Towards more Liable Use of Internet Sources among University Students: Rethinking Teacher’s Routine Evaluation Methods

Author: Nadia Khiati

Keywords: Academic plagiarism, digital/cyber-plagiarism, referencing, teacher assessment, techniques


Within the flow of information of today’s digital learning environment, university students’ ill- informed use of external electronic sources negatively affects the quality of their academic writing.  While sanctions represent but the final disciplinary measure, university teachers’ pre-empting such academic misconduct before the final year project remains a necessity. This paper proposes a reconsideration of the teacher’s routine evaluation methods to promote good study skills, and thus high-quality teaching and learning. Drawing on personal teaching experience (in the department of English of Saida University), the paper suggests simple methods through which students routinely practice sound referencing. Preliminary observational data that triggered the topic of the present paper consist of samples of students’ internet-based assignments and project papers with missing references. Additional notes generated from classroom discussions with post-graduate  Master students about (un)intentional plagiarism represent the insider student perspective of its causes. Initial findings reveal that student-submitted non-referenced work was not only due to poor time management, paraphrasing, or note-taking skills but also to modeling poor citation habits (illustrated in the academic genres they were exposed to in their formal learning environment, such as PowerPoint presentations, class notes, hand-outs, and so on). The paper concludes with the necessity to raise teachers’ awareness of the importance of providing a good model of well-referenced teaching materials and learning support as the initial step. Other practical methods consist of constantly checking students’ work for missing references, asking them to resubmit their
work with requisite paraphrasing, as well as giving scores for correct referencing