• Finding a new voice: challenges facing international (and home!) students writing university assignments in the UK.

      Bailey, Carol; Pieterick, Jackie (University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
      With the globalisation of education, European universities are accepting increasing numbers of students from outside the EU. Some of these have experienced very different academic cultures from that of their host university, and may face difficulties in adapting to the requirements of their new institution. Even within Europe, academic cultures may vary enormously. One challenge which faces all those studying outside their home country is the task of writing academic essays: often in a foreign language and according to unfamiliar criteria. This paper draws on students’ reflections about the academic writing process in their first year at a UK university, exploring areas where the transition from their previous learning environment presents a challenge. It compares the previous experience of home and international students with respect to length and frequency of written assignments, research and organisation of ideas, language and referencing of sources. What is the best way to support them through the transition, and are we doing enough?
    • Student perceptions of the value of Turnitin text-matching software as a learning tool

      Bailey, Carol; Challen, Rachel (University of Cumbria, 2015)
      The University of Wolverhampton has been using Turnitin as a teaching aid with groups of students since 2007, but in 2011 changed its policy to encourage student access on a formative basis across the institution. In one School, 748 students undertaking final year undergraduate projects were invited to check multiple drafts via Turnitin before the final deadline. Use of the software was monitored, and students were invited to express their views on its value as a learning tool. Uptake was substantially higher where Turnitin was introduced within a module than through extra-curricular workshops. The number of draft resubmissions was greater than that reported in other studies. Most participants thought that despite certain limitations Turnitin was helpful in learning about appropriate source use, and wished it had been introduced earlier in their degree course. Given that the participants were in their sixth undergraduate semester, a surprisingly high number expressed anxiety regarding the risk of unintentional plagiarism.