Curriculum redesign as a faculty-centred approach to plagiarism reduction

  • Sue Hrasky
  • David Kronenberg


The incidence of plagiarism is increasing, exacerbated by the availability of many information sources via the internet. Traditional approaches for tackling plagiarism reflect two distinct philosophies: either educate the students or catch and punish inappropriate behaviour. Both philosophies assume that the responsibility for avoiding plagiarism is the student’s so that whenever a problem is encountered, the blame rests with the student. The Australian Universities Teaching Committee (AUTC), established by the Australian Government in 2000, recommended a strategy reflecting a philosophy of sharing the responsibility for countering plagiarism across the student, staff and the institution. A key component of this approach relates to assessment design, which is the key focus of this paper. Practices regarding assessment and other strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of plagiarism at the University of Tasmania are documented and staff attitudes regarding the effectiveness of these strategies are identified. Impediments to implementing assessment strategies are also considered. By identifying both the strategies that staff see as effective, as well as the barriers to their implementation, universities can be forewarned about attitudes, obstacles, and associated resourcing implications that might be pertinent if the plagiarism response is to become a holistic one, in which all involved bear some responsibility.