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Plagiarism detection for group assignments; lessons from the fraud triangle

Author Michael Farrell
Abstract Plagiarism issues can severely undermine the learning objectives of group assignments that require the submission of a final group report. This paper exams plagiarism issues through the lens of fraud theory by focusing on one element of the fraud triangle: Opportunity. This case study suggests adding an additional requirement to group assignments that requires final reports to contain the minutes of all group meetings held throughout the assessment period. By adding this relatively simple intervention mechanism, a lecturer will receive documented evidence of how a group proceeded with the assignment. This provides two significant benefits; firstly, the meeting minutes act as additional tool for highlighting potential plagiarism issues as the lecturer can rationalise the group report answer components against the development of those components. Secondly, instead of just viewing the outcomes of group work i.e. the final report submission, a lecturer now has oversight of the learning process the group went through. This provides valuable corroboratory evidence when deciding on final grades.
Keywords Assessment, Ethics, Integrity, Accounting, Fraud, Plagiarism.
Published In ICEP Proceedings
Year 2018
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