Good Images, Effective Message?

Working with Students and Educators on Academic Practice Understanding

Pat Gannon-Leary

Deborah Trayhurn

Margaret Home


Work at Northumbria University has focussed on activity that extends opportunities for students to engage directly with the skills development necessary for sound academic practice. This has included highly visual campaigns on the ‘Plagiarism trap’, providing access to Turnitin plagiarism detection software, guides and sessions to highlight use of associated referencing tools. Sessions on a variety of topics, such as supporting study skills and reading of originality reports, have been provided for students on taught, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. This provision has included students working on collaborative partners’ sites and also those on research programmes.

Alongside the activities with students, ‘designing out’ approaches have been embedded in staff development within the educator community at Northumbria. Formative use of Turnitin is integrated throughout programmes and academic practice development is formally recognised within the University Learning and Teaching Strategy’s focus on Information Literacy.

This paper will outline and review these activities in a critical institutional context and evaluate responses from a variety of students and educators to determine how effective these measures have been. Developments underway for the University’s eLearning Portal using emerging technologies will be indicated and the extent to which these will assist in academic practice development considered.

This paper was submitted to the International Integrity & Plagiarism Conference which ran between 2004-2014. The paper was peer reviewed by an independent editorial board and features in the conference proceedings.