New Turnitin tool does more than check for plagiarism

Purdue’s adoption of the Turnitin Originality plagiarism checker will give faculty and students systemwide access to a variety of tools that will not only help ensure academic integrity but also help improve grammar, spelling and proper citations.

Turnitin is be integrated with the new D2L Brightspace learning management system for courses to use this fall, and is available at no cost to students or instructors. The tool works by comparing text in submitted assignments to a database of both student-submitted and published research papers, then produces a “similarity report” that highlights possible instances of plagiarism. The tool replaces the SafeAssign tool previously available in Blackboard Learn, which will be decommissioned in August.

Faculty, grad students and administrators interested in learning more about Turnitin, are invited to attend a virtual demonstration of the tool from 3 to 4 p.m. on August 26. Click here to register and meeting details.

Although Turnitin is primarily known for its plagiarism-checker functions, the tool also provides faculty and students a host of other services, including:

  • E-rater grammar feedback technology that can check submissions for grammar, mechanics, style and spelling errors – and provide “on the paper” feedback students can use before submitting an assignment.
  • Reports show results within the context of students’ assignments.
  • Check for similarity against their industry-leading content database.
  • User friendly interface with color -coded matching text
  • Instructors can choose to allow students to see their similarity scores

Educational technologists on the West Lafayette, Northwest and Fort Wayne campuses are currently developing documentation and additional workshops to help instructors use the tool this fall.

Brett Creech, an educational technologist with the Innovative Learning Team who also teaches communications courses on the West Lafayette campus, says he’s been impressed with some of Turnitin’s features, like the ability to specify whether to check for British or American grammar and spelling.

“I found that for a lot of students, it can help tremendously with improving their writing,” Creech says.

More information about how instructors can use Turnitin in a course, along with details about training materials and workshops, will be announced soon.

Last updated: August 11, 2020