Success Story: Florida International University, Florida
Why Implement Turnitin?
"We needed to do something to minimize academic misconduct, specifically plagiarism," says Kenneth Johnson, FIU's vice provost. After implementing Turnitin, Johnson and many of the faculty have found a useful teaching and learning tool and effective paperless classroom management. "Nine years later it's at the point where the faculty really depend on it," he says. Today, over 1,000 instructors use the service, and more than 74,000 students have submitted papers.
Helps Teach Students to Do Original Work and Use Sources Properly
As vice provost, Johnson must make sure that students adhere to the university's code of academic integrity. With Turnitin originality checking in place, students recognize the importance of doing original work and have learned the skills for properly citing quotations.
"I've found it very useful as an instructional tool," Johnson explains. "The originality reports are just one part of it." Dedicated to teaching his students the importance of proper citation, Johnson puts limits on the amount of verbatim text allowed in their papers. "I don't want them relying too much on somebody else's words," he says. "Pedagogically, it's helpful to understand how to put the material in their own words instead of quoting a long passage." Having Turnitin available to show verbatim matches and poor paraphrases gives Johnson and other professors at FIU an essential teaching tool.
Convenient and Efficient Instructional Tools for Faculty and Students
"My students never have an issue submitting papers through Turnitin," Johnson says. "They really don't see it as detection because we use the instructional support aspects so much." Using the calendar and discussion area, posting assignments, and grading papers through GradeMark® and GradeBook allows for smooth and efficient online classroom management. "Turnitin provides all the classroom management tools that I need," Johnson says. "I now keep my grading records online; it's a convenient thing."
Integrated with Blackboard for Comprehensive Online Course Management
"The technology is easy to use and manage on our own," Johnson says. Many instructors now use PeerMark® online peer reviewing to organize student responses to written assignments and to open up student papers to more readership. Also, faculty who teach fully online courses are successfully integrating Turnitin with Blackboard for comprehensive online course management.
Plus — an Unexpected Benefit — Keeps Course on Track Even When University Shuts Down!
"One of Florida's hurricanes shut down the university for two weeks," he explains. Unable to hold class on campus, the professor and his students were able to connect through the discussion area of Turnitin, which allowed Johnson not only to communicate with his students but also to post assignments and keep the course on track.
Johnson is relieved, especially in this time of budget cuts, that he's had no difficulty convincing FIU to continue using the service. "The administration likes it," he says, noting that the number of faculty members who use Turnitin increases every year. "We're using it to manage our classes and minimize misconduct," Johnson says, "and it's a highly visible university-wide service that shows we take academic integrity seriously."