Global Innovation Awards 2017: Winner

Category: Partners in Success | Europe

Pompeu Fabra University

Pompeu Fabra University, Spain

Nominated by: Vanessa Soria Ortega, Professor, Center for Learning Innovation and Knowledge

“Turnitin is useful in building this sense of being part of something bigger.”

Young, successful, and public – Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) in Barcelona is the envy of many institutions around the world. It attracts students seeking a modern, quality education. By delivering it, this dual Catalan-Spanish university ranks first in Spain and among the top 150 universities in the world, according to the coveted Times Higher Education list.

Professor Vanessa Soria Ortega – whose research focuses on innovation in education – coordinates programs at UPF that develop ‘transversal’, or general, competencies, such as being able to apply knowledge to solve problems. She’s been a champion of Turnitin, which UPF has integrated into a holistic approach to improving education.

“The idea is to be practical. We don’t want to complicate the teachers’ lives. The idea is to help them with Turnitin and other tools,” says Soria Ortega. Toward that end, she says UPF has involved different departments across campus to work together on specific actions, such as:

  • Clearly defining a code of ethics and addressing plagiarism in student regulations
  • Providing teacher training, both face-to-face and online
  • Conducting a study of Turnitin usage and sharing results
  • Creating online guides, print resources, a new website, and video stories to share how Turnitin can be used effectively in teaching practice
  • Making Turnitin resources and news widely available within Moodle.

Soria Ortega clarifies: “We see this not as an isolated project, but something to be continued and become part of the university.” The vision, she says, is that Turnitin will instill academic integrity into students’ DNA and empower teachers to provide impactful feedback that results in continuous improvement. The focus is on pedagogy, not punishment, she says: “Turnitin is useful in building this sense of being part of something bigger.” That something bigger relates to shared core values, such as community, quality, and academic integrity.

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