Generating Knowledge and Avoiding Plagiarism: Smart Information Use by High School Students

“The article reports phase 2 of a two-year study, dubbed the Smart Information Use project, the focus of which was appropriate seeking and use of information by students at various stages of their high school education, along with the avoidance of plagiarism. In four Australian high schools, teacher librarians and classroom teachers developed and trailed strategies to teach students how to avoid plagiarism. Each school used action research and one of two pedagogical approaches, referred to as “instructional practice” and “inquiry learning.” University researchers undertook evaluation using an interpretivist/constructivist framework. Students, teachers, and teacher librarians were interviewed, mostly in focus groups. The strategies used in both approaches are described, along with the findings of the evaluation. Both approaches were found to help students to avoid plagiarism. The discussion section includes student and teacher predictions about changes in future practice, the importance of student engagement with topics, and assessment issues. The conclusion discusses the lessons learned, focusing particularly on the need for a whole-school policy if plagiarism is to be counteracted. Good collaboration between teachers and teacher librarians is crucial. The two pedagogical approaches, taken together, provide a powerful repertoire of ideas that can be implemented over time in any secondary school anywhere.”

This article is written by these two scholars:

Kirsty Williamson, Director, Information and Telecommunications Needs Research, Caulfield School of Information Technology, Monash University and, School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University

Joy McGregor retired senior lecturer and current adjunct senior lecturer, School of Information Studies, Charles Sturt University

The full article can be downloaded here:


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