Global Innovation Awards 2017: Honorable Mention

Category: Partners in Success | Asia

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Pakistan

Nominated by: Junaid Alam, Assistant Professor

“I am using Turnitin in an innovative way to engage students, enable two-way learning, and ensure their maximum participation.”

Teaching cultures vary around the world. In Pakistan, Junaid Alam says, they tend to be one way: teacher to student. He prefers a more participatory methodology with his graduate students. Alam is an assistant professor at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), and he uses Turnitin to teach his students to write correctly and responsibly. In other words, he teaches them to write with academic integrity.

“I am using Turnitin in an innovative way to engage students, enable two-way learning, and ensure their maximum participation,” says Alam. Instead of giving assignments that only count toward a summative assessment, he creates assignments for the express purpose of giving students lots of practice revising and providing peer review. He says this is particularly important training for the scientific community.

Alam says Turnitin’s Originality Report makes it easy to see where content might be copied from another source. Students can then determine whether the material is attributed properly or not. Sometimes students need to add quotation marks or revise to improve how something is paraphrased. Other times, content may be referenced correctly but the paper as a whole lacks originality. The visual cues help students decide if they need to add more ideas of their own.

Other Turnitin features provide instant notification of obvious issues with grammar, spelling, style, and other mechanics, which Alam says frees time for him to focus on providing more astute feedback. “The more innovative aspect of Turnitin is its Rubric Manager,” says Alam. He works out exactly which standards he wants to use to grade assignments, then uses that rubric within Turnitin to link comments on student work to related grading criteria. In short, he says, “My students feel very comfortable and feel a great sense of participation and ownership of class activities.”

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