March 2010 Site of the Month

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March 2010 Site of the Month
Diagnosis: Plagiarism
Authors: Mollie Gugler & Christine Abbate
Interviewee: Mollie Gugler & Christine Abbate
Institution: Yavapai College

Interviewer: Kristin Whitehair

Tutorial Description:  “Diagnosis: Plagiarism” is an online tutorial that includes content regarding plagiarism, dramatizations of a student exploring the concept of plagiarism, and online assessments for students.

Q: I’m interviewing Mollie Gugler and Christine Abbate about the “Diagnosis: Plagiarism” tutorial.  I’d like to start by asking what prompted this project?  What is the goal of this tutorial in regard to both students and the institution?
A: Chris Abbate, Manager of Instructional Service, kept hearing from students, faculty, and library staff that the students were not understanding plagiarism—what it is and how to avoid it, etc.  The head of Student Advising at Yavapai College also expressed a need to have something available to help students when they were charged with plagiarism.  The goal was to create a self-paced, interactive, online tutorial for the community college environment that would cover the basics of avoiding plagiarism.  It needed to accommodate multiple learning styles, not be specific to a course, be humorous, positive, include closed-captioning, self-assessments and measurable assessments, with a focus on MLA and APA style formats.  We also wanted it to be presented from the student’s perspective.  The tutorial was meant to be a tool for faculty to use as a standalone product or to be embedded in Blackboard, be accessible to students and the community at large, and be a marketing tool for the College. 

Q: Who was your target audience for this tutorial?  How did students and faculty respond to it?
The target audience was the students and faculty at Yavapai College both on-ground and online.  The responses so far have been highly favorable.  The Nursing Instructors are appreciative that they can direct their students to this tutorial without taking valuable time during their classes.  Students are thankful that they can view the tutorial and avoid being stigmatized by their lack of knowledge on the subject.  Other instructors assign their students to view it and complete the assessments.  There was a ground swell of excitement by the faculty and administration that this tutorial specifically addresses plagiarism and its consequences at Yavapai College.

Q: Can you talk a little bit more about who was part of the design process and who you collaborated with? And how did you all work together?
A: The DIY (Defenders of Integrity @ Yavapai) workgroup was formed in the spring of 2006 as a response to an informal survey regarding plagiarism at Yavapai College.  Those interested in talking about the ways to integrate plagiarism prevention strategies across the curriculum became the original members.  Members included library staff and faculty as well as the assistant dean for Student Development & Retention, the Career Services Coordinator at the Verde campus, and a tutorial specialist from the Prescott campus.  A subcommittee of librarians, faculty, and staff within the DIY workgroup volunteered to develop the tutorial.  James Rider, Library Technician with experience in technology, was instrumental in providing technical assistance and the development of the story.  The Technology Enhanced Learning Services department was also consulted throughout the project for instructional design tips and technical assistance.  The subcommittee met on a regular basis in person to develop the content and write the script with frequent emailing of materials back and forth.  As the need arose, sometimes one-on-one meetings would take place.  In general, there was a great deal of communicating between the members.  Within this subcommittee, another committee of librarians and library staff was formed to write the script.  Many hours were spent in the creative development of the script, quiz questions, rewriting the glossary with input from other DIY members and department chairs.  It was fun creating the persona of the individual characters in the script.  It became evident early on that we needed a student’s paper to use for examples throughout the script.  Mike Byrnes, Public Services Librarian volunteered to write a “bad” paper on “The History of Velcro” using MLA style format and then rewriting it in APA style format.  The hard part after that was writing a corrected version of the paper in both formats.

Q: What were some of the technologies you used to create this tutorial?  What skillsets are needed to create a tutorial like this?

  • MS Word to write script
  • Camtasia Studio 6
  • Adobe Premiere
  • iMovie

Skill sets

  • Scriptwriting
  • Quiz writing
  • Writing quality assessments
  • Ego needs to be left at the door—humble
  • Collaboration
  • Sense of humor
  • Attention to detail
  • Scheduling
  • Tracking changes
  • Project management
  • Diplomacy
  • Being pushy
  • Working on a tight budget
  • Being creative; thinking outside the box 

Q: About how long did it take you to put the tutorial together?

  • Germination of idea – April 2006
  • Earnest effort to develop the tutorial ran from Sept. 2007 – Dec. 2008
  • 1 month to write the script
  • 1 week to shoot
  • 1 ½ weeks post production work

Q: Have you done any kind of formal assessment of the tutorial, or do you have plans to do that?
A: An English 101 instructor in an online environment and a “Becoming a Master Student” instructor in an on-ground classroom piloted an assessment of the tutorial.  By using the pre and post assessments, faculty are always doing an assessment of the tutorial.

Q: How is this tutorial promoted to your users?

  • On our myYC Library Portal page which is available to faculty and students
  • YouTube
  • During Library instructions sessions
  • Flyers/handouts
  • Summer/Winter Institute presentations to faculty
  • Adjunct faculty training sessions (Spring ’09)
  • Instructors embed it in Blackboard
  • Librarians presented it at an Instructional Council meeting

Q: What was the biggest challenge you encountered in creating the tutorial?
A: District-wide involvement was a challenge in scheduling meetings, following-up on responsibilities, staying on-project (some key individuals were given other unrelated projects by administrators that took them away temporarily from our project).  Also, writing a script/dialogue as a committee was an exercise in diplomacy and compromise.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who was considering creating a tutorial like this one?

  • Buckle your seatbelt; it’s going to be a wild ride!
  • Anticipate the amount of time it will take and then double it.
  • Keep your core groups as small as possible.
  • Remember to have fun and keep your sense of humor.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add that our readers might like to know?
A: In spite of the many hours spent in the development of the tutorial, the rewards have been great knowing that faculty and students are finding it to be a useful tool.  This tutorial has also raised the status of the library staff to being the most fun bunch on campus.

March 2010 PRIMO Site of the Month