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  • Writer's pictureKane Murdoch

Leaving on jet planes

Evening all,

Just a short one today as it's Sunday night in the land of my ancestors, and I'm in a pub (only the one pint for me tonight 😉).

So Shaun and I arrived in Dublin yesterday after the interminable rinse repeat of boarding, crap food, and 11 movies that is international travel from Australia to Europe.

I am over here for two reasons. Firstly, we're here in Ireland this week to deliver some training in data-driven misconduct detection. We're very much looking forward to meeting with the groups and walking them through our methods and process, as well as catching up with some friends made on previous visits. On the subject of methods, this article published in the Sydney morning herald a couple of days after we left is interesting. The journo has a glimpse into things, but I also wonder at some of those numbers. It's certainly not the case that they are false or inflated, but proving 1000 individual instances of Chegg use is very different to proving 1,000 cases of systemic, program long contract cheating. In part due to case management system limitations, and perhaps in part due to university preferences, those two things often appear exactly the same in university reports. I also wondered at the figures attributed to the university of Wollongong-406 "low level outcomes" and 120 "medium level outcomes." Low level is code for copy and paste plagiarism, and my guess is that medium level is mostly collusion in online quizzes. But no high level outcomes at all you say? Colour me intrigued. Quite simply that means they're not looking, and they're not looking because they don't have anyone whose job it is to look.

The second reason I am in these parts, besides going record shopping, is to attend the AHE conference in Manchester next week. Friend of the blog Phill Dawson gave me fair warningast week when he said the following about attending AHE:

I fully expect to meet good people who vigorously disagree with some of what we do and some of how we do it. However, as those who have met me might attest, I'm not one to take too many backward steps either. And while we don't publish data or methods on what we do, nonetheless our findings are true. When we have the most senior people at our unis firmly convinced of the reality we present through data, and when even govt ombuds can't fault our processes, I'm happy to proceed without academic approval. Nonetheless, I'm also genuinely looking forward to the conference, and especially looking forward to talking with folks about programmatic assessment, and how that can work in practice in disciplines other than medicine.

Ok, I've jabbered enough for now,

Until next time.


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