Category Archives: Academic Integrity

Citing Sources in Slide Presentation

A student I was helping at the reference desk recently asked me to examine a slide presentation he and a classmate were working on for an assignment. On one slide, there appeared a bulletted item that was clearly not written by the students. When I mentioned to the student that she should consider putting quote marks around the quotation and in some fashion identify the source, she seemed completely nonplussed, as though there was no need to indicate in this slide medium content which material was written by others. That got me to thinking that I haven’t really seen any guidelines or best practices about how to indicate in a slide that text or ideas came from another source.

I’m curious to hear what sort of advice instructors give to students about citing sources for slide presentations. While it easy to envision a final slide that is a reference list, it seems to be trickier to develop best practices for identifying sources in slides that make up the main part of a presentation. Should you use numbered notes? An author-date notation set in parentheses? A source note at the bottom of the slide? To what extent can the rules that are delineated in the major style guides (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) be applied to slide presentations? Do these rules, which were created to support the needs of scholars writing books, articles, and reports, work well in a medium like slide presentations, where there is a great deal of flexibility in the way text can be presented?

Posted in Academic Integrity, Communication Skills, Students' Skills and Abilities | 9 Comments

Who Put Your Exam on the Web?

The year was 1997. During a graduate school take-home exam in abstract algebra, one of my fellow students emailed the questions to and received answers before the exam was due.

Fast forward to 2005. One of my international graduate students showed me a website hosted in his home country (in a language not based on the Roman alphabet, therefore not easily searched by most westerners). Students post homework, exams, and solutions for many North American universities, indexed by class and professor.

I was happy to see that the Wall Street Journal wrote about these issues in their 9-April-2009 article “Do Study Sites Make the Grade?” by A.M. Chaker, pp. D1-D2. [1] If you aren’t aware, online study sites give students access to homeworks and exams posted by hundreds of thousands of registered users. They are the old sorority/fraternity files in the Internet age. According to the article, solutions to 225 textbooks are also now on the web. Furthermore, students post and answer questions from fellow users around the globe.


Posted in Academic Integrity, Learning Goals and Objectives, Using Technology | 6 Comments