• GradeMark in Action

    Turnitin power user Cath Ellis from the University of Huddersfield presents her institution’s experience of using GradeMark as a tool for online submission and evaluation. She highlights the benefits this approach has for students, staff and the university as a whole. A pilot project with first year students has prompted the development of an institutional strategy on online submission, which has involved a comprehensive streamlining of work flows and a separation of administrative and academic staff roles. Cath also demonstrates the diagnostic abilities of using GradeMark to highlight student strengths and weaknesses and identify where extra support may be required.

  • Plagiarism in the Digital Age [Infographic]

    Check out this infographic created by our friends at inspired from the article, "Beat the Cheat" by Amy Novotney in Monitor on Psychology.

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  • Improved Content Matching

    20110824 matchingI recently came across a BBC news article, "When algorithms control the world." The author, Jane Wakefield, suggests that algorithms have gotten so sophisticated and are relied on so heavily in how we interact with our electronic world, that they are bound to fail or takeover if we don't tame them. She's not envisioning a future where machines actually takeover the world like Blade Runner, Terminator, or The Matrix.

    Wakefield posits, "Algorithms may be cleverer than humans but they don't necessarily have our sense of perspective."

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  • Saving Time with GradeMark

    Here at Turnitin, we typically revolve around the world of writing, but today we're going to take a look at some basic mathematics. At the Turnitin User Event in Orlando in February, Beth Sawyer, a high school English instructor, gave a presentation on "Saving Time with GradeMark."

    Beth teaches 108 students in 5 classes. For a standard essay, she used to spend about 15 minutes per essay to read, evaluate, and grade:

    108 essays x 15 minutes = 1620 minutes = 27 hours.

    That's 27 hours outside of preparing and teaching her classes.

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  • Accidental Plagiarists

    20110126 accidentalplagiaristsThere is little doubt that a large part of plagiarism incidents are intentional attempts to cheat, perhaps an equal proportion of incidents stems from students that are uninformed or unaware of proper citation and plagiarism. According to an article in THE Journal, this idea is supported by many educators as well as new research concluding that increasing knowledge on plagiarism and citation is a more effective approach than punitive approaches.

    Heather Scott, a Turnitin power user and English teacher at Air Academy High School in Colorado, first turned to Turnitin to help identify potential plagiarism. She quickly found the key to reducing plagiarism in her classes was in providing feedback to the students. With GradeMark®, Scott is able to show students what they did wrong, how to correct it, why it is important, and reinforce it in future assignments. She has even found tremendous value and results from having students review other student papers with PeerMark. Read the entire article, "The Accidental Plagiarists" in THE Journal.

  • Technology Enhances Learning in Survey of 40K

    Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation published a report presenting the results of a national survey of 40,000 public school teachers from pre-K to 12th grade.
    The survey identified five broad solution areas to address the challenges facing schools today and to help ensure that all students achieve at their highest levels:

    1. Establish Clear Standards, Common Across States

    2. Use Multiple Measures to Evaluate Student Performance

    3. Innovate to Reach Today’s Students

    4. Accurately Measure Teacher Performance and Provide Non-Monetary Rewards

    5. Bridge School and Home to Raise Student Achievement

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  • Obama on Education Nation

    U.S. President Barack Obama participated in a live half-hour interview on NBC's TODAY show with Matt Lauer talking about education as part of the "Education Nation” summit. Watch the interview here:

    Read the transcript at:

    Some highlights from the interview:

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  • From Feedback to Features

    20100820 feedbackAs part of the Turnitin2 changes that will be launched on September 4th, 2010, we included many feature changes that were requested by users through our Feedback Forum. These requests included:

    A way to see the formatted paper in the Originality Report
    This is one of the key changes to the Originality Report for Turnitin2, all of the formatting from the student's paper will be preserved in the new report.

    A way to see the matches from the Originality Report in GradeMark
    This gets to the heart of the changes made in Turnitin2. The user can now see the services layered on top of one another. This allows users to see the Originality Report highlights while marking the paper in GradeMark.

    An easy way to see other potential sources for the matches in the Originality Report
    In the new Originality Report in Turnitin2, users will have the ability to select to "view additional sources" when they hover on a source in the Primary Source list (the list of sources in the default view of the report). This option will show all of the sources from the Turnitin databases that were found to match the highlighted section of text.

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  • New Strategies to Reduce Plagiarism

    "Curriculum redesign as a faculty-centred approach to plagiarism reduction is research paper published by Sue Hrasky and David Kronenberg from the University of Tasmania, presented at the 4th International Plagiarism Conference in June 2010.

    In it, they first look into two fundamental strategies on approaching plagiarism: proactively educate students on plagiarism, proper citation, and acceptable collaboration; and/or reactively catching and punishing instances of plagiarism. Both of these traditional approaches puts the onus of responsibility on the student. When an accusation of plagiarism occurs, the blame rests with the student rather than with the faculty or the institution.


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  • Can Students "Trick" Turnitin?

    Some students believe that they can "beat" Turnitin by employing various tactics. Instructors should rest assured that these tactics do not work as our algorithms take such "tricks" into account. In addition, the best practice for ensuring that students are not able to "beat the system" is to review all Originality Reports - regardless of the percentage shown as the Similarity Index. Instructors who look at the Originality Reports will be able to tell if something untoward has occurred.

    What tricks do students try?

    One trick is to replace a common character like "e" throughout the text of their paper with a foreign language character that looks like an "e" but is actually different (for example, a Cyrillic "e"). This method does not work because our algorithms replace such characters with the corresponding standard English character. The special character will still appear in the Originality Report; however, the word it is in will have been matched against words containing every character that looks like that character. This allows us to show you matches to words with both the special character and the standard character.

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