With a wide variety of plagiarism checkers available on the market these days, it’s more important than ever to have a clear idea of your needs and pedagogical goals as you make your choice.
So what are key criteria and questions to consider when finding the best solution for your students, educators, and institution? And how can a solution go beyond simply identifying plagiarism but also serve as a formative learning tool? How can a solution support the lofty goal of transforming plagiarism into a teachable moment?
At Turnitin, we’ve developed solutions that both check for text similarity and deter plagiarism. It’s one thing to flag potential plagiarism, but the work of teaching students the value of original writing and proper citation isn’t done with that one step. Educators aren’t police—we are teachers—and our tools should fully support the entire writing process.
Here’s the ideal scenario: the best solution to plagiarism is deterrence and to turn instances of plagiarism into opportunities to facilitate original thinking.
It’s an ambitious goal—and we know that many of these “ivory tower” pedagogical notions are not realistic. But we’re trying to bridge that gap between ideals and reality. Yes, teachers want a way to check for plagiarism, full stop. But let’s disrupt the landscape just a bit—what if—what if there was a tool that not only checked for plagiarism but could provide ongoing support to students and teachers to move towards original ideas and thinking?
Teachers are used to providing scaffolding to our students. But what if—what if—teachers had scaffolding in the form of software? What if there was software out there that checked for similarity, but also provides students formative learning opportunities that lead to success in writing and beyond?
To put it simply, if you are looking for a plagiarism checker that upholds writing pedagogy, here are some questions you should ask yourself before choosing a solution for your institution:
- Does the service allow teachers to provide feedback on student work flagged as potential plagiarism?
- Does the service offer automated feedback to help students with revision? Plagiarism checking is important—but more important is to deter it by providing scaffolding and feedback throughout the writing process.
- Does the service only police or does it facilitate student growth? Can students use the service to improve their drafts and address citation or paraphrasing issues before submitting final work?
- Is the service grounded in best practices for teaching and learning? Does the service provide any classroom resources beyond the product itself? Does the service help teachers address skill gaps that can lead to plagiarism?
It’s time to find out.