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Peter Scott Design Narrative - A remedial session with a Level 1 student

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Peter Scott
10 April 2013

Title Remedial session with a new student


I am an Associate Lecturer tutoring a Level 1 course for the OU


I was asked to carry out a one to one session for a student in another group who had been identified by Turnitin on two occasions submitting work which was not original.


Identify how the student was approaching assignments and managing to submit plagiarized work having been previously advised about the same issue. Look at ways to improve his note taking and transcription of notes into essays without copying blocks of text. Work on examples of how to reference materials included in his assignments as quotes.


The options for a face to face meeting with the student were restricted; he lives some distance from me and a face to face meeting was going to be difficult to arrange. The session was arranged as an Elluminate session.

  1. Discussion of what the session was aiming to do with the student
  2. Discussion of what constitutes plagiarism and how the OU detects this
  3. Exercises on how to quote from another text with references
  4. Discussion of what paraphrasing is
  5. Exercises on making notes and paraphrasing a selection of articles
  6. Detailed discussion of how the situation had arisen, this identified the main area was in paraphrasing text.
  7. Exercises in using notes as a base for essays.
  8. Review of the points discussed and setting of further practice to carry out after the session ended.


I was not really that sure what to expect from the session, the student had previously been through a similar session and his tutor was surprised the issue had arisen a second time. The first issue was that the student had some difficulty in getting his microphone working with Elluminate, this made the session quite difficult in the earlier stages. This was compounded with English not being the first language of the student. At times, I did feel the session became very one-sided and feedback was hard to come by.

As the session progressed it was clear that the concepts were well understood but the application of the concept of paraphrasing was poor; whole sentences from the text were being copied into notes and these were subsequently being copied into the essays being written by the student in a verbatim manner. At the end of the session I felt the points had been understood and the exercises we carried out demonstrated a level of understanding of the materials covered.


There were two technical aspects that I left the session reflecting on. First was the difficulty the student had with setting his microphone levels adequately, I had given plenty time at the start of the session to complete the setup but lost some time in running through this a number of extra times. I also felt at times there was a gap in understanding what I was saying due to the student not having English as his first language. If I were to run this session I would send out a set of preliminary activities that needed to be completed before the session to avoid this delay.


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