Global Innovation Awards 2016: Winner

Category: Academic Integrity | Secondary/Further Education | UK

John Hindmarsh

John Hindmarsh

Lecturer in Applied Science: Westminster Kingsway College, London

“I’m from a science background, but in any academic background your written communication is the way you pass on your understanding of the world.”

“I’m from a science background, but in any academic background your written communication is the way you pass on your understanding of the world,” says John, who teaches applied science at Westminster Kingsway College. Nominated by a fellow teacher, John has been instrumental in helping his department adopt Turnitin to teach essential writing skills and reduce levels of plagiarism.

Many of the College’s students speak English as a second language, and may copy others’ work to cover up a lack of understanding. Since academic integrity is so essential to science, John and his department colleagues decided to require students to use Turnitin for every assignment. They used to not be able to address the issue of students turning in work from previous years because it was so time-consuming to sleuth. “Turnitin’s student database has largely eliminated that,” he says.

John says science, in particular, depends upon academic integrity and being able to develop original ideas. “I have much more confidence that the work the students have been handing in is really their work,” he says, which helps him better understand their thought process and how to guide them. Turnitin is designed to support a transparent process and honest work, which John says leads to the best outcome—students learning how to take ownership of their work.

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