Global Innovation Awards 2017: Winner

Category: Moving Forward with Integrity | Latin America

University of the Southern Caribbean

University of the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad And Tobago

Nominated by: Judeth McLeod-James, Assistant Professor

“I think the more we educate our faculty members and use these aids that assist students in developing their writing, the more marketable we become,” says McLeod-James.

Students attending the private University of Southern Caribbean in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago arrive from all over the Caribbean, as well as the U.S. and a few from Africa and China. One of the professors there who champions Turnitin, Judeth McLeod-James, says the quality of student work reflects on the university, so faculty and staff have been working together to promote high standards.

The university uses Turnitin to ensure that students adhere to international conventions for academic writing and integrity. It’s been using Turnitin for years, but only recently has it starting using it at every level and training educators to use it in the classroom as a teaching tool, as opposed to just checking for plagiarism. “I think the more we educate our faculty members and use these aids that assist students in developing their writing, the more marketable we become,” says McLeod-James.

McLeod-James says one challenge they’ve clamped down on is self-plagiarism: “Students used to write a paper and submit it to more than one class, without realizing that they were only cheating themselves of an opportunity to learn and improve. Because Turnitin can instantly scan for previous submissions (as well as similarities to published content), it’s much easier to identify possible plagiarism and have a visual to guide conversations with students about what’s acceptable and what needs work.”

After giving feedback on drafts, which McLeod-James says is much easier and quicker with Turnitin, professors encourage students to revise their work before submitting for final grading. “We give them the opportunity to improve as they try to achieve success,” she sums up.

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