The Masters of Public Health is a relatively new programme at Sydney’s Macquarie University, which attracts students from a diverse range of academic backgrounds. Programme Director Janaki Amin was keen to implement Turnitin as a marking tool to synthesise skill levels and address a range of potential academic integrity issues – including intentional or unintentional plagiarism.
Amin explains: “At Masters level we are aiming for our students to develop high levels of skill in synthesising information from a diverse range of sources. Academic integrity is critical to this endeavour.”
In the early stages of the programme, Turnitin's similarity reports were routinely returning scores of between 30–70%. Amin and her team put this down to inappropriate referencing, lack of ability to synthesise information, and in some cases academic misconduct. Working closely with Turnitin, Amin’s team have been able to reverse this trend by engaging students with feedback.
Amin explains: “We’ve been able to sit down individually with students who are having issues – either with academic integrity or synthesising information or both – and demonstrate very clearly where the issues are using Turnitin. The visualisation has been really helpful to clearly demonstrate to students where the problems are and how they can be avoided. The students’ reaction has been very positive.”
Macquarie University was a Turnitin Global Award Winner in 2017