Plagiarism Prevention Program | Webster University

Plagiarism Prevention Program

If a student’s work is plagiarized, faculty may request that the student be enrolled in this remedial program in addition to or in lieu of disciplinary action. The Plagiarism Prevention Program seeks to educate students about plagiarism (what it is and how to avoid it) as a potential alternative to academic dismissal. The program stresses upon students the problematic nature of their work, the severity of their actions, and also how to avoid, correct, or prevent those issues in future academic coursework. Before requesting a student be enrolled in the program, faculty should understand how the PPP works and the steps involved:

1)      When an instructor refers a student to the PPP, several initial actions take place:

  • The instructor will be provided with a form letter to e-mail the student, informing him or her of the university’s policy on academic honesty, the course the incident occurred in, the academic consequences, as well as the student’s next steps regarding the PPP. An updated letter will be provided by the Plagiarism Prevention Program Specialist once the instructor determines the PPP is the right course of action for the situation.
  • An academic hold is placed on the student’s account. This hold will prevent the student from enrolling in any future courses; he or she will be able to finish any current classes but no other courses may begin until the program is completed and the hold lifted. If the student is enrolled in future terms already, those courses will be dropped if the student does not complete the program before the start of the new term. At no point in the program will a hold be lifted until the student’s work meets all requirements of the program.
  • At this time, the student will also be added to the Plagiarism Prevention Program online course in WorldClassRoom; this is a free course and students will not be charged. When the student is added, he or she will receive an invitation e-mail that signals enrollment in this course.

2)      The student must accept the course invitation in order to formally begin the program and have access to the course material. The course is self-guided, so when a student begins enrollment, it is his or her responsibility to progress through the material. Once a student has begun, the process as a whole typically takes several months, depending on how much time the student is able to dedicate to studying the material and completing the assignments. The student must progress through each of the educational modules and quizzes before he or she will be able to initiate the final project.

3)      Once the educational modules are completed successfully, the student will be informed of the requirements of the final writing assignment and may begin work on this project, a five-page research paper over academic integrity. This paper must illustrate what the student learned through the course of the Plagiarism Prevention Program class and demonstrate his or her ability to complete a research essay with appropriate source use and citation.

4)      Once a student has achieved a strong draft of the essay that he or she believes has met the assignment requirements, the student will submit the essay through WorldClassRoom, where the Plagiarism Prevention Program Specialist will review the assignment and assess how well the draft meets the program requirements.* A rubric will be used to help illustrate to the student where the essay is missing requirements, needs improvement in certain criteria, or has met expectations. In addition to this rubric, the student will receive direct commentary from the PPP Specialist on the content of the drafts as well as recommendations and instructions on how the essay can be revised to meet the expectations of the program and standards of appropriate source use.

5)      The student will then carefully assess the feedback provided by the PPP Specialist and make qualitative changes that work toward meeting any requirements that needed further improvement.* Each student must bear in mind that this drafting process (submitting a draft, receiving the specialist’s feedback, revising, and submitting again) will typically be repeated a number of times, with the PPP Specialist providing feedback with each new draft. The student will be asked to continue to revise the essay until the specialist has noted that the submission meets all program expectations.

6)      Once the student’s paper illustrates a thorough and effective understanding of academic integrity and source use, he or she will pass the course. Enrollment in the Plagiarism Prevention Program will be concluded and the PPP hold will be lifted from the student’s account. 

*If clear plagiarism is present in a PPP submitted draft, the student will not receive feedback and will be referred to the Academic Honesty Board.