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Academic misconduct risk plummets by 85 per cent as NextEd Group drives academic integrity with Turnitin

ASX-listed education provider empowers 200 educators at 11 brands with capabilities to optimise learning across content formats and assessment methods


AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND – May 10, 2023 – Turnitin, a leading provider of assessment, grading, and learning solutions, is helping NextEd Group (ASX:NSD) combat actual and potential academic misconduct, including detection of instances where AI writing tools like ChatGPT may have been used without permission – across a cohort of 15,000 domestic and international students.

NextEd, formally iCollege, is an Australian company which operates 10 education businesses, as well as an international student recruitment agency, covering English language studies, information technology, coding, design, health, hospitality, and construction. Like other education providers, NextEd witnessed a hike in cheating among domestic students and its rising number of international enrolments amid the prevalence of remote learning.

Recognising students resort to cheating for various reasons – including misunderstanding of Western conceptualisation of what constitutes academic dishonesty – NextEd teamed up with Turnitin to provide a uniform solution to driving a culture of academic integrity.

“NextEd aims to empower our 200 educators to give students optimal learning experiences underscored by original thinking across various content formats and assessment methods, no matter what course they are taking,” said Eve Ollerenshaw, Pro Vice Chancellor at NextEd. “We wanted a solution that could educate; not just detect potential cases of cheating, but guide best practices to set students up for life and careers after they complete their studies.

“Turnitin gives us far more than a plagiarism checker to identify academic misconduct. Its broad capabilities allow us to engage and support students by embedding integrity in every part of the learning process.”

Given the diverse range of courses NextEd offers, coursework comes in many variations in modes of learning and assessment. Turnitin is adaptable to and manages this complexity, while remaining easy to use by both educators and learners.

Since implementing the Turnitin platform, NextEd has seen a noticeable increase in levels of understanding of academic integrity, distinct improvements in researching and referencing, a rise in literacy skills, and a dramatic reduction in cases of plagiarism – from 140 to less than 20 cases per year, a drop of more than 85 per cent.

“Once we implemented Turnitin, we immediately saw the benefits to the entire NextEd community,” said Ollerenshaw. “Teaching staff credit the platform with easing burdens related to administration and assessment, freeing up their time to engage more closely with students and facilitate meaningful relationships. Additionally, students are consistently equipped with the knowledge and skills to move through their education, and the rest of their lives, with academic integrity as a well-formed and well-understood foundation.”

Among the initiatives borne from this increased understanding of academic integrity and quality teaching and learning experiences is an ‘All Things Compliance’ workshop, which among other topics, serves as a community of practice for academic integrity and explores the most impactful ways to use tools like Turnitin.

Looking ahead, NextEd is committed to further developing a supportive environment for its domestic and international community, and sees Turnitin as vital to achieving this. It plans to extend its use of the Turnitin product suite to ensure delivery by all providers within the institution, in order to maintain its standards and reputation for upholding academic integrity.

As part of this roadmap, NextEd will introduce Turnitin’s AI writing detection tool, launched in April. The solution provides an evaluative measure of how many sentences in a submission may have been generated by artificial intelligence, which educators can use to determine if further review, inquiry or discussion with the student is needed.

Ollerenshaw said, “We will be implementing Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities across the NextEd Group, and look forward to testing it and providing feedback. ChatGPT, like everything new, has elements of merit and potential for misuse – we aim to teach our academic teams and students about the merits of using this technology wisely for positive gain. Turnitin helps us in this approach to maintain ethics as a cornerstone to what we do.”

“There are increased reports in cases of students cheating, both intentional and resulting from misunderstanding the definition of academic dishonesty. No matter the motive, it’s ultimately detrimental to students’ futures,” said James Thorley, Regional Vice President, APAC at Turnitin. “Despite the challenges remote learning brings, NextEd is bucking the cheating trend through the strategic integration of technology within curricula, making a direct and positive impact on its educator and vast student base.”

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About Turnitin

Turnitin is a global company dedicated to ensuring the integrity of education and meaningfully improving learning outcomes. For more than 25 years, Turnitin has partnered with educational institutions to promote honesty, consistency, and fairness across all subject areas and assessment types. Turnitin products are used by educational institutions and certification and licensing programs to uphold integrity and increase learning performance, and by students and professionals to do their best, original work.

Turnitin has offices in Australia, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Sweden, The United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States. Over 17,000 customers in 185 countries use Turnitin services: Gradescope by Turnitin, iThenticate, Turnitin Feedback Studio, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity, ExamSoft by Turnitin, ProctorExam and Ouriginal.