SINCE the dawn of the Internet and cut-and-paste, schools have been wary of plagiarism or even wholesale cheating in essays and theses. Technology has found a way to almost instantly detect and flag such problems.
Called Turnitin Originality, the software service combines the text similarity checking functionality that Turnitin is known for with new features that help instructors address trends such as contract cheating and teach students the value of original thinking skills.
“Supporting academic integrity is a multi-layered process of setting expectations, providing tools to students so they can self check and correct, and then helping faculty to identify potential misconduct so that they can intervene,” Valerie Schreiner, CPO and CMO of Turnitin said.
“Our technology helps educators train students to develop original thinking. As they do so, we are contributing to shaping citizens of integrity in the society,” Jack Brazel, Head of Business Partnerships, Southeast Asia for Turnitin said.
Originality uses the most comprehensive technology to help deter unoriginal work and support students in learning how to properly attribute ideas and concepts to others. When reviewing submissions, for example, Turnitin Originality examines whether the work is similar to other known text, or if it has indications that it was not authored by the student. This data facilitates conversations between instructors and students about how to discover and express their authentic voice.
The need for this combined solution is clear: as schools and universities move to online instruction, they must be even more thoughtful and holistic about their approach to academic integrity. Traditional text comparison tools—which Turnitin pioneered twenty years ago—can detect copy/paste plagiarism or student collusion, but do not equip institutions with the technologies needed to address new forms of cheating.
“In the Philippines, where remote education is now strongly encouraged, the launch of Turnitin Originality will give educators a better solution for upholding the culture of academic integrity,” Brazel added.
Now, every institution can set new standards for academic integrity and give its students and instructors a unified solution to support those standards. Educators can use Turnitin Originality as a teaching tool, showing their students how to identify unoriginal content before turning in their papers.
“Turnitin Originality gives instructors and administrators the capability of identifying the full range of potential misconduct in one tool so that instances of plagiarism or inauthentic authorship are teachable moments, not punitive ones,” Brazel concluded