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Turning to Turnitin to Fight Plagiarism among University Students

by Tshepo Batane
Educational Technology and Society ()
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JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact ABSTRACT This paper reports on a pilot project of the Turnitin plagiarism detection software, which was implemented to determine the impact of the software on the level of plagiarism among University of Botswana (UB) students. Students' assignments were first submitted to the software without their knowledge so as to gauge their level of plagiarism. The results recorded the average level of plagiarism among UB students to be 20.5%.The software was then introduced to the students and they were warned that their second assignments would be checked through the software. The results showed a 4.3% decrease in the level of plagiarism among students. A survey was conducted to find out the reasons why students plagiarise and also get the participants' views on the use of the software to fight plagiarism. To win the fight against plagiarism, the paper recommends that the university adopt a more comprehensive approach in dealing with the problems that addresses, among other things, the fundamental reason why students plagiarise.

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