A Case Study of Faculty Perceptions of Student Plagiarism
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This study examined faculty perceptions of plagiarism in the classroom using a qualitative case study methodology. A single university was used for the case study to locate all data under a single institutional culture. A purposive sample of eleven faculty were interviewed and content analysis was conducted on the data. The data were analyzed using Lave and Wenger’s theory of legitimate peripheral participation, a learning theory which proposes that all learning takes place in a community of practice and that learning takes place as a result of interactions between members of the community of practice. Because the data were analyzed using legitimate peripheral participation, faculty were asked to reflect on how they learned to write in their discipline, how they view their role in working with students as they become proficient in writing in their discipline, and what happens when students violate community practices. This study attempted to reframe scholarship that approaches plagiarism as a right vs. wrong issue and recast scholarship on plagiarism as an issue of students moving toward full participation in the community of practice of academic scholars under the tutelage of faculty members. Research participants saw themselves as mentors to students as they developed their academic writing standards and abilities, a philosophy in keeping with the tenets of legitimate peripheral participation. Research participants attributed violations of community standards to institutional constructs such as grades, social constructs such as culture or generation, or individual constructs such as moral character or upbringing.
Schaefer, Candace Hastings (2010). A Case Study of Faculty Perceptions of Student Plagiarism. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from