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Turnitin or Turnitoff? Academic Integrity The UWS approach Liz Curach University Librarian UWS.

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Presentation on theme: "Turnitin or Turnitoff? Academic Integrity The UWS approach Liz Curach University Librarian UWS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Turnitin or Turnitoff? Academic Integrity The UWS approach Liz Curach University Librarian UWS

2 Plagiarism: a new phenomenon? "In comparing various authors with one another, I have discovered that some of the gravest and latest writers have transcribed, word for word, from former writers, without making acknowledgement.” Pliny the Elder (23 AD-79 AD), Natural History

3 Plagiarism defined..  Plagiarism is the presentation of the thoughts or work of another as one’s own St James Ethics Centre  … to take and use the writings of another (from the Latin ‘plagiarus’, meaning kidnapper) Oxford English Dictionary

4 Plagiarism on the rise?  18,000 participant study confirmed that internet plagiarism was prevalent across 23 US institutions: –38% of participants had engaged in more than 1 instance of ‘cut and paste’; –44% believed such behaviour trivial and not cheating; –90% of students believe cheaters are never caught or disciplined.  Plagiarism from books and paper based materials remains slightly more popular than internet plagiarism. Rutgers University, 2003

5 Plagiarism on the rise? (cont’d)  75% of respondents never plagiarised  9% plagiarised once  18% plagiarised more than once  3% believe that plagiarism not cheating  78% classify plagiarism as moderate to severe cheating  Detection rate is only 3%  83% of respondents disapprove of plagiarism JISC Plagiarism Advisory Service (UK), 2004

6 It’s easy to cheat ….  Verbatim copying – copy / paste  Recycling: same assignment submitted more than once for different courses  Ghost writing (including mum and dad)  “Paper mills” and cheat sites (250+) offer many resources (free and fee based) for student “success”

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11 Why do students plagiarise?  Poor time management or research skills  Lack of interest in the subject  Lack of knowledge or ability to write / research an assignment  Problems of writing in a second language  Poor citation skills  Low likelihood of detection  Ease of cut and paste from web and cheat sites  Over-emphasis on grades vs learning  Lack of knowledge of what constitutes plagiarism or academic integrity

12 The UWS approach to plagiarism prevention  Clear and widely promulgated policies;  A whole of institution commitment to academic integrity;  UWS values Scholarly Rigour and Integrity  University wide support structures;  Availability of Turnitin text matching software

13 Turnitin  Electronic text matching software (digital ‘fingerprinting’);  Developed in US by Prof James Barrie;  Demonstrates highest rate of detection from amongst a range of subscription checking tools;  UWS focus on prevention rather than detection.

14 What text is matched?  Internet resources (4.5 bill www pages, including archived pages;  Proprietary databases (Gale, Proquest, e- books, newspaper collection)  Previously submitted student papers (10 mill +)  Assignments obtained from paper mills

15 What is not matched..  Print based materials;  Range of proprietary databases – e.g. Psychinfo, Ebsco …..;  Diagrammatic, pictorial representations, mathematical formulae;  Anything pre www

16 Plagiarism detection?  NO!  Turnitin does not detect plagiarism; Matched text does not necessarily translate to plagiarism;  Turnitin cannot ‘think’ or apply qualitative judgements;  Turnitin does not differentiate between legitimate citation and unsourced secondary text used either in error or illegitimately

17 How Turnitin works ….

18 Originality reports  Highlight matched sentences / phrases;  Provide links to original source;  Indicate overall percentage of matched text - ‘similarity index’;  Colour coding assists in interpretation;  Academic judgement must be applied in interpreting the originality reports.

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21 Turnitin as an educative tool  Students self submit draft assignments prior to due date for originality checking; –Multiple submissions permitted up until due date; –Students review originality reports, correcting citations, paraphrasing etc. prior to final submission; –Academic may or may not wish to review final originality report.

22 Turnitin as a punitive tool  Mandated use of Turnitin across university;  Students not granted access to originality reports;  Turnitin reports used to “catch out” potential plagiarists. The punitive approach will fail!  The primary goal should be prevention rather than punishment.

23 Turnitin detractors ….  Turnitin database does not include all internet accessible materials;  Does not include print based materials;  “Matches” commonly used words and phrases;  Makes profit from student work by storing submitted material in database.

24 However ….  Turnitin is but one tool in the academic integrity toolbox: –Design assessment to minimise potential plagiarism; –Make expectations clear to students; –Monitor, detect and respond to incidences of possible plagiarism; –Teach skills of summarising and paraphrasing; –Teach skills of referencing and citation; –Teach skills of critical analysis and interpretation; –etc Centre for the Study of Higher Education, 2006

25 Turnitin claims … “ Students will realise that they can no longer “borrow” intellectual materials without being at risk of being caught. They will submit their own work, and as a result educational quality, student morale and ethics will improve”

26 Discussion and questions …. Turnitin, or Turnitoff ??


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