suspicion, insult, or teaching tool?

Campus Technology cites a number of top-rated schools that eschew anti-plagiarism technology because “they feel it would undermine trust between students and faculty.”

I know there are several faculty here who believe that few students plagiarize in their classes, but I’m afraid that statistics and the fact of readily available electronic text for the copying convince me that these faculty are living in the famed fools paradise. But I would support using a tool like Turnitin for very different reasons:

  1. I don’t think most students want to plagiarize, but don’t truly understand when they have done it. Turnitin’s reports can teach students exxactly where they need to cite and how. And faculty do not have to use the reports to punish students; they can be used as faculty please, and my suggestion would be as a teaching tool.
  2. Turnitin allows students to use the technology for peer review. You can view samples and download an information PDF on peer review on their site.

I think the lesson here is that technology doesn’t have to dictate its use. Faculty are still in charge of determining the best use of any technology, and the so-called anti-plagiarism tools could just as easily be called collaboration and documentation tools.

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Categories: technology

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