I agree  with your comments, Jason, the only thing I would challenge ( or encourage you to challenge with your academics) is that sessional examinations can be used to stop cheating. There is increasing evidence of the use of increasingly sophisticated and small mobile devices in examination halls. Your excellent mathematician could be just a snapchat away!


From: Online forum for SEDA, the Staff & Educational Development Association [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jason Davies
Sent: 18 May 2017 11:22
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Non-essay based plagiarism


Hello Alice, and list

I can pass on some anecdotal stuff from Maths and similar which has been mentioned to me occasionally: plagiarism is often undifferentiable from collusion, and is only really detectable when mistakes are made during the working-out because those are more identifiable and therefore suspicious.

This has the effect of meaning that the only logical way to cheat is to do it really well, which means students have to work out how to do the maths properly -- maths which they're already struggling with (you see the paradox). Off the record, I've been told that just as essay subjects worry about essay mills being undetectable, they sometimes worry that clusters of almost perfect marks in coursework may indicate a social group with one or two excellent mathematicians happy to help others rather than a group of independently excellent mathematicians. But they shrug and say this is why they retain exams alongside coursework, and why the majority of the assessment should remain exam-based.

Looking forward to seeing your results, though. I'll ask around in relevant disciplines to see if I can get any more bits and pieces.



Dr Jason P Davies
Interim Director, UCL Arena
UCL Arena Centre for Research-Based Education (formerly CALT)
10th Floor, 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7HB

Visit the UCL Teaching and Learning Portal

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On 18 May 2017, at 10:48, Alice Lau wrote:

Dear colleagues,


We are currently doing some work with our colleagues in our Quality Unit dealing with Plagiarism, and were asked about support and advice on how to prevent, detect, identify and deal with non-essay based plagiarism. We have looked at some existing research and guidance but most seems to focus on essays/written work.


Could anyone direct me to any relevant research/existing guidance on non-essay based plagiarism please?


Thank you all and will summarise and feedback to the group if people are interested!


Best wishes




Dr Alice Lau (FHEA)


Senior Lecturer – Academic Development

Group Organisational Development

Coventry University
Portal House, New Union Street

Coventry, CV1 2PL






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