Global Innovation Awards 2017: Honorable Mention

Category: Writing with Integrity | Latin America

Luis Eduardo Rojas Alzate

Luis Eduardo Rojas Alzate

Teacher: Universidad San Buenaventura Cali, Colombia

“The students come to me because they see me as someone to look up to. A role model. I believe I have the chance to make a difference with a simple-to-use, but complex tool.”

Luis Eduardo Rojas Alzate teaches critical reading and writing as a professor at Universidad de San Buenaventura Cali in Colombia. He also works for the National Ministry of Education to ensure that various university programs meet minimum standards for quality. He says that Latin American cultures sometimes struggle to overcome corruption and dishonesty, which is why his university places such emphasis on integrity.

When his university department started using Turnitin a few years ago, Alzate says, “I fell in love with this tool.” He started to use it for his own articles, then to teach his students good writing habits and transparency. “In the beginning, they [students] saw it as a tool used by teachers to ruin their lives,” says Alzate, “but now they can see it’s very useful.” He started what he calls reading and writing marathons, to give his students lots of opportunities to practice writing and correct mistakes highlighted by Turnitin. He says he wants them to remember what they learn in his class throughout their education and professional lives, because communication and integrity are so essential in every job.

Whether it’s for a research project, an article for class, or a final exam, Alzate challenges his students to write well, be honest, and respect intellectual property. “The students come to me because they see me as someone to look up to. A role model. I believe I have the chance to make a difference with a simple-to-use, but complex tool.”

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