Plagiarism Intervention Using a Game-Based Tutorial in an Online Distance Education Course

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This project assesses the ability of a game tutorial, “Goblin Threat” to increase university students’ ability to recognize plagiarized passages. The game tutorial covers information about how to cite properly, types and consequences of plagiarism, and the differences between paraphrasing and plagiarism. The game involves finding and clicking on “goblins” who ask questions about various aspects of plagiarism. Sound effects and entertaining visuals work to keep students’ attention. One group of 177 students enrolled in an online Psychology of Adolescence course answered four multiple choice plagiarism recognition questions in the months after completing the online game tutorial while another group of over 400 students in the same online psychology course did not have access to the game tutorial, but answered the same multiple choice plagiarism recognition questions over the same period of time. The group who played the game tutorial showed an 11% improvement in recognizing plagiarized passages over the comparison group, a statistically significant difference. Results suggest the ability to keep students focused may be an important ingredient for plagiarism interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-439
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Academic Ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec. 2019


  • Accidental plagiarism
  • Distance education
  • Online education
  • Plagiarism intervention


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