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Mandatory Use of TurnItIn: The Effect of a Policy on Reducing Unoriginal Writing in Online Classes (English version)

Peter Kiriakidis ()
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Peter Kiriakidis: Ph.D., University Research Reviewer, Walden University. Dr. Peter Kiriakidis, PhD has expertise in higher education educational leadership: (a) chairing comprehensive examinations and dissertation committees; (b) developing curriculum and academic programs; and (c) teaching graduate courses in research, educational leadership in higher education, educational and information technology, online technology, e-commerce, software development, and information systems. Peter is a reviewer of many academic journals. He has presented a plethora of research studies nationally and internationally

Postmodern Openings, 2012, vol. 9, 81-105

Abstract: An accredited online university in the United States of America implemented TurnItIn similarity index rates in online classes in order to reduce unoriginal writing of online graduate and postgraduate students. The research problem was the lack of empirical research-based findings on the implementation of TurnItIn on reducing unoriginal academic work in online classes. The purpose of this research was to examine the similarity index rates, found in each TurnItIn report of each student’s assignment submitted to www.TurnItIn.com in order to minimize unoriginal student writing. This study was grounded in the social learning theory of Vygotsky. The research question that guided this study was “What is the impact of the implementation of TurnItIn on reducing unoriginal writing in online classes of graduate and postgraduate students?” Archived data containing the similarity index rates of TurnItIn reports were collected for two cohorts of 111 graduate and 107 postgraduate students before and after the implementation of TurnItIn reports in online classes. The findings revealed that the implementation of TurnItIn reduced unoriginal writing in graduate and postgraduate online classes. A significant difference between the means of the two cohorts of similarity index rates of TurnItIn was found. The empirical evidence was that the implementation of TurnItIn has helped the online institution at the research site to reduce unoriginal writing. Education stakeholders may use these findings to improve academic integrity.

Keywords: online education; graduate and postgraduate online courses; online institutions; academic integrity; plagiarism; policies on reducing unoriginal writing; staff development programs for online faculty members; TurnItIn reports; similarity index rates (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A23 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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