INT640 Lesson plan: Honesty in academic writing

I wrote this lesson plan and delivered this lesson in response to discovering and investigating plagiarism in the Linguistics of ASL course in which I did a practicum (INT353). I had wanted to teach the lesson on vague language, but the course professor and I decided the students were not ready for the subject. This lesson was an opportunity to teach ethics and professional practice and turn a negative (plagiarism) into a positive (academic honesty).

I made sure to engage the students with questions about their thoughts and feelings about plagiarism and, conversely, academic honesty. I challenged them to rethink both sides when I framed the questions, “What are the consequences of academic dishonesty?” and “What are the consequences of academic honesty?” I delivered my lesson in ASL and I used the sign CONSEQUENCE like the sign RESULT with a C handshape instead of an R. I have seen the word consequences signed PUNISH but I deliberately did not use that sign. Still, it seemed to throw the students’ minds to think of the “consequences” of honest writing — which I think makes for a great teaching opportunity — and I helped them a bit by faceting CONSEQUENCE with GIFT, AWARD. It is interesting to me that I got the sense that it was different for them to think of their being consequences to honesty. I got one or two students to come up and say things like, “A good grade” or “Being published,” which is what I wanted them to learn. I felt this lesson went very well. I created the slideshow but did not show all the slides because it was more important to me that we have a dialogue than that I deliver a monologue with slides. Instead of showing all the slides, I posted them on Moodle in a special forum called Daniel’s Tidbits (INT353) in which I gave the students bits and pieces of educational materials and my own thoughts and analyses. This posting resulted in a discussion with six replies. After I taught the lesson, Elisa (the course professor) expressed her admiration and was even inspired to revisit her curriculum for the next term. She wrote to me:

I thought the lesson went extremely well and you handled the fact that nothing went the way you probably expected with grace and tact. I took some notes as I work on revising the syllabus. Some essential question I will include are:

  • Why write?
  • Why the conciseness of a 2-page chapter review?
  • Why cite? Why APA?
  • Why not an academic ASL submission? How do you cite in a vlog?
  • How do audiences differ for an ASL or a written English submission
  • What is the application to real life?

I really appreciate the sample you provided on Moodle, the quick posting of the powerpoint and the exercise.

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