SimCheck, the college’s plagiarism detection system, can be used in a number of ways to aid students in learning about plagiarism. Here’s a few best practices for using SimCheck to teach your students and help them avoid plagiarism activities in the future.
Take the time early in a course to define plagiarism, and what plagiarism means in the class. Many students may not be familiar with the concept of plagiarism, and thus do not know they are violating academic integrity until they do so inadvertently.
Create an early assignment as a tool example
It’s often best to create a sample early task in any course to demonstrate the use of a tool. In this case, creating a SimCheck assignment very early in the course with a very low stakes task can be helpful in orienting students to the system and the concept of plagiarism. Provide information about how the tool is going to be used in the course as a whole. For this type of assignment, also consider not having the submissions indexed by the tool.
Allow draft submissions
When working with higher stakes assignments, consider allowing students a separate draft submission at a low value that does not index in the database. In the instructions for the task, explain why the draft exists and offer assistance & resources on preventing plagiarism if it should be found in the submission report. This can give students an opportunity to determine when they are unintentionally plagiarizing an assignment, allowing them an opportunity to take corrective action before the final submission.
Create your own intentionally plagiarized document
As the instructor, it’s possible to submit to an assignment when using student view. On the first use of the tool, consider intentionally submitting a self-created document that has some level of plagiarism within it. This then allows an instructor to highlight an actual report and explain the instances of plagiarism without placing a spotlight on a student or risking a violation of FERPA.
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
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?
Negate the need for SimCheck
Consider offering 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.
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