Michelle Roberts
Technology Teacher in Manatee County, FL

Plagiarism in Digital Design

I am fairly new to teaching middle school, recently moved up from elementary school to teach Business Education. I am having issues in particular with my 8th grade students with plagiarism. Mostly in my Adobe Illustrator class. They like doing tutorials which is fine while they are learning the tools and the techniques at the beginning of the year. However at this part of the year I feel like they should have enough working knowledge with the tools and techniques to start designing pieces on their own.

The problem is that they will go to the vector stock places and download files from there, edit them a little, and turn them in. As a graphic artist working with Adobe products for 25 years I am able to spot works from stock images. I've tried some of the visual plagiarism checkers, but they are not able to check through all of the stock image places to verify the images.

I am wondering how other teachers deal with plagiarism in their classrooms.

I have taught them about plagiarism, and the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. However, I still have students who continue to claim stock vector images as their work, even though I know better.

Thanks for any advice and help.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

  • Illustrator

    Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.

5 / 5 • 2 Ratings

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Jan Michael Garcia

Posted on 7/25/19 11:21:20 AM Permalink

​Up until now, I was not consciously aware that photos can be plagiarized as well. While we have plagiarism tools for write ups like Safe Assign and Turnitin, I have not heard of such tools for visual media.

Leona Guidace

Posted on 5/10/19 5:23:47 PM Permalink

​Hello Michelle,

I have high school students and try to remain vigilant in checking their work. I just keep advising them to seek higher standards for themselves, since it's difficult to know every image. I also administrate written tests assessing their art terms and process in hard copy, so they must complete tests without searching up answers.