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Referencing and empowerment: exploring barriers to agency in the higher education student experience

Gravett, Karen and Kinchin, Ian M. (2018) Referencing and empowerment: exploring barriers to agency in the higher education student experience Teaching in Higher Education. pp. 1-14.

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This article examines the challenges experienced by students when developing referencing practices. There has been minimal research into students’ development of their referencing skills, with referencing often considered a mechanistic skill and not worthy of attention. This paper argues that, rather, referencing is an area of practice imbued with issues of power and identity and that the difficulties students experience in this area are leading them to exhibit a lack of agency – ultimately, a form of educational ‘frailty’. Worried about plagiarism and confused by feedback, rather than developing the independent research skills we would wish, students look for instruction, and report feelings of anxiety. These themes are explored using questionnaires and interviews with a small number of undergraduate students. Based on the findings, this article concludes by making recommendations for widening our understanding of the difficulties students encounter, the need for further discussion and potentially greater scaffolding and support.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Department of Higher Education
Authors :
Kinchin, Ian
Date : 8 November 2018
DOI : 10.1080/13562517.2018.1541883
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on 08/11/2018, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords : Referencing; Anxiety; Academic literacies; Pedagogic frailty; Student experience
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 09 Nov 2018 09:47
Last Modified : 09 May 2020 02:08

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