Back in September, Turnitin, the company behind the widely-used plagiarism detection tool of the same name, released a study that took a look at the impact using plagiarism detection tools had on higher education.
The results were pretty striking. Over a period of five years, schools saw an average decrease in incidents of likely plagiarism (papers with more than 50% unoriginal content) of 33.4%. All totaled, 43 of the 50 states had a reduction in plagiarism and, after a small increase in the second year (the first after the baseline year), schools, on average, saw a year-over-year decrease in likely plagiarism with every year of use.
Now Turnitin is doing the same thing for higher education, looking at some 1003 colleges that have been with the service since before January 1, 2011. Once again, they looked at the number of papers that had come back as 50-100 percent matched content, meaning that over half of the paper was unoriginal (though not necessarily plagiarized).
The results in higher education were remarkably consistent with with the results in the high school study, showing an overall decrease in the amount of suspect works detected, one that averages out to 39.1% over the course of five years for higher education, but it also contains some new information that is interesting and may shed some light on how to better use plagiarism detection tools in the classroom.
Note: Since this study is so similar to the first one, I’m going to follow the same pattern in breaking it down.Continue Reading