Global Innovation Awards 2017: Honorable Mention

Category: Moving Forward with Integrity | Latin America

Colegio El Camino

Colegio El Camino, Mexico

Nominated by: Katherine Darnell, Chemistry Teacher

“It has increased our confidence and the reputation of the school.”

When Colegio El Camino was approved to be an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, one of the new requirements was to be able to document and guarantee the authenticity and integrity of its students’ submitted assignments. “The whole school could be affected by one student cheating or copying or plagiarizing someone's ideas,” says Katherine Darnell, a chemistry teacher who was one of the advocates for using Turnitin. “It was a huge responsibility on the teachers individually and on the school collectively.”

Now, instead of spending all their time verifying the originality and sources of student work, teachers trust Turnitin to highlight any potential problems. This allows them to focus on how to help students grow as writers and learners. “It’s one less thing we have to stress about,” says Darnell. “And the students are more motivated because they can just type it out and submit it.”

At first, Darnell says she was a little apprehensive that the tool could benefit her as a chemistry teacher. Then she used it to grade lab reports, and immediately saw the advantages of the automated tasks and online commenting. With traditional paper grading, she explains, the last papers she grades might not receive feedback that’s as helpful as the first few due to grading fatigue. She says that’s changed with Turnitin. Being able to reuse and drag-and-drop comments allows her to easily give all students detailed, useful feedback – whether it’s the first or the 75th lab report.

Darnell nominated her school for a Global Innovation Award because she says both students and teachers have made really good use of Turnitin to embrace the pursuit of academic integrity. She says students work hard to express original ideas and respect others’ work through proper citation, and teachers spend their time more effectively engaging students’ intellectual curiosity and honesty. “A huge pressure has been released,” she says. “It has increased our confidence and the reputation of the school.”

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