Thursday, February 6, 2014

Plagiarism tools we use in education

Plagiarism is an interesting topic in education because it seems to mean different things to different people and to different cultures. As an instructor, I personally encounter it frequently; it is not always just cheating by the way, sometimes students truly do not understand.

Anyway, a tool that is frequently used in institutions is, and I want to share an interesting article I read about Turnitin:

“A Booming Business Based on Plagiarism” has conducted a “research study” of its own effectiveness in discouraging plagiarism, and perhaps not surprisingly it reported on Wednesday that it’s doing a great job.

““Colleges and universities using Turnitin reduced unoriginal writing by 39 percent over the course of the study,” the company said. The report is vague, however, about whether there was a lot of plagiarism to start with, or just a little. All it says for sure is that there’s less now.”

“What’s more interesting is that students at some 1,000 American colleges and universities where the plagiarism-detection service is in use submit 3.8 million assignments a year to Turnitin’s library, which in the past five years has added 55 million papers from American colleges. By any standard, that’s a whole lot of writing—and a whole lot of licensing revenue for Turnitin’s owner, iParadigms, which in 2012 said worldwide revenue reached $50-million.

“The report also says, by the way, that instructors who use the site to grade papers digitally spend about 30 percent less time on grading than they would if they were grading on paper. So the eight million papers in the study that were digitally graded, the company claims, saved instructors a total of 91 years’ worth of grading time.”

“For good measure, the company also says that submitting papers digitally saved nearly 20,000 trees.”

Read it here:
What are your thoughts on these findings?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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