Academic Integrity Award Winner

Radica Mahase

Radica Mahase

Senior Lecturer, History: College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

With a heavy workload Radica has found it a challenge to review so many papers for originality and provide feedback to so many students. Following concerns regarding the integrity of students’ work the college implemented Turnitin and related training. However, the system began with a basic implementation and Radica and others realised that students, despite receiving Originality Reports, had no idea how to use and interpret the reports. Therefore, Radica began allowing her students multiple submissions so that they could review, revise, and check their work again. In addition, she began providing them with more instruction on what plagiarism is, how to avoid it, and how to introduce proper citation into their writing. She also gives her students examples of high similarity papers, and informs them of the criteria by which they will be graded regarding their levels of originality. In providing these sample papers, she finds that students are “shocked” by how comprehensive Turnitin is in finding source matches and that similarity scores could be so high. She emphasizes that this approach makes them realise how severe the problem of unoriginal writing can be, and motivates them to make sure to conduct appropriate attribution.



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