Implementing TurnItIn in a Course
Formal Notification to Students
It is important to advise students at the beginning of a course that TurnItIn may be used to verify the originality of their work. (However, faculty members are not obligated to inform students, since the UBC Calendar already warns students that works submitted by students may be reviewed by TurnItIn.)
For example, instructors may wish to include a statement in their course outlines.
In this course you will be required to submit some material in electronic form. When this is required, it will be noted. The electronic material will be submitted to a service to which UBC subscribes, called TurnItIn. This is a service that checks textual material for originality. It is increasingly used in North American universities. A page describing TurnItIn and the University’s reasons for using it are attached.
(See TurnItIn FAQs for suggested questions and answers to attach.)
Create a Unique User Profile
Instructors should create a unique user profile at TurnItIn. Instructors will then be able to create profiles for each course for which they wish to use the service. Visit the TurnItIn web site for information on creating a profile.
Join an Account
Please select the appropriate Faculty or School — a list of UBC TurnItIn ID Codes and Passwords is available.
Create a course profile including a password of your choice for for each course for which you wish to use the service. Course profiles will be automatically assigned a “course ID code” by the software. Students will require both the course ID code and the password to access the service. In the creation of a course profile, TurnItIn will prompt instructors for a “course name” and a “course number”.
When prompted for the “course name”, please use the standard course designation “XXXX 100″ format (four digit UBC Calendar course code followed by three digit course number). When prompted for the “course number”, please use the section number (i.e. 001). This will ensure consistency across the University.
Instructors may ask students to submit assignments directly to TurnItIt, or may require that students submit electronic documents so that the instructor may submit them to TurnItIn. Within 24 – 48 hours of submission, instructors will be able to access reports on the originality of their students’ assignments on-line at TurnItIn.
In the event that students are unable to access the service (i.e., do not have Internet access), or object to submitting their work to TurnItIn, instructors should be prepared to consider an alternative.
The use of TurnItIn should in no way interfere with appropriate and acknowledged collaboration, and instructors are encouraged to discuss this with students.
Other Suggestions to Faculty Members Choosing to Use TurnItIn
Faculty members should consider reminding students about professional standards of proper attribution, in the context of academic freedom and academic integrity. See various sources listed at the end of this document. Faculty members should also remind students of the University policies and disciplinary penalties for plagiarism.
Universities have a long and important tradition of allowing faculty members discretion in the conduct of their courses. Faculty members making judgements about academic integrity and decisions about academic misconduct should be as consistent as possible. See a summary of UBC policies and disciplinary penalties for plagiarism.
UBC is a culturally diverse campus and some students may need particular help with writing and proper citation. For students educated within cultures that stress oral history and literary traditions valuing the exact reproduction of ideas, memorizing and repeating textual material might have been a core learning outcome in earlier grades. As well, some students have less confidence in their English language proficiency. In such instances, paraphrasing seems a poor choice when the original appears so much better. UBC must endeavour to ensure that such students both understand the implications of plagiarism, and are aware of the University’s policies in this respect.
It is important also to note that TurnItIn is a text-based system. Other forms of plagiarism, including in music, computer source code, design, photography, oral presentations, and the like also are forms of academic misconduct. Our focus on TurnItIn is not meant to imply these are any less problematic.