Turn It In..but be Smart

The end of the year is busy, and I can never write as much as I want
. Last week on three occasions teachers came to  my office to discuss Turn It In (TII).

The teachers felt that there was an anomoly in the report that TII produced. They wanted to know if

TII could be tricked. I told them, YES, any security or logic system could be beaten.

The problem was the teachers, all young tech savvy and intelligent, felt helpless to act.

I said the same thing to all of them,”TII is a tool. If you sense something is amiss then it probably is. So do what you would do if TII did not exist.”

Technology can hinder you at times.
I am not a fan of any solution that dehumanizes any process that is innately human. The best way to check for plagarism is to know you r students’ voice.

In WWII code breakers could tell a morse code operator by their rhythm, or fist. I think we all could agree that breaking encrypted enemy code is far more difficult than knowing a student’ s writing style. Yet we are losing the simple discipline of this skill.

I think everyone needs to stop relying on TII. Mark my word it is going to fail and embarrass many fine people.

If you email me privately I will explain how to beat TII.

Tony DePrato
http://www.tonydeprato.com

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4 Responses to Turn It In..but be Smart

  1. I agree with this. I had a colleague come to me the other day because she was certain a student had copied, but turnitin didn’t pick it up. With a couple of choice selections shot through Google, we found multiple sources for the paper (of which none were cited). Is there a faster way though?

    • tdeprato says:

      I think crowd sourcing references is the answer. If it is a requirement that everyone submit their references to a common spreadsheet, using something like Google Docs, then you should see overlap and real-time research being done. Someone who is gaming the system is going to have fake references or references written by someone else. And that person would not have access to the crowd-sourced document.

  2. mkendall says:

    “young” tech savvy and smart…….I know a lot of “old” people who are much more tech savvy than the young ones. In fact, whenever there is a technology glitch in my classroom, the only one who knows how to fix it is me….the kids dont, and I am not “young”.

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