Plagiarism and Turnitin: Advice for staff

Academic integrity

Academic integrity is a commitment to scholarship founded on the values of honesty, truth and respect.

On this page you will find information on academic integrity, using Turnitin to deter plagiarism, how to embed plagiarism awareness in your teaching and a bibliography with further reading.

We have developed a range of services that will:

Inform

Students and staff are given information and advice about academic integrity, plagiarism and referencing, as well as formative opportunities to test their knowledge and skills.

Integrate

Staff are given the tools and support to integrate issues of academic integrity, plagiarism and referencing into their learning, teaching and assessment practices. This will ensure that students are given the opportunity to test and apply formatively their knowledge and skills within their subject discipline.

Deter

We will ensure that policies, procedures, regulations and tools dealing with academic integrity and plagiarism are both effective, and fairly and consistently applied to all students.

Dealing with plagiarism

As a member of academic staff, it is your role to promote academic integrity to your students. This means building in good academic practice within your course and should include the following:

  • Helping students to understand plagiarism and learn the skills of good academic writing.
  • Designing assessment tasks which prevent students plagiarising.
  • Ensuring students are aware of academic conventions, i.e how to reference.

For case studies and best practice on this, please go to the LINCA site on myUCA

JISC guide:

Staff who suspect a case of plagiarism, must consult the University's Policy and Procedures governing Academic Misconduct.

The precise sanction to be imposed on the student will be determined by the Academic Misconduct Panel subject to the features of the individual case.

Turnitin and your teaching

The following recommendations for using Turnitin have been established by the Academic Integrity Task Group and approved by the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Committee.

There are four levels of practice in using Turnitin as indicated below. In addition to submitting an electronic copy of work to Turnitin, all students must also submit a paper copy of their final piece of work to the Faculty Office. This must include a signed Plagiarism Disclaimer Form.

  • Using Turnitin with further education students
    • Students are introduced to Turnitin by academic and academic support staff and shown a copy of the originality report during this introduction.
    • Two Turnitin assignment areas are set up in the appropriate unit on myUCA in the first instance. The first assignment is Practice Essay Submission where students are able to submit a draft to Turnitin on the myUCA course page and obtain an originality report. No limit is set for how many drafts they submit. Each new submission overwrites the previous.
    • The second assignment is Final Essay Submission where students submit the final draft to Turnitin on the myUCA course page and obtain the originality report. Students are asked to print out the first page of the originality report and submit this with the hard copy version.
  • Using Turnitin with undergraduate students

    Process for UG students in stage 1 and 2:

    • Students are introduced to Turnitin by academic and academic support staff and shown a copy of an originality report.
    • For each written assignment, a Turnitin area is set up in the appropriate unit on myUCA. Students must submit an electronic copy of their work to this area.
    • Staff receive and mark the paper copy of the student's work. If there are any doubts as to the academic integrity of the written work, staff should view the originality report in Turnitin to identify any suspected plagiarism.

    Process for UG students in stage 3:

    • Two Turnitin assignment areas are setup in the appropriate unit on myUCA.
    • The first is the Draft Dissertation Submission where students submit a draft of their dissertation. They obtain one originality report on this draft which is then discussed formatively at the draft feedback tutorial.
    • The second is the Final Dissertation Submission where students submit their final piece of work. Only the course tutor has access to these originality reports.
  • Using Turnitin with postgraduate students
    • Students are introduced to Turnitin and the originality report by academic and academic support staff.
    • Turnitin assignment areas are to be set up for all final written submissions (i.e. essay, research paper, critical paper/dissertation) on myUCA.
    • At least one of these assignment areas should be for a draft submission (i.e. draft research submission or draft critical paper submission). Students will obtain one originality report on this draft which is then discussed formatively at the draft feedback tutorial.
  • Using Turnitin with research students
    • At the applicant stage, all PhD proposals are to be passed through Turnitin. This will be a diagnostic stage to verify the academic integrity of the work submitted.
    • All research students will have an introduction to Turnitin as part of the Research Induction Programme (with a more comprehensive session as part of the ARM).
    • Three Turnitin assignments should be set up to test the different milestones on the PhD journey:
      • Research Plan Approval stage.
      • Transfer to PhD stage.
      • First draft of the thesis.

Turnitin case studies

There are accounts of how academic colleagues at UCA are building a culture of academic integrity within their courses. If you are interested in reading some of these, please visit the LINCA (Learning Innovation Network for the Creative Arts) community on myUCA. You will find the link to this under the myCommunity tab. Please contact mycoursehelp@uca.ac.uk if you are not able to access LINCA.

If you are interested in sharing with others some of your experiences of using Turnitin or building a culture of academic integrity, please get in contact with Annamarie McKie, Chair of the Academic Integrity Working Group.

Turnitin help for staff

The following resources have been created to support staff in the use of Turnitin.

Our Learning Technologists have prepared a series of video tutorials and helps sheets to support the use of Turnitin.

The Learning Technologists can offer group demonstrations and one-to-one sessions which explain more about the different uses Turnitin has as a supportive tool to help combat plagiarism.

Please contact mycoursehelp@uca.ac.uk for more information.

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