Plagiarism-free inquiry project-based learning with UPCC pedagogy

Celina Wing Yi Lee, Samuel Kai Wah Chu, Joanna Oi Yue Cheng, Rebecca Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


(U)nderstanding plagiarism, learning about (P)araphrasing and related skills, generating proper (C)itations with an online citation tool and doing originality (C)heck with an online tool (UPCC) is a pedagogy developed by Chu and his colleagues (,) to help students avoid plagiarism. The UPCC pedagogy incorporates teaching the ethical use of information, an important facet of information literacy, into inquiry project-based learning (PjBL), a pedagogical approach that demands students to demonstrate high order information literacy. This study, adopting a mixed-methods design, evaluates the effectiveness of UPCC by comparing the plagiarism behavior of two cohorts of junior secondary students in their PjBL projects with and without the implementation of the pedagogy. In addition, upon the completion of their projects, the 2015 cohort completed a survey that evaluates their knowledge of plagiarism, and assesses the extent to which they endorse the helpfulness of the UPCC in domains including instructional support; understanding plagiarism; paraphrasing, synthesizing and summarizing; generating appropriate citations; and originality self-check. Students and teachers also participated in focus group interviews to further elaborate on their perceptions on the UPCC pedagogy. A trend in reduced plagiarism behavior was observed after the implementation of UPCC, and students expressed a generally positive perception on UPCC as an effective anti-plagiarism pedagogy. Quantitative and qualitative data showed that students who had better knowledge of plagiarism held a significantly more positive perception on the effectiveness of UPCC than those who showed poorer understanding of plagiarism. This may indicate that further refinement of UPCC is needed to cater for learner diversity and enhance students' motivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • Library and Information Sciences


  • Plagiarism-free
  • digital literacy
  • information literacy
  • inquiry project-based learning


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