Transcript for Dennis Raphael Video – Part 2

Part 2 of the video by Professor Dennis Raphael talking about how he engages first year students in his health policy and management class at York University.

So we talk about plagiarism in class. We talk about why you wanna write a paper and in my particular case, with tutorials, for those 12 one-hour sessions we have, we do not focus on course content but instead we focus on questions such as why am I in university, what is writing a paper about ,why is it important not to plagiarize. And in a sense we decided that given the priorities of covering course content in the 12 tutorials or going over these broader issues and again these issues involved things such as why am I in University, what is expected of me, what is writing a paper all about, conflicting knowledge claims, the view that facts are not out there just waiting to be discovered and this applies to a whole range of fields certainly there’s no doubt in English literature and history about this but even in fields such as psychology, kinesiology, facts aren’t waiting to be plucked off a tree, that knowledge is constructed and that there are diverging viewpoints.

They then provide a final scholarly paper and then we require that they do a reflective essay that talks about what they’ve learned and finally we give them a large multiple-choice exam that covers all the content in the course, seventy percent of the textbook, 30 percent of the in class material and of course that in class material involves movies, videos, short videos taken from the internet, but the movies and videos do not dominate the class and at most they take thirty to forty minutes of the two hours.

So the long and the short of all of this is that you have to provide them with lots of structure. You cannot assume anything in terms of what they’re doing here and what their expectations are and finally in terms of keeping the plagiarism down we’ve achieved remarkable success in communicating to them that has to be their own work, what plagiarism is and isn’t and we’ve reduced on plagiarism down to one particular case last term out of 350 or so students. Good luck!