IT Trends

Singapore Universities Battle Plagiarism with iParadigm Service

Four universities in Singapore have gone public with their adoption of a service to battle plagiarism and teach students how to work with source material. Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore Management University (SMU), and SIM University have all deployed iParadigms' Turnitin as part of their course management processes.

At the National University of Singapore (NUS), where Turnitin has been used since 2002, Associate Professor Brian Farrell in the Department of History wrote in the May 2008 issue of CDTL Brief, a publication of the university's Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, "I have found it to be useful in doing three important things: categorically exposing crude and massive plagiarism; providing a graphic illustration of general student practices regarding the use of sources and the composition of research essays and providing a graphic teaching aid to instruct students on the problem of cut and paste. All three capabilities make Turnitin an important tool, and let me add a fourth: the general signal it sends about plagiarism, academic culture and responsibilities."

Turnitin works by comparing matches between the paper submitted by the student and contents in the Turnitin database. The service color-codes matches for at-a-glance comparisons.

"Turnitin can also be helpful in training students to understand the difference between compiling work by cutting and pasting from their sources and composing work by drawing facts, arguments and inspiration from their sources in order to formulate their own argument," Farrell added in his article.

Turnitin is available in 10 languages, including Malay, Chinese, Korean, Thai, and Japanese. In Asia iParadigms' products are sold by reseller iGroup.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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