Not all students will be amenable to strategies to discourage plagiarism (Whitley and Keith-Spiegel, 2002) as some students intentionally cheat.
The online plagiarism detection tool Turnitin can be accessed through UTSOnline. The instructor can nominate for students to have access to their own originality reports and allow resubmission of assignments. A completed report is usually in your class assignment inbox within 5 minutes. It is then up to the lecturers to determine for themselves whether any copied materials are plagiarised.
The use of online plagiarism detection software allows you to collect the evidence required by your Subject Coordinator and Responsible Academic Officer. Alternative means of collecting the extent to which the work submitted is a verbatim copy of another work and the level of acknowledgement of the work of others are:
– Copy suspicious phrases into Google
– Require multiple drafts of essays to be submitted at the same time
– Require students to submit photocopies of source material
– Spot check passages against the source
– Retain copies of assignments
– Watch for fluctuations in writing style or very high quality phrasing
– Compare assignments between groups in subjects with multiple markers
It is good practice to advise students that plagiarism detection software is available and might be used by lecturers to check for plagiarism. Staff are also encouraged to explore the possibilities in the software for providing feedback to students that will improve their academic practices. For example, turnitin.com has an option for students to submit their work for scanning in which they have 24 hours to modify their text and ensure that all reference material is correctly attributed.
Whitley, B. E., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (2002). Academic Dishonesty: An Educator’s Guide.Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.