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Plagiarism in Teaching and Learning in Institutions of Higher Education in Nigeria

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  • June 2013
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Plagiarism in Teaching and Learning in Institutions of Higher Education in Nigeria By
Sunusi Sani Adamu

Department of Electrical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
Bayero University Kano, Nigeria

Summary
Plagiarism is a worldwide abominable phenomenon in literary cycles; and even more so in teaching and learning. This study reflects on plagiarism issues in higher education in Nigeria from pedagogical aspects. The main of source of inputs for the study are published literature, peer discussions, the authors’ personal experiences in his place of work and conducted external examinations by the author. It is established that different forms of plagiarism exists in the subject area in this country. A particularly worrisome form of plagiarism, which the author dubs as “cash –and-carry plagiarism”, where students “buy” project reports, ideas and pay for system construction, is a frequently occurring phenomenon. Many plagiarism detection approaches are also discussed. The study also explores various reasons which lead students to plagiarize. The most visible causes include a lack of clear policy on plagiarism, large classes, summative assessments, teachers’ apathy to assessments/assignments and also misunderstanding of the issue by both teachers and students. While it may prove difficult to completely eradicate plagiarism from institutions, the study concludes by suggesting a number of containment options, such as, establishing a policy, publicizing plagiarism issues, staff and student trainings, and also adopting best practices of higher learning.

I INTRODUCTION
The rapid deterioration of the quality of graduates from institutions in Nigeria may lead to the total collapse of the society, because education is a key to success and prosperity. Though many people attributed the problem to the usual rhetorics; lack of funding, infrastructures, etc, there are some subtle issues, which in most cases are conveniently ignored. Among them is the issue of...