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Safe assign

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The basics of using SafeAssign plagiarism detection software in the higher-education classroom, including pros, cons, and recommendations.

The basics of using SafeAssign plagiarism detection software in the higher-education classroom, including pros, cons, and recommendations.

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Plagiarism Detection with By Andrew Wolf .
  • 2. Safe Assign • Plagiarism detection software • Compares submitted assignments to a database from: – Documents on the World Wide Web – Published articles in ProQuest / Inform databases – Past student work voluntarily submitted to a database nationwide – Past student work submitted locally (not voluntary) • Available at no additional financial cost 2
  • 3. Originality Report (Top Portion) 3
  • 4. Originality Report (Bottom Portion) 4
  • 5. Benefits • Easy to use • Integrated with Blackboard grade center • Students can submit drafts to evaluate originality of their own papers • Robust search features – Large database of WWW and proquest – Can detect some “disguised plagiarism” • Creates a report providing easy methods for faculty to investigate further 5
  • 6. Concerns • Privacy and intellectual property concerns • Risk of false positives • Risk of false negatives • Pedagogical concerns • Significant delays in report generation: hours to weeks 6
  • 7. Intellectual Property Concerns – TurnItIn Lawsuit • TurnItIn saves all student papers in a database in perpetuity • Database is used for comparison to all future submitted assignments • High school students in Mclean, VA sued company for infringement of copyright • Ruled in favor of TurnItIn – archiving of papers for use in plagiarism detection was viewed as fair use – Affirmed by appeals court, but settled prior to advancing to supreme court – http://to.pbs.org/x8h5HF 7
  • 8. Intellectual Property Concerns Lingering legal issues • Ruling in favor of TurnItIn based in part by the informed consent – Students clicked a check box prior to submitting paper that they understood how their paper would be used, and agreed to such use – Students may still question whether they may be compelled to agree – Students may raise legal objections if faculty upload papers without their consent • Office of Council is still considering legal risks 8
  • 9. Privacy Concerns • Safe Assign is cloud based • FERPA compliance has been questioned – Students must: • be informed of risks to privacy • have the right to de-identify their work • Not HIPAA compliant – Student work must not contain patient identifiers • Concern for unintentional HIPAA violations through “unique characteristics” (rare diseases, place/time of treatment) 9
  • 10. Risk of False Positive: Student falsely accused of plagiarism • The software can not distinguish properly cited quotes and plagiarism. • The software can not distinguish between common phrases, and plagiarism of truly proprietary expressions. 10
  • 11. Risks of False Negatives: Student get away with plagiarism • The software only searches web sources and ProQuest. • SafeAssign can even miss documents on the World Wide Web. (Wikipedia). • The software is not reliable against “disguised plagiarism”: – Point changes – Mosaic plagiarism 11
  • 12. Pedagogical Issues • Risk of creating an adversarial climate if SafeAssign is used a punitive tool – Undermine motivation – Change faculty-student relationship toward a focus on policing and away from facilitation of learning 12
  • 13. Recommendations 1. Develop a pilot and test in 2-4 courses this spring. 2. Employ in courses that include plagiarism prevention strategies 3. Require that the draft function always be turned on for Safe Assign-ments so that students have the opportunity to correct their work 4. Students must be informed of privacy issues, and given the option to de-identify papers before submitting 5. Instructors should be advised not to use the direct submit option 6. Students are informed of risks to HIPAA and clearly instructed how to avoid violations 13
  • 14. Recommended Plagiarism Prevention Strategies 1. Require multiple drafts of assignments before final submission 2. Design original assignments that are hard to plagiarize 3. Provide aids to comprehension of complex texts 4. Provide multiple low-stakes assignments 5. Provide clear guidance on preventing plagiarism 6. Train faculty to interpret the originality reports 14