Gradescope is a Turnitin solution that enables quick and easy grading. This useful tool saves instructors time and lets them focus on teaching, which is the most important part of the learning process. 

It is undisputed that feedback is very crucial where learning is concerned. This is to help students know how they are doing, which areas to focus on and so forth. It also helps instructors know how they can help their students improve, which concepts to revisit and help them better understand concepts. While Turnitin’s main focus is to empower students to do their best, authentic work, it also saw it best to provide a tool that will help deliver effective feedback and also save instructors grading time. 

Gradescope has solved grading problems for many institutions like Oregon State University. For every module taken, teaching has to remain consistent for every student and the experience has to be as similar as possible. However, with more than 30 000 students, grading each student’s paper was not always that easy. The method that the university used contained instructors grading exams based on the rubric developed by the team and hoped that they would all interpret and apply the rubric the same way. With each instructor drawing their own conclusion from what they were noticing while marking the papers, it was difficult to know how all the students were performing as a whole.  

All of the university’s grading problems were solved when they made a discovery of an entirely new world of data-informed instruction and consistency grading. They could now gain an insight into how all the students answered a certain question. Gradescope provided the university with very unique and clear information for every question regardless of type, from multiple-choice to open-response questions. This allowed instructors to alter instruction, review test questions and easily compare the similarity between versions of exams.  

Instructors could see how many different answers students gave and how each one was popular because it was relatively easy to sort each question and answers into groups. Instructors could then provide the same comment with just one click for every common response and this saved them time.  

Teaching and learning has improved, with the insights gained from Gradescope.  

Want to find out how Gradescope can help you save time on what matters the most? 

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What is Self-Citation?

Did you know that when you, as researcher, do not reference or recognise your own work in a research study, it is seen as self-plagiarism? Self-citation is essential to avoid plagiarism. The term self-citation refers to the recognition of your own work when you are expanding on previous research or referring to work you have previously published.  The reasoning behind this? Research is cumulative and therefore you must refer to and attribute prior foundational academic work.

How Should it Be Used?

There is a limit to self-citation, however. When a researcher uses self-citation primarily to create a bigger impact, it becomes a matter of ethics. This unethical behaviour is called excessive self-citation, also referred to as citation manipulation.  COPE states in a study from 2019 that, “When any of the above parties, editors, board members, reviewers, or authors add or request to add citations where the motivations are merely self-promotional this aim violates publication ethics and is unethical. Additionally, whether or not they are requested, citations to the editor’s work should not be added in the belief that this will increase the likelihood of the publication being accepted” (2019).

What Does Self-Citation Look Like?

Self-citation has been called out on numerous occasions by the scientific community. In one computer science example as pointed out by Nature in a study PLoS Biology the scientist “received 94% of his citations from himself or his co-authors up to 2017.” In this same data set, they list around 100 000 researchers of which 250 scientists have attained more than 50% of their citations from themselves or their co-authors. The median rate for self-citation is in fact 12.7% (Van Noorden & Chawla, 2019).

In other words, excessive self-citation is not easy to miss.

The researcher could easily commit citation manipulation when they want to publish work and increase the impact factor. This of course would open up doors for future publications. The journal, on the other hand, could accept it to raise its own impact factor, or it may be a journal that falls into a niche audience with limited topic choices (Sanfilippo et al., 2021).

What Impact Does Self-Citation Have on Academic Integrity?

There is a direct link between self-citation and academic integrity: citations, and thus self-citations, raise the academic reputation of a researcher or journal in the form of the impact factor score, which is a very visible indicator of reputation.

It can, however, have the opposite effect. As academics become increasingly aware of this form of abuse. It has become clear that the more self-citations there are, the more likely the author is trying to self-promote.

How Can This Problem of Self-Citation Be Addressed?

As a first step, raising awareness of self-citation abuse would contribute to the mitigation of misconduct.  It is important that this awareness and underlying drive for academic integrity would guide academics to use self-citation appropriately. To support this, policies are being developed along with objective measurements for self-citation.

iThenticate, by Turnitin, is the leading provider of the professional plagiarism detection & prevention technology used worldwide by scholarly publishers, research departments, and individual researchers and authors to ensure the originality of written work before publication.

Find out more: https://www.eiffelcorp.co.za/digital-learning-products/technology-solutions-for-business/ithenticate-professional-plagiarism-detection/

 

References:

COPE Discussion Article. 2019. Version 1 (July):3. Available Online. https://publicationethics.org/files/COPE_DD_A4_Citation_Manipulation_Jul19_SCREEN_AW2.pdf

Van Noorden, R. and Chawla, D.S. 2019 Hundreds of extreme self-citing scientists revealed in new database. Nature. August. Available Online.  https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02479-7

This blog originally appeared on Turnitin’s blog as posted below:

https://www.turnitin.com/blog/what-is-self-citation-and-what-does-it-have-to-do-with-academic-integrity

Plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct are not new. It has, and most likely will, always find a way into our institutions. No matter its shape or form, any sort of misconduct affects both students and educators in various ways. The impact of Covid-19 has not yet been determined in its entirety, but we do know that it has most likely contributed to turning a blind eye to dishonesty or misconduct. It has, however, been a problem within the academic community in many ways, even before Covid-19. Why do the academic community or institutions often ignore or leave plagiarism and other different types of misconduct unaddressed?  One reason is that there are numerous myths and misconceptions when it comes to plagiarism. The result? The misconstrued ideas surrounding academic misconduct have unfortunately had a serious impact on the quality of research and published academic writing.

So how do we address these issues and improve on our research outputs and academic writing in general? Awareness and improved understanding of the seriousness of the matter – and debunking the myths that surround plagiarism and academic misconduct.

Let’s have a closer look at these myths:

The Myth: Plagiarism is Not a Rising Problem

There’s a misconception that plagiarism is not actually a rising problem. The belief is that it only appears worse because of the development of technology, and therefore ability to detect plagiarism has grown dramatically in the last 20 years. In some ways, the exact opposite is true. While it is indeed easier to detect plagiarism, it’s also much easier to commit plagiarism. This includes more resources and access to materials at the writer or student’s disposal, and simpler methods to integrate content into their own.

The Truth:

Plagiarism is easier and more tempting than ever. As a result, plagiarism retractions are on the rise, even at publications that aren’t using advanced plagiarism-detection technology.

The Myth: Plagiarism is Mostly a Problem Among Students and Not Professionals

While it’s easy to think that plagiarism can mostly be attributed to students, who are seen as inexperienced academics who innocently make mistakes as they enter the world of research. The reality is that plagiarism is a problem at all levels of academia, including professional researchers. In fact, the problem of professional plagiarism has become so bad that the Singapore Medical Journal and the Medical Journal of Malaysia, published a joint statement in 2008, warning researchers against submitting plagiarised works. In the statement, the two publications said that they have “recently encountered a number of submissions of plagiarised work to our respective journals.”

The Truth:

Students do not have sole ownership of the plagiarism problem, and it is an academic issue that is growing both in and outside of the classroom.

The Myth: The Plagiarism Issue is Blown Out of Proportion

Many agree that plagiarism is a problem, but believe that it’s blown way out of proportion. They argue that despite the rising number of retractions, the additional, intense focus and scrutiny on the media and many academics are unjustified. They feel the number of retractions remains small in comparison to the total number of papers published. However, that number does not take into consideration the numerous plagiarised papers that were caught before publication or, more worrisome, the ones that were plagiarised, but not retracted.

The Truth:

Plagiarism is a rapidly-growing problem for both academic and scholarly publications. It is one that is often underestimated due to the inaccurate data on total plagiarism cases.

The Myth: Plagiarism is Harmless

While it is true that a lot of plagiarism and misconduct retractions take place at lesser-known journals, there is often significant harm caused by misconduct in academic literature.

For example, in a recent post by Retraction Watch, it was shown that a series of retracted studies made a potentially dangerous drug treatment appear to be safe, possibly endangering patients’ lives. This analysis correlated with a 2011 study that found fabrications by Scott Reben, an anaesthesiologist, may have resulted in some patients having their post-surgery pain undertreated.

With plagiarism, the dangers are less about patient safety and more about wasted resources. With limited funding, publication space and research space available, plagiarised proposals and studies cause unneeded duplication that wastes those resources and deny them to new, potentially beneficial research.

The Truth:

Plagiarism can cause harmful outcomes in various fields, and limit important research by blocking potential funds.

The Myth: Plagiarism is Primarily a Problem in Non-English Speaking Countries

While there is some truth in this statement – especially for researchers trying to publish in English who are struggling with the language – language barriers are not the only factors that lead to plagiarism.

The Truth:

Plagiarism is very much a global problem with many of the best known and most prolific plagiarists being from the United States, including the recent case of Gerry Lushington, who was censured for misconduct by the US Office of Research Integrity, which more commonly deals with fabrication issues.

The Myth: Almost All Plagiarists Get Caught

With so many new tools to detect plagiarism, search engines and constant communication, it is easy to think that no one, especially a professional researcher, could get away with the misdeed plagiarism in the 2020s.

The Truth:

Things are almost never as they seem.  There are, in fact, limitations to the technology available. Plagiarism dealing solely related to ideas and data, for example, can’t be detected easily – if at all. The biggest blind spot in the technology is that it still requires humans to both use the tools available and draw the correct conclusions.

In other words, yes the tools available can greatly reduce the amount of plagiarism that slips through, but these tools are not used as widely or as accurately as they should.

The Myth: There is Nothing Wrong with Self-Plagiarism

For many, self-plagiarism is a difficult issue. Since plagiarism is about using the ideas and works of another without attribution, how is it possible to plagiarise yourself?

However, publications and government bodies don’t see the issue the same way. Self-plagiarism raises many of the same challenges and problems as traditional plagiarism including duplication in published studies and wasted funding.

The Truth:

Though self-plagiarism doesn’t have a direct victim the way regular plagiarism does, it still poses a disadvantage to other researchers who might be denied a chance to be published or the opportunity to acquire funding based on original work.

Conclusion

Much like the misinformation found online today, many myths about plagiarism are believable because at their core, there seems to be some truth. In reality though, these myths form a small part of a more complex and evolving situation. Plagiarism, its consequences and its causes, are not straightforward.

Contact us and find out how the solutions that we offer with our partners at Turnitin, can help your institution fight the spread of plagiarism and other forms of misconduct.

 

This blog was first published on:

https://www.ithenticate.com/resources/webcasts/7-plagiarism-myths-debunked

 

Eiffel Corp partnered with CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa as an associate sponsor of the seventh annual Future of Education Summit. Hosted virtually for the second year in a row, the summit took place on Thursday, 29 July 2021.

The event brought together experts from 25 countries across the world, in an attempt to answer whether education needs to be redefined – during and post pandemic. And if yes, to what degree. Various panel discussions tackled different topics within the theme, “Redefining the Purpose of Education.”

The event started with an opening address from Rakesh Wahi, Founder of the Future of Education Summit and Co-Founder of the ABN Group. Mr. Wahi shared key thoughts on the impact of Covid-19 on the global education sector, raising the question of whether the current pathway for academic progression is relevant to the future.

Our Director of Digital Learning Services, Myles Thies, had the opportunity to join in on an important discussion relating to “Technologies Transforming the Face of Education.”

The following message was aired to introduce thoughts and set the context for this panel discussion: “The transformation brought on by the covid 19 pandemic globally across all industries is likely to continue. While edtech, online teaching, and learning became more prominent in the education sector, both the strengths and weaknesses of online education have been exposed. As the world moves out of the shadows of the pandemic, a blended learning model is most likely to emerge and last into the future. The technological trends most likely to shape the face of education include artificial intelligence, hybrid course models, data-driven student analysis, open education resources, quality virtual learning, big data, blockchain, gamification, robotics, and the Internet of Things, and 3d printing.”

Fifi Peters, Anchor at CNBC Africa, facilitated the conversation. She opened in agreement on the several technologies that are transforming the face of education and then raised the important question of “how many of them are applicable for an African setting.” The panel was joined by Prof Dan Atkins, group CEO of the Transnational Academic Group, Dr. Felix Panganayi (Founder and Director at the Windsor School of Excellence in Science and Technology in Zimbabwe), Dean McCoubrey, (Founder at My Sociallife), and our very own Myles Thies (Director of Digital Learning Services).

While the discussion was focused on transformational technology, an important focus was placed on the gaps that exist within the education sector. From lack of access to data to digital literacy, there was a general consensus that not all institutions were on the same playing field when it came to the implementation or application of blended or online learning. McCoubrey added it is important to note there are three components to learning is, one is education (teaching), other technology (edtech), and thirdly, humanity. Aside from access to information and resources, there is an important component that cannot be overlooked, which is mental wellness, and the soft skills that go with human interaction. In other words, going forward we need to “ensure that the balance of soft skills interacting and the human aspect of teaching and learning is also maintained.”

Myles Theis explained the realities that were revealed during Covid-19, “We quickly saw that it takes a lot more than just pieces of technology in order to be able to really create this successful learning experience, bring people in, pull them through a program, and then obviously help them achieve those skills, or within the original framework that we envision…from schools level, all the way through to corporate learning to higher education a lot of growing up had to be done and a lot of experimentation happened.”

“We’ve seen traditional models of teaching and learning really struggling to cope with the challenges required by the pandemic,” said Thies.  Adding that “a lot of the thinking that had to take place could now inform what happens in the future.”  Institutions and schools can now ask important questions such as, “Where do we spend our money? How do we actually get the greatest benefit out of the technology that we apply? And how do we redevelop the programs that we are presenting…so that they meet the needs of the relevant groups of people in those programs as well as meet the needs of all the different stakeholders.”

The panel also touched on how Covid-19 has accelerated innovation and how we’ve seen challenges met with new solutions. Most importantly, however, none of the technology adds the value it is supposed to when it is not accessible – whether through pricing or through lack of skills.

Myles Thies explains, “It is really important that tech solutions are given to teachers who have the right kind of skills to be able to apply them in the right way. And I think the leadership in those institutions, and across every single region around the world, particularly for Africa, should be enabled to understand what they’re going to do for their learners, and how to make the best use of these tools.” Dean McCoubrey agreed, “I think it’s very easy for us to get stuck in the emerging tech and the innovations. But actually, we have a problem with basic access, basic education, and inclusion. So that’s really where we are as a continent and as a country.”

Watch the full panel discussion in the recap below:

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Sponsors for this event included UCT GSB, Vodacom Business, Eiffel Corp, the University of Johannesburg, Vuma, Transnational Academic Group, Lancaster University of Ghana, and Curtin University Dubai.