As you know, Plagiarism Education Week is just around the corner, taking place from April 22-26. To make this week a success, we need participation from Turnitin's enormous educational communitym which spans over 125 countries, to help us amplify this important message that "Originality Matters."
There are many ways for you to participate in raising awareness for plagiarism education among your colleagues and students during Plagiarism Education Week—here are a few:
1. Join one of the five live or on-demand webinars featuring prominent voices in education and integrity.
Rules, if not enforced, lose their value—so is true of an academic integrity policy. I recently interviewed a university professor, we’ll call him Professor Thomas (not his real name), who followed his university’s sanction policies as written and intended, and found himself reprimanded by faculty colleagues for doing so. As a result Thomas took the initiative to try and change a strict and rigid policy, into one that offered flexibility, remediation, and learning.
The sanction guidelines for undergraduates were straightforward—the first offense was a zero on the assignment, the second offense was a failure in the course, the third offense was suspension for one full semester, the fourth resulted in suspension for two semesters, and beyond that was permanent expulsion. The guidelines were even more strict for graduate-level students, whereby the first offense resulted in failure in the course, and a second offense would result in expulsion.
Last year, Professor Thomas had nine instances of plagiarism out of 28 students on the first assignment in a graduate level course—they ranged from very minor (a cited, but non-quoted, copied sentence) to quite serious (multiple paragraphs) cases. Thomas reported all nine cases to the academic integrity committee per the policy.
Turnitin extends its remit to include HWP file type
Turnitin has recently announced that it is working in partnership with Hancom of South Korea, creators of the Hancom Office suite of software, to support the country’s most widely used word processing file type (the .hwp format) in Turnitin the world’s leading plagiarism detection service. Turnitin started accepting .hwp files earlier this year.
We've received several emails and comments from folks asking how we made The Source Educational Evaluation Rubric (SEER) to automatically calculate the rubric score and percentage. So I made this quick behind the scenes video to show you all the elements of it. It requires Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro which allows for creating, editing and saving of form fields.
Turnitin is extremely proud to host the first ever series of African Integrity seminars in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Following on from Turnitin co-founder Dr John Barrie’s South Africa trip last year, the first ever series of African Academic Integrity Seminars are a major step forward in the region targeting the issue of plagiarism and sharing views and opinion on the nature of the problem.
The first opportunity to attend this event will be on Monday 20th May at the University of Cape Town. However, to ensure that as many of you are able to benefit from the seminar, it will be repeated on the 24th May at the University of Johannesburg.
Participants at both seminars will include Turnitin users as well as those who do not currently use the system, but wish to gain some information about its many advantages and about academic integrity in general.
The seminar has a varied programme Keynote speakers include Dr Cath Ellis from the University of Huddersfield (UK) who will be covering the subject of E-assesment, and Stella Orim from the University of Coventry (UK) who will be covering international perceptions of plagiarism. Other speakers are to be announced at a later date.
While the internet has been a boon for information access and availability, three out of four educators strongly agree that "search engines have conditioned students to expect to be able to find information quickly and easily," according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project study entitled, How Teens Do Research in the Digital World.
Most of the advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project teachers in this study said students are "very likely" to use Google, Wikipedia, and social media sites for typical research assignments.
This is consistent with findings from Turnitin's recent research that analyzes the most frequently matched Internet sources (released in January) which show that Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers, and eNotes were the top three among secondary students. At the college and university level, the top three were Wikipedia, OPPapers (a paper mill), and SlideShare.
It turns out that teachers use Wikipedia much more often than U.S. adult internet users at large (87% vs. 53%), according to a Pew Research Center study, "How Teachers Are Using Technology at Home and in Their Classrooms" released on February 28, 2013.
"Wikipedia is really an encyclopedia that presents information from consensus," says Renee Bangerter, professor of English at Saddleback College in a Turnitin webcast entitled What's Wrong with Wikipedia. She goes on to say, "But it is what it is, a general encyclopedia, and in academic writing we really want students to be moving towards primary or secondary sources."
Teachers have been known to often discourage students from using Wikipedia because of concerns about the accuracy of user-generated, crowd-sourced content. Despite this, students still commonly make Wikipedia their first stop when starting their online research. If students are to use Wikipedia, they should use it to familiarize themselves with a quick summary of a topic before moving on to other more credible sources.
Turnitin recently made available The Source Educational Evaluation Rubric (SEER), as a free interactive PDF that you can use to score any website you want. You can use it to evaluate student sources, or better yet, have your students use it to self-evaluate the sources they use.
Educators are well aware of the shortcomings of relying on crowd-sourced content for authoritative information, yet the fact that Wikipedia continues to reign supreme as a top match in Turnitin suggests that students don't see things the same way. In short, what constitutes "research" for students today has come to mean "Googling."
This on-demand webcast explores the connection between student source choices and the development of research and critical thinking skills. We'll also discuss the development of the Turnitin website evaluation rubric to help students enhance their competencies in evaluating online sources.
As part of a national project involving all universities in Nigeria, the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities has licensed Turnitin for use by students and faculty at all 115 universities in Nigeria effective 1st May 2013.
Turnitin will be running four training sessions in March aimed at those in charge of rolling out Turnitin across the institution, as well as training instructors within the institution on how to use it.:
Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) Headquarters, Abuja
Dates: 5th & 6th March 2013
Time: 09:00 to 15:00
University of Lagos, Centre for Information Technology Services, Lagos
Dates: 7th & 8th March 2013
Time: 09:00 to 15:00
Reserve your spot today as seating is limited.
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