wills – helped identify 70 different factors that feed into a person’s unique writing style.

These include the use of commas, parentheses and dashes, how they list examples and whether they double space after a full stop…

…. Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said universities were continually coming up with new ways to detect cheating.

“There’s a clear message to all students in this: if you try to cheat, it’s very likely that you’ll get caught. So just don’t do it.”’

 

Advice for students (and institutions) would be learn how to write academically (should be compulsory in all university foundation and/or bachelor degree programs), plan well with time management to include good research of references or sources, use required referencing system (correctly) included in process of note taking, paraphrasing and synthesis, have draft for checking by lecturers, tutors or learning advisors, for feedback.

Further, institutions could provide a generic TurnitIn point for students to check essay or report drafts and be rewarded for process, as well as grade outcomes.

For more articles and blogs about teaching, learning and assessment click through.

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Marketing Word of Mouth Push Pull Factors International Student Satisfaction

International Education Marketing – Push and Pull Factors, WOM, Satisfaction & ROI

 

Extract from MBA dissertation:

How do international students’ information seeking behaviour relate to marketing and communications strategy in international education?

 

Some decades ago research highlighted home country ‘push factors’ vs destination ‘pull factors’ considered with following prioritised steps: decide to study abroad, choose destination and then institution; much impacted by WOM (word of mouth) of influencers, peers and family (Mazzarol & Soutar, 2002).

This model is too simplistic nowadays with many other potential factors or dimensions.  Additionally, it ignores the detailed factors related to how students search for information, that matches an optimal strategy i.e. including WOM amongst friends, more on social media (SM) and MIS (Management Information Systems) to match (Whitler, 2014).

 

Further, in addition to course choice, is the need for increased service and information quality to support students and increase the perception of quality, suggesting a linkage between quality and effective marketing (Russell, 2005).

 

Other issues that have not been addressed include the lack of detailed marketing strategy evaluation to assess effectiveness and direct outcomes, versus return on investment based upon on enrolment outcomes, while ignoring processes in between (Hemsley-Brown & Oplatka, 2006).

 

Good strategy should allow focus upon relevant factors, along with WOM communication for analysis and transmission of marketing messages, through analysis of the information seeking factors making up that phase or dimension.

 

Further, this may include revisiting marketing process based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), that may not represent the process fully e.g. both existing and prospective student behaviour over time, digital channels or social media carrying WOM, and accordingly maybe invalid?

 

Reference List:

 

Hemsley-Brown J & Oplatka, I (2006) Universities in a competitive global marketplace. International Journal of Public Sector Management. 19(4) pp. 316 – 338. Available at:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513550610669176 (Accessed 18/11/2016).

 

Mazzarol T & Soutar G (2002) Push pull factors influencing international student destination choice.  The International Journal of Education Management. 16(2) pp. 82-90. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513540210418403 (Accessed: 18/11/2016).

 

Russell, M. (2005). Marketing education: a review of service quality perceptions among international students. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 17(1). pp. 65-77 https://doi.org/10.1108/09596110510577680 (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

 

Whitler, K. (2014) Why word of mouth marketing is the most important social media.  Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2014/07/17/why-word-of-mouth-marketing-is-the-most-important-social-media/#2f76616d54a8 (Accessed: 10/05/2017).

 

 

 

International Education – Experience of Students and Stakeholders

International Education: Experience of Students and Stakeholders – Quality, Marketing and Customer Journey.

Summary of minor research dissertation for Master of Education (Education & Training) awarded in 2002 by Victoria University, Melbourne, related to international education according to former international students and stakeholders leading to a cyclical quality and marketing paradigm.

What is the experience of international students and stakeholders?

International Student Experience (Image copyright Pexels)

Proportionally less funding due to ageing permanent populations and workforces competing for state resources compelled universities and education institutions to attract full fee paying international students to both make up budget short falls, support tax base and subsidise domestic students; temporary immigration to balance government budgets.

Australia has been very successful in attracting students from the Asian region, especially India and China, with commensurate calls for more diversity e.g. students from Europe and Africa.  While quality and marketing are strongly related, research into these factors can assist in more systematic and informed marketing, especially through qualitative insights as opposed to interpretation of solely quantitative data.

Existing research is generally restricted to state sponsored surveys of general student population and institutional level students, already on campus.  Good research should use qualitative techniques e.g. grounded theory, to allow issues or concerns of students and stakeholders emerge without prescribing factors restricting and limiting insight.

Qualitative research methods can achieve validity, simplicity or utility and reliability of factors to be evaluated in international education at the institutional, faculty of course level as part of quality and marketing system.  According to an international education researcher:

“‘If they don’t like our courses, they wouldn’t come would they? I haven’t heard anyone complaining, have you?’

Attitudes such as these, though seldom voiced loudly or publicly, may be covertly present in many higher education institutions. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that all too many institutions see overseas students solely or mainly in financial terms they are also an important educational resource, bringing fresh perspectives to our culture and are by no means simply a lucrative nuisance to be tolerated”

Already we are observing how globalisation exemplified by increasing mobility for travel, study, work and life leads to more competition or choices for international students.  Accordingly, institutions whether international and/or domestic, need to satisfy stakeholders through feedback, comparison and improving performance or quality; not waiting for state sponsored surveys.

To achieve consistent quality of value creation and delivery to the customer, sustained research and feedback from intermediate and final customers is required.  Without ongoing internal and systematic market, social and education research there is a danger of institutions, especially large, losing touch with students and stakeholders therefore not delivering a quality service; thus compromising their survival.

For related articles see Andrew Smith’s profile on Academia.

Learning Theory – Behaviourism – English Language Teaching – CELTA

Learning Theory – Behaviourism – English Language Teaching – CELTA

 

In language learning, and one’s own experience via RSA Cambridge Teach English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) now Cambridge English Teaching to Adults CELTA, is a communicative approach, based mostly on behaviourism, very much stimulus and response.

(Image copyright Pexels)

 English Teaching Model

 

There should be a clear process whether grammar/language structure, new vocabulary, function etc. hence the cyclical PPPP model, Preview, Present, Practice and Produce.

 

An example could be functional language of ‘shopping’ e.g. convenience store:

 

  • Preview via image of shopping, elicit vocabulary, grammar and dialogue (including shopping list) from learners.
  • Present via audio or AV recording, reinforce key structures or phrases, correct pronunciation etc. via concept check questions of random learners. If concept not understood start again.
  • Practice or drill dialogue, e.g. model between instructor and learners, then learners practice dialogue in pairs (with monitoring).  If not correct do again.
  • Production via role play where random students act out situation several times with different partners without assistance, monitored and followed by correction if needed (eliciting correct answer from leaners).
  • Review, if unable to ‘produce’ well, go back and do again.

 

  1. First stimulus comes from the instructor and atmosphere they create for learners to learn in a positive and interactive environment.
  2. Second, stimulus for Preview and Presentation above learners to understand and become interested and motivated in providing a response.
  3. Thirdly when learners do activity with each other and not instructed centred they use stimuli of questions or requests and the other with respond; vice versa.

 

At each phase there should be an observable outcome, especially at the end when all should ‘produce’ the structure well, in this case higher degree of fluency and confidence.

Behaviourism like above is good because it’s active learning, practical, reinforcing, controllable and clear in outcomes.

The negative could be when wanting higher level outcomes e.g. not skills of regurgitation or rote learning but analysis, reflection etc.; learners can be assessed further in written evaluation of their learning through reflection etc.

For related blogs or articles click through Education Training Learning.

International Student Information Seeking Journey – Overview

How do international students’ information seeking behaviour relate to marketing and communications strategy in international education?

 

Background and Overview

 

‘We have all these enrolled international students on campus showing success in our marketing, communications and financial ROI, yet we don’t know how they got here and what they think of their study experience?’ (Paraphrasing an anonymous university Marketing Manager, 2008).

Significant research has been conducted regarding international student marketing and recruitment identifying ‘why’ students make study purchase decisions, and return on investment (ROI) but not ‘how’ they reached their decision, or what was their information seeking behaviour?  Knowing and understanding this behavioural dimension can inform and improve marketing and communication strategies in the digital era.

 

Research Proposition:

How do international students’ information seeking behaviour relate to marketing and communications strategy in international education?

The international education and related service industries, generally know and understand the factors of ‘what’ and ‘why’ behind purchase decisions, but not the actual information seeking behaviour in a now digital environment.

 

However, by learning and knowing ‘how’ on consumer or student behaviour, a model or a template can be developed for marketing and communications strategy, and skills required to access prospective students in a digital age.  This can lead to more informed and effective marketing practices, strategies, and evaluation of ROI based upon deeper understanding of the information seeking phase and value of related channels or media.

 

International Students and Customers – Important Marketing Resources

All students and stakeholders have much market intelligence and expertise through their experience with education, accordingly they are an active, informed and valid source for research and feedback on the sector, to offer insight into not just what latent factors help students make decisions, but how, in a dynamic environment.

Further, a previous research study led to a cyclical marketing paradigm representing the process for students and stakeholders, from information gathering through the education experience.  Then students and alumni becoming ‘influencers’ as peers to attract new students at start of the cycle again, through both ‘word of mouth’ WOM and online.

This cyclical construct also resonates with the research literature in marketing, consumer behaviour and information seeking, represented by a process or time line of interaction and communication.