Exploration of Plagiarism Practices in Open and Distance Learning (ODL)

Tahira Bibi & Amtul Hafeez

Abstract

Open and distance learning (ODL) system is unique, flexible, less costly and preferable mode of education across the world. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) concept, and its related laws and procedures particularly plagiarism are new in the education system of Pakistan. The objectives of the study were to find out the causes of infringement of intellectual property rights especially plagiarism and compare the opinions of faculty members and learners on implementation of plagiarism policy. The population of the study was all enrolled research students (Ph.D.) of Education (2013-2014) and the faculty of Education, Allama Iqbal Open University. Sample consisted of all 35 scholars and 25 faculty members. Self-developed five-point Likert scale was used to collect data for the study. The research instrument was validated through expert opinion (face validity). The overall analysis of the first part of the questionnaire revealed about various causes of plagiarism including fear of failure to cope with others’ intellectual work and poor time management skills of students. The results of the study recommended that a policy about using various sources may be included in the course syllabus. Plagiarism detection services may be used cautiously and, in case of violation of plagiarism policy, disciplinary actions may be taken against the involved learner and advisor.

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