“You can shape where the students are going and then explore the possibilities without giving them the answer straight away. It really leads from more superficial to deeper thinking.”
Des Waters, Director of E-Learning and Head of Biology at Palmerston North Boys’ High School, is an outspoken champion of Turnitin, which his school uses across all subjects to teach the importance of academic integrity and improve feedback on assignments.
“You can shape where the students are going and then explore the possibilities without giving them the answer straight away. It really leads from more superficial to deeper thinking,” he explains.“I always find the students learn more from that feedback than they do in terms of finding out the information at the start.”
To help get them started on the right track, he has implemented a program which is presented to all new entry students to explain the importance of integrity in their work, and how to reference and cite properly. The students learn how to cite sources correctly and take ownership of their work.
Additionally, Des says his marking time has been cut in half and the staff has been able to link assessments to rubrics that align with New Zealand’s national curriculum (NCEA). In fact, he’s spoken with national moderators to encourage country-wide adoption of Turnitin, in particular for use with electronic submission of internals. Des has spoken on the subject of academic integrity to university lecturers and school teachers at the Biology Educators' Association of New Zealand (BEANZ) Conference, and has also been working with local schools to help them understand the importance of putting academic integrity programs in place as well.
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