The Poynter Institute recently published their annual roundup of plagiarism and fabrication incidents in the media and publishing industry. 2011 saw 21 such incidents in a variety of topics like sports, entertainment, politics, special interests and general news. Writer Craig Silverman highlighted that October 2011 was an abnormally big month for plagiarism, accounting for over 40% of the incidents for the entire year. Read the entire article here.
While repercussions from plagiarism vary—retractions, apologies, fines, suspensions, and firings; one thing that follows these writers is a scarlet letter practically branded across their foreheads of being plagiarists.
Suffice to say that there are a lot of factors and excuses that are involved in plagiarism in the media. Two factors seem most notable; (1) a rush to meet a deadline that causes some missed attribution; and (2) competitive pressure from editors, colleagues and other journalists. It's important for editors to be wary of these pressures and reinforce to their writers the permanence and damage that can result from missed attribution both, to the writer and to the publication.
Smarter, Faster Grading with ETS® e-rater®
Turnitin has partnered with Educational Testing Service to integrate its e-rater grammar analysis tool within GradeMark, our online markup tool.
The e-rater technology automatically flags grammar, style, usage, mechanics and spelling errors so instructors can spend less time correcting and more time teaching. Instructors can easily edit or remove individual marks on the student paper or choose to expose or hide entire categories of feedback. Using this tool, instructors across the curriculum who do not typically focus on writing mechanics can still provide students with guidance and reinforcement on how to improve their writing skills.
Students can view their marks and access writer's handbooks that offer feedback in ten languages.* Additionally, students can view the marks from the ETS e-rater engine simultaneously with feedback from OriginalityCheck, GradeMark and PeerMark for deeper insight into their written work.
* ETS e-rater is only available for U.S. customers and select markets.
e-rater, ETS and the ETS logo are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service (ETS), and used under license.
Save Time with 'Class Copy'
Have a Turnitin class you want to reuse this term? The new Class Copy feature allows you to copy a class from one term to the next. This new feature saves you time by copying all assignments, associated rubrics as well as instructor-created discussion topics into your new class.
Students who do not use their school’s library writing centers are missing important, helpful programs, and their grades may be suffering because of this. Online universities offer some very useful tools that can help students to edit their papers, locate scholarly journals, and even double-check for plagiarism issues. One of the most useful programs available to students is OriginalityCheck by Turnitin.
The successful student will do their research through the school’s library database search engines. Once they have written their paper, and have double-checked that they have met all of the teacher’s requirements, they will submit their assignment to Turnitin (required by many schools). OriginalityCheck is the leading program that checks for plagiarism issues. The program carries over 150 million archived papers. There are a variety of websites where students can purchase papers. Schools are very aware of these sites and programs like Turnitin will catch these papers. Students should be aware that professors will submit their papers to Turnitin and will catch them if they try to submit work that is not their own.
The University of Phoenix uses Turnitin's plagiarism prevention tool in its Center for Writing Excellence. The software has guided me through a master’s program with the university and through the first courses of my doctorate degree. In the beginning of my master’s program, I used Turnitin to examine whether or not I was using too many quotes, or I was not paraphrasing well enough. As the program continued, I began to use it for checking my academic teams’ contributions. Once, at the eleventh hour of a project, I discovered that a teammate had copied and pasted his portion of the team project. I asked him review his contribution, paraphrase, and properly cite it, averting a possible low grade.
This Turnitin infographic is based on a white paper which offers a look into the web sources and writing practices of secondary and higher education students in the United States. It is based on the analysis of 128 million content matches from 33 million papers (24 million from higher education and nine million from secondary) over a one-year period.
Key findings include:
- Secondary students rely more on social networking and content-sharing sites.
- Higher education students rely more on paper mills and cheat sites.
- Wikipedia is the most popular site for both groups.
- Eight sites appear among the top ten most popular web sources for both secondary and higher education students.
- Educators should develop specific strategies to address plagiarism.
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.
Check out this infographic created by our friends at Schools.com inspired from the article, "Beat the Cheat" by Amy Novotney in Monitor on Psychology.
I 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."
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:
That's 27 hours outside of preparing and teaching her classes.
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.
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:
- Establish Clear Standards, Common Across States
- Use Multiple Measures to Evaluate Student Performance
- Innovate to Reach Today’s Students
- Accurately Measure Teacher Performance and Provide Non-Monetary Rewards
- Bridge School and Home to Raise Student Achievement
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