A Teacher Discusses How To Use Turnitin

Check out this great article on how a teacher uses turnitin to facilitate improved student writing. The article does a great job taking the reader through how to use turnitin. Turnitin is of course a writing tool not a solve all plagiarism checker.

*While I have been named a Turnitin Global Innovator Honorable Mention for my work in class and this site, I have no obligations financial or otherwise to speak highly of turnitin. I just find it’s a great tool as a teacher!

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The Written Word: A TurnItIn Podcast on Writing

Check out this great resource from TurnItIn: The Written Word. It’s a podcast on writing. Of course, integrity issues are at the forefront (it is turnitin after all), but it is so much more. I have enjoyed listening to the episodes and look forward to future ones. Enjoy!

TurnItIn Announces New Tool that Combats “Contract Plagiarism”

Check out this post on Plagiarism Today. The post takes a look at a new tool coming for TurnItIn that goes after students purchasing papers from essay mills–quite a plague in academia today. According to the article, “Turnitin has announced that it is working with seven universities to create a new tool . . . Entitled Authorship Investigation  [which] aims to detect when a student’s writing changes drastically and help spot potential cases of contract cheating” (Plagiarism Today). This could make an extremely useful tool that much stronger. 

New Technologies in Education Conference in Belgrade Serbia (February 2016)

The British Council located in Belgrade, Serbia will be holding a conference n “New Technologies in Education” in late February. I am presenting on “Bridging the Gap”–connecting high school education with university education through the lens of developing critical thinking skills. The key issue I will work through is the need for plagiarism detection software in high school as the tool to develop critical thinking skills.

My presentation is in partnership with Turn It In’s European Educator Network. Of course, in March I will do a post on the conference as well as provide an online link to my presentation. Until then, I would appreciate feedback from high school teachers (and university profs) about any issues relating to my presentation. Your feedback will help me as I engage educators at the conference. Please leave your feedback in the comments section of this post. Here is a description of my presentation, and below it is a link to the conference webpage.

John Thompson

Bridging the gap

When students enter higher education they are facing specific requirements regarding critical and original thinking. They need to understand how to respect copyright and how to declare when they are using other people’s ideas. The use of anti-plagiarism technology can help students get prepared for this transition and bridge the gap between secondary and higher education.

John is the Head of the Literature and Writing Department and a Literature and Writing Teacher at QSI International School of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He holds advanced degrees from Duke University, the University of California, and Harvard University. He focuses on decreasing student plagiarism through the use of educational technology. He also provides training to fellow teachers, and with his guidance, they have started using technology to provide student feedback and increase student originality.

Resource: TurnItIn’s Plagiarism Education Week

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This week I participated in turnitin.com’s third annual Plagiarism Education Week. The week consisted of a number of webcasts in which experts addressed various issues related to plagiarism. You can go check out all of the recorded sessions FOR FREE at http://turnitin.com/en_us/resources/webcasts.

For me the two best webcasts were “Changing Culture to Promote Integrity” and “Wikipedia in the Classroom.” “Changing Culture to Promote Integrity” highlighted how the culture our students live in leads to an inability to see cheating as a serious issue. The presenter, Dr. David Callahan, discussed cheating epidemics, the social structures that seem to encourage cheating, and how to help students realize that cheating is never the right thing to do. His argument that schools must take cheating seriously and create structures to deter cheating is an important point for all educators and administrators to realize. “Wikipedia in the Classroom” was given by LiAnna Davis, a representative of the Wiki Education Foundation. Her presentation showed how Wikipedia might be utilized by teachers in their classrooms. I can’t tell you how many times I have told my students not to use Wikipedia in their papers. This is almost always followed by a collective, nasally “WHY NOT?” LiAnna Davis’s presentation gave me great ideas on how to use Wikipedia—a real life application of their projects—when I teach my students how to write research papers. It was really great.

These two presentations are only two of the eight webcasts that you can watch. Each webcast is forty-five minutes long. Give up a prep period here or there over the next few weeks to watch these videos, and, I promise you, you will not regret it.