The OU centre for STEM pedagogy
The project will investigate patterns in the demographics and referral data, and student perceptions for Level 1 students who are referred to the Academic Conduct (AC) Office within C&C. Several research projects (e.g. Butcher & Fowle, 2019) across the OU have indicated that students from particular backgrounds (e.g. Black, low socio-economic background) are more likely to be referred for suspected plagiarism and/or academic conduct. By investigating patterns, this project aims to establish which (if any) groups of students are being referred to ACO. Both data sets will inform a next stage - which is to explore the design of interventions to improve participation and success of students from under-represented groups in STEM.
Data from academic conduct referrals will be investigated to identify patterns. Views of Module Team members delegated to check Turnitin/Copycatch and referred students will be gathered to gain a qualitative perspective on the nature of referrals. Similarly, data from English for Academic Purposes (EAP) referrals including demographics of the students will be investigated and the views collected to gain insight into the nature of referrals. Datasets will be examined to identify patterns and discern if there is a level of correlation. The project will initially look at level 1 students in C&C who have been referred for suspected plagiarism to ACO and EAP.
It is planned that patterns and potential correlation will be used to develop improved intervention strategies (e.g. referring to EAP, developing additional guidance) for students to support their academic progression.
Impact on staff and students could be significant with potential improvements in guidance and support for students in the areas of Academic Conduct (e.g. Writing for academic purpose) and EAP. There is further scope to have impact through improved retention, progression and student success through higher TMA submission rates.