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Visual Plagiarism Workshop

University for the Creative Arts at Epsom
15 January 2009 10:30-15:30

This workshop will explore the concept of visual plagiarism and consider various techniques to avoid, detect and deal with plagiarism in the studio.


Margo Blythman (London College of Communication, UAL)

Pauline Ridley (LearnHigher, University of Brighton)

Session Outline
10:30  Welcome and introduction
10:45  Where appropriation and plagiarism meet… to say nothing of tribute and homage… Margo Blythman. 

There has been considerable work recently on all aspects of text-based plagiarism; however, there has been little exploration of non-text based plagiarism, particularly in the area of visual forms of communication. While most public, visual forms of communication have some sense and regulation of copyright, the particular issues of visual plagiarism in an academic context are much less visible. This session will outline the issues then enable participants to work in groups to address the issues from the perspective of their particular discipline.
12:30  Lunch
13:15  Visualising assessment Pauline Ridley
This session will draw on a recent study of visual assessment practices in different disciplines.  There is growing interest, even in ‘non-visual’ subjects, in the use of assignments such as posters, videos, photo essays or web pages.    These may be suggested as alternatives to written tasks for students with disabilities, or may offer an appropriate way for students to develop and demonstrate their understanding and analysis of visual communication.  We will discuss when and how the traditional written essay might be replaced by something more visual, and the challenges this can present for staff and students.  The discussion will draw on participants’ own experiences as well as some recent CETL-funded projects, including "Overalls" (an investigation into the systematic use of students’ protective white overalls as a vehicle for reflection), “FilmBank” (using archive film to develop critical skills) and a comparison of posters and PowerPoint presentations to present historical and critical studies work.
15.00  Plenary
Margo Blythman
Margo is Director of Teaching and Learning at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.  Her responsibilities include staff development, the quality of teaching and learning, tutorial systems and study support.  She has published with Susan Orr on such topics as retention, development strategies within higher education contexts and student academic writing, particularly in the context of art and design.  Recent projects include formative assessment in art and design and plagiarism in non-text based disciplines. Her academic interests also include the impact of quality assurance systems on the working lives of academic staff and micropolitics in UK higher education.  Her email address is
Pauline Ridley
Pauline taught history of art and design within studio-based courses and as a subject in its own right for many years before moving to the University of Brighton Centre for Learning & Teaching, where she contributes to academic staff development, curriculum design and projects on, for example, Personal Development Planning (PDP) and plagiarism.  She is also Visual Practices co-ordinator for the LearnHigher CETL (a consortium of 16 universities), with a remit to support the development of visual knowledge and skills in all disciplines.  For more details see the Visual Practices website:

Contact Name:
Leigh Garrett
Contact Email:

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