GENIUS "plaGiarism or crEativity: teachiNg Innovation versUs Stealing   


Comenius Multilateral Project n° 518603-LLP-2011-IT-COMENIUS-CMP 

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The project, addressed to teachers and students of upper secondary schools, wants to strengthen  learners’ skills by encouraging their initiative, their creativity along with their innovative spirit. Students surfing the Internet do not always give a critic approach to the information found from the web. They are often convinced of  reliable contents and are used to “paste and copy” for their reports, short thesis, etc.

GENIUS project plans to develop and carry out two online courses, one for students and another for  teachers, aimed at dealing with several topics as plagiarism or copyright and the correct use of Internet in the schools. A close attention is given to the “Battle of Minds”, a kind of play where two teams of pupils coming from different countries are asked to challenge on creativity level, and, at the same time, they have to find out the plagiarism of the rival team. 

The GENIUS partnership, (3 Universities, 2 associations of teachers, 2 secondary schools and a local National Education Board) from 7 different countries (ES, GR, IT, PT, RO, TR, UK), after having established  the competition rules, appoints a committee of judges along with two moderators to support the two teams. These latter, with the help of teachers of English, informatics and arts, will write two papers: one original and a false one. Each team will examine the work of the other trying to guess which is the original. The judges will evaluate the work of the two teams and elect the winner. The final competition will be carried out on a project e-learning platform, where didactic resources will be uploaded.

Finally the schools partners, the students and the teachers of the different countries will write a code of conduct, called “Code to Be GENIUS”, which will be inserted on the project website.



GENIUS develops a dynamic learning pathway for teachers and students separated at a first stage, joint in a second one, the competition. The main activities of this two-year (2011-2013) project are: 

§  Paper Strategy: design, translation and distribution of GENIUS brochures/posters, a special issue of Scuol@Europa, GENIUS article in a local newspaper in Turkey, GENIUS article on FORMAMENTE, a further article on GENIUS outcomes in Scuol@Europa;

§  Multimedia Strategy: design, development, content translation of 3 Newsletters, GENIUS website, the electronic version of special issue of Scuol@Europa as well as the special article included on Scuol@Europa before final conference,

§  WEB TV Strategy: production of WEB/TV GENIUS video promo and WEB/TV Report on final conference and their Broadcast on Marconi Channel.

§  Valorisation contacts’ database developed and updated during the project life. It will include representatives of target groups, key contacts for dissemination and exploitation activities. 




  1. Multilingual Online course for teachers based also on Open Educational Resources (OER) for teachers about Plagiarism, Fair use of Web, Copyrights, citing, source’s reliability, Digital fluency/lack of transversal students’ skills, pedagogical methodologies to stimulate creativity

  2. Multilingual Online course for students based also on OER about Plagiarism, sanctions, Fair use of Web, Copyrights, critic approach to Webpage, source’s reliability, citing, how to find out a fake, Creative writing, innovation against plagiarism in business.

  3. Battle of Minds” Competition. Students from different countries are split in 2 teams. Each team first draws up 2 documents in English, one original and one fake. Later on each team assesses the rival documents detecting the original and fake one. Judges assess each response and declare the winner. Students face everyday choice: reason and re-elaborate existing documents or lazily copy and paste content and ideas don’t citing the author. Students from different countries will enhance social and cultural integration, merging of experience and knowledge sharing, social and civic EU citizenship. Learning pathway improves students’ English skill and e-skills encouraging employability according to “New Skills for new Jobs”. Teachers’ participation in teams highlights that they belong to the same team not only in during competition but in the whole growth pathway. GENIUS enhances students’ key competences: learning to learn, social and civic competences, sense of initiative and entrepreneurship, cultural awareness and expression, language, English and digital competence.

  4.  “My Myths” Best Practices supports students in evaluating the value of ownership, the hard work beneath the best ideas (i.e. inventors of Youtube, Facebook, Google or famous blogger).

  5. Code to be GENIUS”, based on Researches’ results, is a code of Conduct, reference document to run a fair transnational project and contribute in building fair European Citizens.

  6. Open Educational Resources database concerning Plagiarism issues, reviewed and updated by teachers and students.


This project, coordinated by USGM, is carried out by a multinational partnership including institutions from seven countries: Italy, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom:

  1. 1.    Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi (USGM), Rome is the first Italian Open University recognised by Ministry of Education, University and Research (March '04). USGM has a great experience in promoting and developing breaking learning methodologies such as Virtual C@mpus Platform, Mobile, e-Book and Web TV/Marconi Channel which offers thematic channels, play lists and high quality streamed audio and videos. Core aim of University is the promotion of the research in Education mainly focused on individual potential tailoring the best pathway. It promotes pedagogical methodologies to strengthen students’ transversal skills through Faculty of Education, Bachelor and Master degrees in Educational and Training Sciences and encouraging in depth articles publication among its professors, researchers and lecturers. Likewise, vocational training is also delivered trough national financed projects to enhance self-entrepreneurship skills, students’ employability or Fair Business, Ethic Finance and new forms of social economy.

  2. 2.     Epagelmatiko Lykeio Axioupolis is a secondary public school located in Axioupolis, in the Central Macedonia region of Kilkis (North Greece). The school was founded in 1982, has 40 faculty members, involves 40 teachers & 200 students and has 7 different fields of study. These fields are: 1.Informatics & Networking, 2.Electrical engineering, 3.Mechanical engineering, 4.Office & Financing, 5.Vehicle engineering, 6.Health care and 7.Agriculture. The school has participated actively in numerous national and European projects and programmes, such as: CODIESE, Lingua, Leonardo da Vinci and Comenius.

  3. 3.     Confederación Española de Centros de Enseñanza (Spanish Confederation of Education and Training Centres) (CECE), Madrid, ES, is a non-profit employers´ and professional organization founded in 1977. It represents a wide educational sector in Spain from nursery school to university level.  It has more than 5.000 Education and training centres among its members. Its institutional roles are the management of updating for educational agreements; the negotiation of the collective agreements for this sector; the representation of this sector in the collegiate boards with educational participation;  institutional presence in the Spanish Employers Organization (CEOE) and in some international organizations in which it takes an active role as well as the relationship and contacts with Education Public Authorities. CECE gives support to his members in 5 areas: (1) organization of lifelong learning courses for teachers; (2) implementation of technological innovation in its members; (3) internationalization of the members; (4) Assistance in the implementation of the EFQM Excellence Model in its member institutions. (5) Legal consultancy for the member institutions.