Feature: Views From Tutors

By Norazlina Mohamad (norazlina_mohamad@oum.edu.my)


John Milton once said: “Copy from one, its plagiarism; copy from two, its research.” This famous quote ironically refl ects learners’ views about plagiarism. How do tutors view plagiarism? Let’s fi nd out!


CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

Tutors play a leading role in guiding learners when it comes to assignments and proper referencing. This can be communicated during face-to-face tutorials as well as online discussion forums. It is important for tutors to constantly remind learners to shun any form of plagiarism. This can be achieved by hammering home the severe penalties which learners may suffer from if caught plagiarising.

If learners are caught plagiarising, immediate enforcement is crucial to show that we are treating it seriously. It would be a painful lesson for the learners but they would learn from it. Fear of punishment is a good deterrent and should be utilised to affect positive change.

Dr Kuan Soon Lye
Permatang Pauh Learning Centre



CULTURE OF PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism is not a new issue and in fact has become entrenched as a form of negative culture among many learners. The values of integrity and honesty are not honoured; as long as assignments are submitted on time, the ends justify the means.

This culture of plagiarism is perpetuated as a result of poor attitude among the learners. With work and family to worry about, coupled with poor time management and study skills, they are tempted to take the easy way out through plagiarism.

When they do this, they miss the opportunity to do real research. Naturally, our learners will not be experts in their fi eld of learning if this culture persists. This will refl ect badly on the university’s reputation. As guardians of learning, it is our duty to ensure that plagiarism is nipped in the bud before it affects the academic integrity of the institution.

Haji Mohamad Umbaik bin Ismail
Petaling Jaya Learning Centre



LIKE TEACHER, LIKE LEARNER

Sometimes the learners are not entirely to blame when itcomes to plagiarism. True, they are the ones who commit the crime, but were they the ones who condoned it in the fi rst place? Apparently, schools today condone such acts of plagiarism by allowing, or worse, “teaching” learners to “copy and paste” information for the sake of completing the coursework. Surprisingly, the teachers actually spoonfeed the learners with information and appeal to the weaker ones to just copy. Isn’t this an encouragement to plagiarise?

If Malaysia wants to have world-class education standards, then we need to educate our learners from young to be honest and critical in their quest for knowledge. We as educators should play our part as role models to ensure that our learners inherit good learning and research habits through example.

Anna Mary Perumal
Sibu Learning Centre

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I can educate my learners about the wrongfulness of plagiarism by:

setting a good example i.e. not committing plagiarism myself in the notes or materials that I give them
 
teaching them the correct way to quote references in their assignments
 
explaining to them the difference between original work and plagiarised work
 
severely penalising them whenever they hand in plagiarised work
 
 
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