#LTHEChat 59: Essay mills and academic verification: The sky is falling. The sky is falling! With Dr. Mike Reddy, @doctormikereddy


Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)

Dr. Mike Reddy is a Fellow of the RSA, Senior Fellow of the HEA, and a member of the Independent Expert Advisory Board for iParadigms Europe. He has been responsible for oversight of plagiarism detection and prevention in the UK since 2000, when he was appointed to the steering committee for the JISC Electronic Plagiarism Detection Pilot, where he advocated a wider response than just investigating software solutions, and a student-focused perspective on prevention, rather than detection and penalty.

He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of South Wales, where he teaches on the BSc Computer Games Development, and his research covers a range of topics from Computer Games for Learning and the Social Impact of Technology on Society. Mike has been consulted by the EPSRC, the GMC, the Media, and in criminal cases over the issue of plagiarism and intellectual property. He has also taken on advocacy work for students, lecturers and private individuals in cases of alleged academic misconduct.

Mike is a keen advocate of innovation in assessment, putting his money where his mouth is, with his emphasis on collaboration and process, rather than collusion avoidance and product. While he recognises assessment4learning is not perfect, even the failures (some spectacular) have been a learning experience for both lecturer and students.

He claims to be “an awful academic”, far more interested in the playing and the doing of life than the writing and reviewing, although he is active in several conference and journal editorial boards. Perhaps for that reason has been instrumental in raising debate over 21st century pedagogy and teaching practices in the UK, reprioritizing learning and reminding us that education is something you do for/with students, not at them.

Essay Mills and Academic Verification

Essay banks/mills and ‘commissioned essays’ are not a new phenomena; , the ‘verification’ of academic input has always been a concern. However, in an increasingly digital academic world, where the success of detection software could be argued to have ‘deskilled’ lecturers in focusing attention on direct lexical copying, the mainstream media have recently begun a more active campaign in presenting this so called ‘undetectable’ threat as an evolutionary predator/prey response to the originality report and Google search. This view seems to be shared by some leaders in academic integrity, who have advocated a legislative response, based solely upon litigation, rather than reflecting upon our pedagogy and practice. Wherever you are, I hope you can join #LTHEchat 59 to debate the challenges that ‘academic verification’ poses to future assessment practice, and whether the sky really is falling.

The Storify will be made available here: 


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See you Wednesday, same time, same place 😉 – 8-9PM (GMT+1) #LTHEchat

The LTHEchat team

About @katessoper

Technology Enhanced Learning Advisor, working in Higher Education in the UK.
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1 Response to #LTHEChat 59: Essay mills and academic verification: The sky is falling. The sky is falling! With Dr. Mike Reddy, @doctormikereddy

  1. Pingback: My CPD in 2016: Part 2 #LTHEChat – Fresh and Crispy

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