Turnitin aids PH in upholding academic integrity

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JACK BRAZEL heads Business Partnerships in Southeast Asia for Turnitin, an Oakland, California-based company specializing on digital solutions products for education and research such as Feedback Studio, Gradescope, iThenticate, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity.
(Photo courtesy of Priority Consultants)

By Nate C. Barretto

A global solutions company focused on education and research recently launched in the Philippines a new software called Turnitin Originality that will aid the local education system in driving up academic integrity.

Forced to online education by the coronavirus pandemic, schools are now facing a variety of challenges among which are the big load of submitted written works and bringing out the better side of their students in producing original work.

In a Zoom meeting with educators last August 5, Turnitin Originality was presented as “the most comprehensive technology to help deter unoriginal work.”

“In the Philippines, where remote education is now strongly encouraged, the release of Turnitin Originality will give educators a better solution for upholding the culture of academic integrity,” said Jack Brazel, Head of Business Partnerships, Southeast Asia for Turnitin.

Tried and tested abroad for 20 years, Turnitin enters the Philippine education system with a holistic approach to academic integrity with new features that help instructors address trends such as contract cheating and teaches students the value of original thinking skills.

Beyond examining whether a submitted work is similar to other known text, or if it bears indications that it was not authored by the student, the software supports students in learning how to properly attribute ideas and concepts to others.

“This data facilitates conversations between instructors and students about how to discover and express their authentic voice,” Brazel explained.

Ateneo de Davao, for one, is already equipped with this technology and has helped ramp up the quality of its graduate and academic research programs, as cited by a participant in the Zoom meeting.

This experience, according to Brazel, is shared by over 15,000 academic institutions, publishers, and corporations that use the company’s products such as Feedback Studio, Gradescope, iThenticate, Turnitin Originality, Turnitin Similarity in the UK, the Netherlands, Australia, and Korea, among others.

In a statement, Valerie Schreiner, CPO and CMO of Turnitin, said educators can use Turnitin Originality as a teaching tool, showing their students how to identify unoriginal content before turning in their papers.

“Supporting academic integrity is a multi-layered process of setting expectations, providing tools to students so they can self check and correct, and then helping faculty to identify potential misconduct so that they can intervene,” she said.

In doing so, every institution can set new standards for academic integrity and give its students and instructors a unified solution to support those standards.

“Our technology helps educators train students to develop original thinking. As they do so, we are contributing to shaping citizens of integrity in the society,” said Brazel.

Asked by ThePhilBizNews if it is an effective tool in tracing the origin of a written text, Brazel explained that what Turnitin Originality technology can do is site several sources of a specific text as had been previously published. It is the user’s responsibility to cite the most credible source based on his/her own research and knowledge on the subject matter.

Turnitin, which is headquartered in Oakland, California, hopes it finds more partners in Philippine educational institutions in sharing its dedication to promoting honesty, consistency, and fairness in the academe.