For the online learning world



iPardigms, the provider of Turnitin® has a useful website, plagiarism.org, which provides information for students.

The University of Waikato is one of many Turnitin® subscribers around the world, other plagiarism services such as Urkund are also available.

I recently read Turnitin: learning aid or cheaters’ helper?, an article on The Higher Education website which made me smile! It talked about the use of plagiarism detection software such as Turnitin to help students develop their writing skills.

Some staff I talk to use Turnitin as a formative tool to help students with their writing, particularly in the early years of University when citations and referencing can be tricky when you’re new at it!  Others however use it to “catch and punish the cheaters!”

Mary Davis, senior lecturer in English for academic purposes at Oxford Brookes University, shares another concern around paper mills and custom writing houses where students pay for essays saying they are “far more dangerous to academic standards” than the worry of students using plagiarism tools to helps them write an essay that won’t get flagged as copied.

Are students actually trying to cheat the system or do they need more information and education on what is expected?  Maybe it has become too easy for students to copy/paste with the enormous amount of online sources available? Are they under too much pressure to succeed?  Maybe they have too little time in today’s fast paced world or have poor time management skills to pub visits in with study hours or maybe they are just not trying hard enough. What do you think?

Latest posts by Teresa Gibbison (see all)

Teresa Gibbison

During the past 6 years I have been a Moodle Administrator at The University of Waikato and Waikato Institute of Technology, and working as an e-learning consultant with HRDNZ for 3 years. I'm very proud to be a PHM (Particularly Helpful Moodler) as rated by the community of Moodle.org, and I hold the official MCCC (Moodle Course Creator Certificate). I've helped organise the Moodle Moot in New Zealand twice, and I'm an ambassador for the international online iMoot conference.

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