Plagiarism can come in many forms, such as direct copy/paste from a website, copying someone else’s paper, or simply not crediting sources. Plagiarism isn’t always intentional and can be a result of students simply not having covered plagiarism in their prior educational experiences.
Strategies to Educate about Plagiarism
Plagiarism can be used as a teachable moment, allowing for any instructor to educate their student about plagiarism. A few strategies:
- Define plagiarism for your students, and do this in more than just in a syllabus statement. Some instructors will have different standards of plagiarism, and those standards should be communicated. What is considered plagiarism in your class?
- Offer resources for proper citations to students when giving assignments that can cause plagiarism. Direct students to places like Moraine Valley’s own Academic Skills Center, Speaking and Writing Center, or online resources like Purdue OWL.
- Give students a chance to correct their work if it does have instances of plagiarism. In many working environments, we have a chance to correct our mistakes. When warranted, why not give our students the same chance?
- Offer different ways than writing for students to respond to assignments. This allows students to represent their work in a variety of ways that may help them prove understanding of a concept far better than their writing skills may show.
- Use SimCheck for assignments submitted via Canvas, giving students an opportunity to see how their work scores.
SimCheck is the college’s system to help in teaching about the concept of plagiarism. It replaced our prior Vericite system at the start of the Summer 2020 semester.
SimCheck scan documents of multiple types against publicly accessible content, academically oriented content, Creative Commons open educational resources, English Wikipedia, a general web search with web crawler, and prior submitted & scanned documents from the the prior Vericite and SafeAssign systems.
SimCheck can be quickly implemented on new and existing assignments within Canvas.
Creating (or Editing) a SimCheck Assignment
- Log into Canvas and access a desired course.
- Click Assignments.
- Click +Assignment.
- If editing an existing assignment, click on the desired assignment, then Edit.
- Enter the assignment’s details.
- In the Submission Type section, select a type of Online, then select File Uploads.
- In the newly revealed Plagiarism Review section, click the drop-down menu and select SIMCheck.
- Customize settings as desired.
- To demonstrate the plagiarism review and/or teach the concept of plagiarism, consider removing the box to “Index all submissions”. This will allow for you to give students the opportunity to see how the system works and an opportunity to teach the concept of plagiarism.
- When done, click Save & Publish to make the assignment active.
- For new assignments, it’s possible to click Save and publish the assignment later.
- For existing published assignments, clicking Save will immediately reflect the changes.