ATMC’s Coordinator for Academic Language and Learning and newly appointed Manager of Student Welfare Services, Dr Tania Honey recently attended the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) conference to chair a round-table discussion on plagiarism.
HERDSA is a scholarly society for people committed to the advancement of higher and tertiary education. The aim of the four-day conference was to promote the development of higher education policy, practice and the study of teaching and learning.
The conference, which was held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia, provided an opportunity for academic staff to reflect upon and to critique the current shape and direction of higher education.
As part of the conference’s theme ‘The Shape of Higher Education’, Tania’s paper titled ‘Let’s play: an active interpretation of academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism’ addressed key issues in the area of plagiarism.
“My paper was about the fact that plagiarism doesn’t always deserve a punitive response because sometimes students do it because they lack academic skills such as paraphrasing, especially for international students,” Tania said.
“A lot of people in the audience were from teaching and learning departments and academic development, so they were dealing with plagiarism in some way, whether they were making policies about it or teaching support programs.
“Every academic has a really heavy work load, so it was about how you teach your students about plagiarism amongst everything else that you’re teaching them,” she said.
Tania said she received a lot of interaction from the audience as well as positive feedback about her presentation.
“Everyone got really involved and active. Everyone had opinions about it, so there was lots of talk.”
“One of the people in the group asked me to join a special interest group and write papers with her about academic integrity. So it was really well received,” she said.
HERDSA was a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn more about teaching and learning, according to Tania.
“It was a mass of information over four days with numerous sessions and panels. It was all looking at the shape of higher education, so it was very much about finding new strategies to inform students about how to write, reference and research effectively,” she said.
“I learnt so much that could help me with facilitating teaching and learning with ATMC students.”
Following her presentation, Tania was invited to join the prestigious HERDSA fellowship community.