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Omar Tamayo
Teacher, Sancta Maria College, New Zealand

Sancta Maria College in Auckland has an average class size of 28–32 students. This presented a challenge to the academic staff in terms of checking for cases of academic misconduct. In the last year the college has been using Turnitin to try to redress the balance.

Omar Tamayo, who teaches Religious Education at the college, believes the benefits of the software coupled with a strict approach to integrity creates original thinkers and writers. He explains: “It is important for students to put into writing the things they have in their mind. We are simply asking them to explain and express themselves. Turnitin allows students to really do that.” Tamayo has made good use of QuickMarks, including voice comments, to feedback and help students develop in stages before submitting their final submission.

Use of Turnitin at Santa Maria College has not only led to improvements in academic writing, but also helped develop student understanding of academic integrity. Tamayo said: “It trains the students to be good people. It tells them ‘Now, I can’t do or copy from another person. I really have to think.’ It drives them to think.”

Omar was a Turnitin Global Award Honorable Mention in 2017