Turn It In (TII) is the leading online service that provides originality checking of academic work, and also a range of functionality for feedback and peer review. In relation to originality checking, while the appropriate use of ideas and concepts is still best judged by an expert teacher, TII is the most efficient and effective tool to check student writing to make sure it has not been copied from another source.

LSE has been using TII to originality check the work of students via teachers and departmental staff logging into the TII website and uploading submitted assignments there.

TII integration with Moodle for originality checking

Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI), as part of their assessment and feedback with technology project, has reviewed the use of TII and implemented an integration with the School’s virtual learning environment Moodle in 2014/2015. This integration was a result of a number of different pilot scenarios that were reviewed and assessed.

At this point the integration for originality checking has been refined, tested and found to be robust and reliable. The LTI team has demonstrated it to representatives from almost every academic department at LSE. Feedback has been very positive, highlighting the efficiency and ease of access of originality reports the integration delivers.

Barring any unforeseen problems, LTI are confident the integration for originality checking can be rolled-out in Michaelmas Term 2016 so it can be used on every assignment submitted through Moodle. The official decision will be taken after the final review of feedback from the participating departments towards the end of the Summer Term and an announcement will be made after the Summer Term is concluded, well ahead of the ‘Moodle end of year arrangement’.

The Moodle/TII integration enables different settings to be applied to each assignment: for example, whether submitted work is stored to a repository so future work is checked against it, or to vary the baseline level of matched content that is deemed acceptable. This allows for a good degree of flexibility and for the integration to be configured to the requirements of different disciplines and assignment types.

Grading through Turn It In (GradeMark)

Turn It In also offers an in-depth set of functions for marking student work called GradeMark: efficient ways of applying course rubrics and standard marking comments of individual teachers across multiple assignments, thereby delivering richer feedback for students. GradeMark provides powerful functionality, but like all tools is best deployed when the user is comfortable and confident with it.

The LTI team is still working on enabling assignments to be marked through TII GradeMark and then have this grading information released to students via Moodle. A separate integration to achieve this is currently being tested, and any teachers who are interested in using it should contact lti.support@lse.ac.uk to agree an assignment where they can trial this.

Improving student writing

The availability of the TII service has generated a lively debate across higher education on whether it is a tool that students can use to improve their writing standards or if it provides an aid to those who want to cheat by massaging their plagiarism to an ‘acceptable’ level. By extension, opinions are formed on if students should see the originality scores TII assigns to their submissions; and if they should have the opportunity to revise and resubmit a piece of work if they can see that this score is not acceptable.

The common feeling from everyone involved in providing courses at LSE – both teachers and departmental staff – is that there needs to be a greater training provision if this service is something our students have available for their use.

This is something that the LTI team have noted in all the feedback they have received to this point, and they will be working with colleagues to try and create a solution that will enable TII at LSE to be as much a learning tool to improve writing as a quality assurance mechanism. Anyone interested in finding out more should contact lti.support@lse.ac.uk.

Want to know more?

The LTI team have been contacting Moodle users in each academic department to demonstrate the originality check integration, but if they have not been in touch with you yet or if you have any questions feel free to drop them a line! Please email lti.support@lse.ac.uk and LTI will be happy to provide more information.

Once Summer Term 2016 has concluded further information about the integration will be circulated to the teacher/editors for all LSE courses in Moodle.