Use of Turnitin for formative
assessment in first year at university
                  Presentation to:
     eLearning in ...
Faculty of Health & Life Science
•   Health sciences
     –   Biomedical Science
     –   Medical Science
     –   Forensi...
Background
• Plagiarism is problematic in higher education
  and increasing (Bull et al, 2001).

• Universities have raise...
www.turnitin.com – how similar?




              vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk   Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Aims of our Project
• Use Turnitin “formatively” to address the
  underlying problems that may cause a
  student to plagia...
Study Population
• Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) –
  Turnitin introduced in a lecture.

• Biomedical Science (BMS) st...
Analysis
• SALT (n=11, 26% cohort) and BMS
  (n=52, 68% cohort) students completed
  a paper questionnaire (open-ended,
  ...
Results
• BMS n = 76 students, 64 submitted a
  draft 76 submitted final essay.

• SALT n = 44 students, 44 submitted a
  ...
Results
STUDENT OPINION OF TURNITIN


                                                        BMS (n=52)                  ...
Did it help you improve your work?



“Illustrates your capability to produce a new piece of
  work”

“Allowed me to edit ...
Should all written work be submitted to provide formative
                            feedback?



“Essays should but prac...
Staff Perceptions
“They were rewriting”.

“Comparing it to last year’s essay which is
what I could compare it with; there ...
General Perceptions
STAFF
“I think people maybe don’t view cut and paste as plagiarism”.

“My 12 year old was doing homewo...
Summary
•   With adequate training and guidance, students find using
    Turnitin a useful feedback experience to improve ...
Conclusions
• Turnitin can be used formatively to help
  build student literacy, referencing and
  citation.

• This is pr...
Further Research
• What were the actual changes in writing
  behaviour?

• Understand working culture at school
  and work...
References
•   Bull J, Collins C, CoughlinE & Sharp D. (2001) Technical review
    of plagiarism detection software report...
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Turnitin V Rolfe July09

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Short talk on using Turnitin for formative assessment.

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Turnitin V Rolfe July09

  1. 1. Use of Turnitin for formative assessment in first year at university Presentation to: eLearning in Health, University of Warwick 17th July 2009 By: Dr Viv Rolfe BSc PhD vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  2. 2. Faculty of Health & Life Science • Health sciences – Biomedical Science – Medical Science – Forensics Science – Pharmacy • Health professions – Audiology – Nursing & Midwifery – Speech and Language Therapy – Clinical Physiology and Clinical Technology • Health studies – Psychology – Social work – Criminology vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  3. 3. Background • Plagiarism is problematic in higher education and increasing (Bull et al, 2001). • Universities have raised plagiarism detection as a priory over prevention, and have put “the cart before the horse” (McGowan 2005). • In 2006 DMU made it compulsory to use Turnitin for all LEVEL ONE assignments. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  4. 4. www.turnitin.com – how similar? vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  5. 5. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  6. 6. Aims of our Project • Use Turnitin “formatively” to address the underlying problems that may cause a student to plagiarise: – Weak literacy and writing – Poor understanding of referencing and citation • Evaluate student / staff perceptions of using Turnitin in this way. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  7. 7. Study Population • Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) – Turnitin introduced in a lecture. • Biomedical Science (BMS) students – Turnitin introduced and used in computer sessions. • Students submitted a single draft essay to Turnitin and viewed / interpreted their own originality reports. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  8. 8. Analysis • SALT (n=11, 26% cohort) and BMS (n=52, 68% cohort) students completed a paper questionnaire (open-ended, Likert scale responses). • Some students and staff invited to interview (transcribed, clustered). vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  9. 9. Results • BMS n = 76 students, 64 submitted a draft 76 submitted final essay. • SALT n = 44 students, 44 submitted a draft and final essay. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  10. 10. Results STUDENT OPINION OF TURNITIN BMS (n=52) SALT (n=11) Positive Negative Positive Negative Question Response Response Response Response How was your experience of using Turnitin? 52 0 5 6 Was there enough training? 43 9 5 6 Did you look at the originality report? 50 2 3 8 Did it help you improve your work? 39 13 0 11 Did you change your work after seeing the 32 20 0 11 report? Should all written work be submitted to 15 37 4 7 provide formative feedback? vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  11. 11. Did it help you improve your work? “Illustrates your capability to produce a new piece of work” “Allowed me to edit my work effectively” “To see whether you have cited work appropriately”. “Not useful enough – doesn’t tell you how to improve your work” vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  12. 12. Should all written work be submitted to provide formative feedback? “Essays should but practical reports shouldn’t because these are written from personal observation so cannot be copied”. “If it is a reflective and personal piece of work there should be no reason to submit it”. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  13. 13. Staff Perceptions “They were rewriting”. “Comparing it to last year’s essay which is what I could compare it with; there was a lot less obvious cut and pasting”. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  14. 14. General Perceptions STAFF “I think people maybe don’t view cut and paste as plagiarism”. “My 12 year old was doing homework over the weekend and he thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to cut and paste”. STUDENT “….when we did psychology a lot of people were just copying and pasting about Freud from the Internet and it was acceptable so it was quite a big shock for me coming to this sort of environment where it’s not acceptable to do that”. “I think people used to do that for A-levels as well for the coursework and buy the coursework and submit it as their own”. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  15. 15. Summary • With adequate training and guidance, students find using Turnitin a useful feedback experience to improve their literacy and citation/referencing. Some staff agreement. (Recent abstract supports this Whittle & Murdoch-Eaton 2008). • For some students, clearer guidance on how to interpret the reports and make improvements to work would be beneficial. • Students enjoyed the experience and claimed it helped them re- write, but what were their motivations? It helped them check their citations, but how? (See Turnitin publicity claim!) • Strong perception that “copy and paste” is the cultural norm in schools and this isn’t viewed as plagiarism. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  16. 16. Conclusions • Turnitin can be used formatively to help build student literacy, referencing and citation. • This is probably a combination of Turnitin having a direct impact and also raising awareness. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  17. 17. Further Research • What were the actual changes in writing behaviour? • Understand working culture at school and work with schools to build good practice. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
  18. 18. References • Bull J, Collins C, CoughlinE & Sharp D. (2001) Technical review of plagiarism detection software report. JISC Report. Available at: http://www.jiscpas.ac.uk/documents/resources/Luton_TechnicalReviewofPDS.pdf [Accessed 15th July 2009] • McGowan, U. (2005) Plagiarism detection and prevention: Are we putting the cart before the horse?, in Higher education in a changing world, Proceedings of the 28th HERDSA Annual Conference, Sydney, 3-6 July 2005: pp 287. • Whittle SR & Murdoch-Eaton DG. (2008) Learning about plagiarism using Turnitin detection software. Medical Education, 42: pp513-543. vrolfe@dmu.ac.uk Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
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