Best Practices: Plagiarism Detection Services

Conference Handouts on for the Creating Futures Through Technology Conference (February 2009, Biloxi, MS) and the Mississippi Business Educators Association (September 2009, Hattiesburg, MS):

Best Practices

Alternative Approaches

This slideshow is from a 2007 Creating Futures Through Technology panel presentation that I did with Patti Smith, Tammy Townsend, and Caroline Kelly.

Thanks to Patti for reminding me that we had this. A lot has changed since 2007. We were using a department site license then. We now have a statewide license for the two year college system that gives us a more up-to-date version of Turnitin built in to Blackboard. We also have Grademark integrated with the plagiarism detection service so that we see the originality report when we open an essay that has been uploaded into Blackboard to grade it.

Another thing that has changed is that Turnitin no longer allows anyone other than the student who uploaded the essay and that students instructor to view the paper. This is a result of a lawsuit in which Turnitin was accused of violating the intellectual property rights of students by sharing their work without their permission. Now, if I have a student who uploads a paper that shows that it matches a paper turned in to Patti Smith by 100%, I have to request the name of the other student from Patti. In the past, Turnitin would just show me both papers with both students’ names. I’m not sure how much difference that makes to protecting student rights, but it is Turnitin’s response to the issue.

I will say that only rarely do I have 100% matches to a paper submitted to another teacher’s class, and almost every time that I do it turns out to be the same person who took the same class more than once.

I will also say that though the Turnitin software is more sophisticated now, and the details of how we access it has changed, my opinions on how it should best be incorporated into the classroom have not changed in the past few years. I stand by our original “best practices.”

I don’t, however, stand by my 2007 approach to PowerPoint. I hope I wouldn’t put so much text on one slide again. :)