Global Innovation Awards 2017: Honorable Mention

Category: Moving Forward with Integrity | Europe

Universidad Carlos III

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

Nominated by Eva Méndez, Deputy Vice President for Strategy and Digital Education Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Over the last two years, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has expanded its usage of Turnitin to an institutional level to promote academic integrity and control levels of authenticity. This development means it now plays a greater role in terms of influencing academic behaviour from first year instruction to submission of final papers. The University’s Strategic Plan 2016–2020 (p. 39) particularly states the importance of the academic integrity for both students and professors. It plans to approve a formal Ethical Code that will include the measures to be taken to pursue plagiarism or any other academic misconduct or lack of integrity.

All freshman students at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid take part in a seven week programme (three hours per week) about information skills, including the concept of academic integrity. The training covers digital and information literacy, and the correct use of information – and features Turnitin as a key tool to embed good practice.

Final papers for all undergraduate and Master degree courses are now submitted using Turnitin. In addition to this, teachers are increasingly using Turnitin as a requirement for submitting coursework papers, which they sometimes evaluate using GradeMark and occasionally carry out peer-to-peer evaluation activities.

Eva Méndez explains how Turnitin is helping to shape student attitudes at the university: “Our university was born with the web in 1989 and our students are digital natives. Our challenge was to change their mindset away from thinking that because 'copy and paste' digital information is so easy for them it might be acceptable. We also help them to respect intellectual property.

“The outcome of this wider usage of Turnitin and adoption of the values of academic integrity has led to higher quality final submissions. We’re now on the curve of students thinking of Turnitin as an incentive to produce better work, rather than simply a mandatory and negative part of the process.

“Our university is ranked amongst the best universities under 50 years old. We want also for Universidad Carlos III de Madrid to be ranked amongst the universities with the best students. Academic integrity is a good way to achieve this and produce higher quality students.”

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