Story Highlights

  • About Turnitin
  • Turnitin vs. SafeAssign
  • Information, training and support
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After a two-year hiatus, Turnitin returns to SDSU with a more robust plagiarism prevention tool, OriginalityCheck, and two new companion tools, PeerMark and GradeMark, that can streamline grading and meaningful feedback on student writing.

Faculty can now easily create Turnitin paper, draft and revision assignments within Blackboard, and students can now submit their papers to Turnitin within Blackboard.

About Turnitin

Turnitin compares the content of those papers to over a billion other papers and documents on the Web, checking for originality and producing originality reports to encourage proper citation and original writing. 

With PeerMark, students can review other student papers and give online feedback to their peers, and with GradeMark, faculty can insert notes as well as drag-and-drop common feedback while grading work online.

For faculty who use rubrics to score writing, they can be created or imported into GradeMark, and rubric element scores automatically generate a final score for the assignment in Blackboard GradeCenter. Or, faculty can enter paper grades directly into GradeCenter, in the column created when the Turnitin assignment was set up.

Turnitin vs. SafeAssign

Turnitin was dropped by SDSU as a cost-saving move two years ago when SafeAssign became available through Blackboard at no additional cost. While some faculty found SafeAssign satisfactory, others had concerns about its effectiveness and reliability in detecting plagiarism, incorrect citations and original writing.

"Since the change to SafeAssign, we have documented many cases where SafeAssign gave a clean report, but through Google Scholar we found significant cases of plagiarism," said Bill Snavely, director of the School of Communication and chair of Faculty Senate.

"The database is just far too limited for us to have any confidence in SafeAssign. Our consensus conclusion is that Turnitin is the only system in which we have confidence."

Other instructors have noted the same problems and additional concerns with SafeAssign. Given the prevalence of such concerns, Academic Affairs decided to participate in a new three-year agreement negotiated by the CSU at the end of 2010. The new agreement not only brings Turnitin back to SDSU, but also features additional services.

Information, training and support

For further information and support resources on Turnitin, please visit the ITS website.

For Turnitin training and support in spring 2011, please contact Carol Tohsaku, SDSU Turnitin administrator, at ctohsaku@mail.sdsu.edu or 619-594-2203. ITS will still offer support for SafeAssign in Blackboard through spring 2011.

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