All posts by berishevalaura

I will miss this…

This year has been especially hard in defining priorities and setting the right time to do the most important tasks. However, I am glad that it was almost done for one of the major fields we all used to keep in our minds every week. I remember my phone blowing up from conference-messages of my groupmates discussing the assignment content and dates. That was also good in keeping the bonds between the people from different places that were never close before the actual course.

I have never tried blogging before the actual course. Now I can look back and see myself panicking the very first day, when I was unable to register to the course. Hopefully, those days have passed.
Sometimes the course was very challenging too. I remember the times, when I could not find time to complete the assignments from on-going seminar and the blog. I was close to give up. Then the inspiration came.
The instructor of the course was helpful and quick to respond to every of our needs. It also helped us while struggling against the difficulties with course requirements and time management.

It was interesting to read the viewpoints of my group mates. Every time we were assigned new tasks to do, my group mates were quick and innovative to find different approaches and present the information in the way I have never thought before. I especially liked the one on teaching technologies. I shared many of them with my colleagues at school and they were happy to get these materials.
I would like to suggest several ways to improve the course for the next cohort of students:
1. To define the amount of work that the students receive from on-going courses and online courses in order not to create the issues related to time-management and poor quality of submitted works.
2. To set a connection with schools and verify the fact that the students are not assigned to do any tasks related to work. Otherwise the prioritization between two, leave the students with the work as more important.
3. To involve more of interactive exercises into the content of this course. This way the students will get a chance to ask questions they do not have an opportunity to ask the instructor.
In a nutshell, I would like to say that this course has been extremely helpful in defining both strong and also weak points in my knowledge. I will miss the course and the input of my classmates.

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Findings and Results

                                                           Findings
Introduction
This section reports on the findings of the analysis of the data gathered from the survey.
The survey questionnaire aimed to explore how several items such as time management, culture and workload of teachers relate to teachers’ plagiarism while participating in online learning. Several questions requested the participants’ demographic information such as gender, age and university major. Following the questions about background information the teachers were asked to move to the second section of the survey related to the culture. After answering situational questions the teachers moved to the third part of the survey dealing with the specialty, taught hours and the load the teachers have at school. Participants were asked to answer to the questions by choosing Yes\No alternatives.
The data from the questionnaire were analyzed by using descriptive and inferential statistics that helped to present general trends in the data (means), understand the spread of scores (standard deviation), and to compare the mean scores of two groups on a single measure (Creswell, 2014).
Conclusion
The chapter briefly reported on the findings of the research aimed to explore the relationship between academic honesty awareness and teachers’ plagiarism in online learning. As it was found out from the collected and analyzed data there is a significant amount of relationship between academic honesty awareness and teachers’ plagiarism on online learning courses. The main variables of this relationship are listed as following: time-management, culture of learning and teachers’ workload.

 

Continue reading Findings and Results

Why did I choose it?

I have decided to conduct an online learning research in relation to my main thesis. I have previously mentioned that it is interesting to find out the relationship between academic honesty awareness and plagiarism in online learning environment. This is the main topic, however I have several research questions coming from the topic:

  1. What is the relationship between plagiarism and time management?
  2. What is the relationship between plagiarism and culture?
  3. What is the relationship between plagiarism and the workload of the teachers?

By setting these research questions, I assume that there is an influence of the above mentioned factors on teachers’ plagiarism actions and they have to plagiarise even by being informed about academic honesty regulations.

In order to find the relationship between the variables I have created a survey comprising three different sectors with situational questions to answer. The teachers have to choose Yes\No answers and this would let me to measure the relationship that each variables have towards each other.  I have decided not to give any open-ended questions, as it would be quite challenging for me to deal with the results coming back from the teachers.

Further I am going to structure the answers and use SPSS in order to get the final results for each of the variables proposed.

The results would suggest what variables are the most deterrent and have a strong influence towards teachers’ plagiarism in online courses. I would also inform about the variables that would perform less in order to prove their minimal influence on the reserach findings.

The choice of this methodology would allow me to explore the relationships between the variables and see their influences on each other. In this regard, I assume that the choice I made for the methodology part is one of the best choices I had.

The first experience of the survey

The theme of my thesis is “The relationship between academic honesty awareness and plagiarism”. I can see a clear relationship between my thesis topic and online learning process. But while defining the relationship between plagiarism and online learning I got further and decided to explore the given topic in light of teachers’ perspectives. In our school we have many teachers doing their professional development courses online. As this is an additional course, the teachers usually have to fulfill the tasks in the evenings right after the school. This is twice harder as the teachers are often tired and have no motivation for creative and critical thinking. I even witnessed the cases when teachers copied the works as did not want to spend their time on that. But does this also mean that the teachers are not aware of the fact that everything is checked and they can be penalised?

So I have decided to find out the relationship between academic honesty awareness and plagiarism in online courses. This is a quantitaive study. In order to explore the topic, I have created the survey comprising three sectors with Yes\No questions and asked teachers of different subjects to fill in them.

Everything went quite well. By the end of the day I had almosrt thirty different answers from teachers. I almost did not have any challenges related to either mistrust or the fear from the teachers’ side. I assume that this happend because I am on an administrator’s position and people tend to believe me, although it may also cause some unexpected results that  could be done as an anticipation to my personality.

To conclude, I was happy to get a positive feedback on my first data collection experience and I do hope that the amount of collected data could allow me to complete the thesis on the issue of plagiarism in an online learning community.

Teaching without words

There are thousands of different approaches in today’s pedagogy that allow teachers to give and students to get the knowledge. The majority of them are based on words. Although, we try to escape lecture-based classrooms, not many people can say they survive “wordless” classrooms. However there are technologies that allow teachers to do so.

Matthew Peterson,  a young scientist proposes his vision of wordless classrooom, that is really engaging and highly efficient at the same time. Another important thing to be mentioned is that this approach is aimed to different audiences such as dyslexic students, students with low language comprehension level and serves as a good tool for class differentiation.

The system, that is shown through the examples of mathematics can be further developed for the other subjects too. One can be sure, that both physics and chemistry can be taught through the same approach. However, my concern stays with language subjects. If the main aim of the project is to address the knowledge without words, then teaching languages must not be an exclusion. There are many ways of teaching the language without language itself. One of the examples can be addressing learners through the usage of different visual aids. I usually use them for providing the students with different ideas for their written and oral tasks.

I would be more than happy to use this tool in my classroom to teach language, however, the fact that I teach language and literature in High school, somehow prevents me from trying to implement the system. One of the main barriers towards teaching it, is system’s interface. One can easily see that the penguin looks quite “cartoonish”, which is no longer interesting for high school students. If system-developers can propose improved interfaces, I am pretty sure that the audience will be multiplied.

References

Peterson, M. (2011). Teaching without words. Retrieved October 11, 2015 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VLje8QRrwg

So.. my thesis…

The theme of my thesis is “The relationship between academic honesty awareness and plagiarism in Kazakhstani secondary schools”. Although the topic seems quite familiar, it is true, that most secondary schools still are not aware about the notion of Academic honesty and as a result, we do have many dishonest cases happening on different occasions. Actually, it was not easy for me to come to a topic, as my little knowledge on academic research standards and types prevent me from getting a right path from the beginning. My supervisor Aliya supported me in this. So now I know what I am going to research about.

I have made a literature list, that I think is good to start with, already read them but haven’t started combining them together. One of the main issues that I am struggling with is my work. The school has to work on weekends because of different social events happening, as an administrator I have to be present in all of them. This is a quite tiring process and it takes all my energy away, so it is impossible to try to do anything on thesis.

I do not have big issues with finding resources, although this is challenging to see anything new. Most of the literature goes back to 2000s, which I suppose is already quite old-fashioned.

Another challenge comes with actual writing process. One can state, that trying to link the ideas of different people and making a harmonious text is not an easy task.  In this regard, it was quite helpful to revise APA styling.

I am still struggling with defining the right type of methodology. In order to prevent any possible slips, currently I am consulting Cresswell’s “Research methods”. I do hope it will help me to enrich my understanding and knowledge on research process.

Are citation machines helpful?

In recent years the issue of academic honesty has become crucial in our country. The teachers, university and even school students are requested to cite the authors while preparing reports, presentations etc. This is a good tendency, however the teachers need to always be aware of the fact that probably not all of their students do actually know the structure of citing. The reason for that goes back to the Internet. There are many online citation machines that help students to precisely cite their authors. I can understand the fact that one does not always have time to sit and consider all “points” and “brackets”, however this is a useful skill, that once remembered can further lead a student to careful citing.

Another important thing to mention is that APA style is not the only one used for proper citing. Two years ago in our school we had MHRA citing style, which later was found quite complicated and we gradually moved to APA. Today, all of our students are introduced to APA and try to fit its standards while writing their papers, however I have a fear that not all of them are “familiar” with original requirements. Moreover, the habit of using the machine instead of trying to deduce the structure of original citing technique can play tricks with students, as not all of the citation sites are trustworthy, as a result the students do not have a chance to check the originality of citations.

Personally, I always do my citations by hand and consider this right, I also try to teach my students not to rely on Internet much. I do hope that this will help my students to become autonomous and keep the knowledge in their heads, so that even in the right middle of the desert they could use proper citation style.

How to make the learners interested in online learning?

In recent years, the issues of online learning has become crucial as a result of fast-growing communities that are keen on producing and using different types of information. People all over the world use computers, send messages, create business plans and even try to set up their private lives. In this regard, making the learning online will greatly help to both save the time and resources. However there are certain issues that need discussion further.

The era of a stand-alone computer has passed. Today we have computers working in chains of networks. Berge and Collins(1995) point out, that networked computers have great potential in setting up the communication between different communities such as teachers, students, peers, parents and other members of community. This type of learning also does help to communicate the idea of the importance of gaining knowledge.

Another important point that plays for the benefit of online learning is that the learners are no longer vessels, that need to be filled with content but active participants of teaching process. These students do have the right to choose what and how to  study for their future. In addition Berge and Collins (1995) state that this method helps to shape the personality of a student, as he becomes responsible for his own education. It is interesting to also note that the students in this case can also measure the amount of study. However, it can also limit their education as not all of the students can be willing to struggle against difficulties.

Some authors claim that there must be special attention given to the organization of online-learning. Sheingold (1991), made a point that not just the students but also the teachers and parents must feel the importance and responsibility for the implementation of online-learning. It must also lead to the change in the educational system.

Among the problems that different authors have defined as the limitations of the implementation of online-learning – presence of students seem crucial. Moore (1989), later Anderson and Garrison (1997), pointed that interaction is one of the main tools that help to keep the students present and active. Moore (1989) has also proposed three different types of interaction such as: learner-teacher, learner-content, learner-learner. Although this model could remind a traditional classroom teaching, it is important to note that this model happen in a comparatively shorter period of time.

In a nutshell, online learning is already the tool that many are using either to gain or to reinforce the knowledge and its benefits are already proved. It is now crucial to point out and struggle against the limits that prevent the online-learning happen.

References

  1. Anderson.T. D & Garrison. D. (1997). New roles for learners at a distance. Distance learners in higher education: Institutional responses for quality outcomes, ed. C. C. Gibson, 97–112. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.
  2. Berge.Z & Collins.M. (1995). Computer-Mediated Communication and the Online Classroom in Distance Learning.  Computer-Mediated communication magazine, v.2, n.4, p.6
  3. Moore, M. (1989). Three types of interaction. The American Journal of Distance Education v3, n2, pp.1–6.
  4. Sheingold. K. (1991). Restructuring for learning with technology: the potential for synergy. Phi Delta Kappan, pp. 17- 27.

The relationship between academic honesty awareness and dishonesty behaviour in Kazakhstani schools

As a student I have experienced many unfair cases, when I got lower marks for the works that I have done myself, whereas my luckier classmates have been awarded “5”s  for their cheated ones. As I grew older and went to the University, I was the one, who helped a lot, others to cheat on teachers. After I become the teacher, I have realised how much harm this does to students’ lives. The most interesting issue was what are the reasons of students’ acting so? Thus, I have decided to choose this topic for my thesis.

The violation of the rules of academic honesty is seen by educators as a major problem that the educational institutions are currently facing (J.M.Christensen., D.L.McCabe, 2006). The significance of the problem that is now raised by scholars in different countries seems to be burning, as academic honesty is seen as the primary fact that diminishes the quality of students’ knowledge, if any at all.

In his article in University affairs, Mullens (2000) identifies academic dishonesty as “anything that gives a student an unearned advantage over another”. It includes different types of actions such as plagiarizing the paragraphs or the texts itself, paying the others to take a test, looking for the right answers in other students’ works, indicating false bibliography, requesting for a deadline extension, etc. (Mullens, 2000).

Strom and Strom (2007) discuss the problems that academic dishonesty problems can lead to, if not to be properly solved. Among these problems, they identify the problems of entering the university, developing creative and critical thinking skills that is highly required both in academic and professional lives. One of the perspectives that the students can benefit from would be the development of the sense of truthfulness that can be supported through the creation of academic honesty policies.

The existing evidence, however, does not indicate any specified data about Kazakhstani students. Therefore, more research is needed to identify what effect academic honesty regulations can have on the students’ academic achievement.

The findings of the research will be beneficiary for parents and students, in order to be familiarized with the methods and practices of developing awareness of academic honesty regulations.  Furthermore, the conclusions of the research will contribute to the body of knowledge in this area.

References:

  1. Hayes & D. Introna., (2005)., Cultural Values, Plagiarism, and Fairness: When Plagiarism Gets in the Way of Learning., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.          
  2.   McCabe, K. Butterfield & L.Trevino., (2012)., Cheating in college: Why students do it and what can educators do about it., The Johns Hopkins University Press.        
    1. Strom & R.Strom., (2015)., Cheating in middle school and High school., The educational forum.