turnitin is a ‘text-matching’ software which is designed to educate students regarding appropriate citation and referencing techniques.
turnitin does this by comparing a student submission against an archive of Internet documents, Internet data, a repository of previously submitted papers, and subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications.
turnitin then creates an ‘Originality Report’ which can be viewed by both lecturers and students, which identifies where the text within a student submission has matched another source. It is important to note that turnitin does not detect plagiarism.
turnitin will only match the text within a student’s assignment to text located elsewhere (e.g. found on the Internet, within journals or on databases of student papers). Correct interpretation of these results by both lecturers and students is essential for the successful use of turnitin.
TEXT-MATCHING SEARCH SYSTEMS
Text-matching search systems offer instructors an automated and objective environment to identify those parts of an assignment submitted by a student that are not original.
Also, these systems are designed to show the sources in which the non-original text can be found. These sources can be other students’ works or already published materials on the Internet. Thanks to these systems, the evaluator can quantify the amount of non-original text appearing in a submission and decide whether that submission can be considered to as plagiarism.
This kind of tool can be effectively used in educational contexts for many purposes:
- as support to judge plagiarism.
- as a tool for students to validate that the citations in their manuscripts are correct.
In terms of assessment, turnitin has two different modules: GradeMark and PeerMark. On the one hand, GradeMark allows instructors to add text/voice comments to submissions, highlighting fragments of text, create grading rubrics, and automatically check grammar and spelling (thanks to e-Rater). On the other hand, PeerMark is a module for peer evaluation that allows students to evaluate the submissions of their fellows.
Use cases/examples of usage: (tutorial)
Strenght: It is able to detect text matches with already published papers or with papers published in another subject.
Weakness: The plagiarism detection algorithm does not work with images. The documents must be sent to turnitin (which can be incorporated into the LMS) in order to be processed (and stored), which might violate educational privacy.
People opinion about the tool: https://www.trustradius.com/products/turnitin/reviews
Similar Tool: Grammarly Business; PlagiarismCheck.org; Unicheck; PlagScan; ProWritingAid; Plagiarism Checker X; Noplag; URKUND.
Technical and operational requirements: Device with web browser and Internet connection.